You don't know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain't no matter.

Oops. There I go, channeling Huck Finn again. Sorry about that.

I'm a Massachusetts native and Maine resident who grew up in a small town in Massachusetts. Although my parents were born in the United States, their ancestry was French Canadian, and they grew up fully bilingual. They raised me the same way; French is my first language. We spoke only French at home until I started school.

I attended Catholic schools through the 12th grade. My grade-school education, in particular, was big on bilingualism and ethnic pride. Half of our classes were in English, the other half, in French. We learned the American, Canadian and French national anthems in school, and sang them regularly. In the greater scheme of things, I suppose this made for an unusual education, but it was the norm in that time and place.

After graduating from Suffolk University in Boston, Mass., with a bachelor's degree in government, I spent almost all of my working life in journalism, first as a reporter and newscaster at a small radio station in Massachusetts and then as a reporter for a series of newspapers in New England.