French Dept. celebrates National French Week


Students in the French Dept. sold pastries on the second floor patio. Photo curtesy of Chelsea Simmons.

Marguerite Alberts, graphics editor

After a month of planning, the French Club, with the help of students in French classes, continued its 15-year-old tradition of celebrating La Semaine Nationale du Francais (National French Week). The events, which took place from Nov. 12 through Nov. 15, were held in an effort to spark interest in French culture.
“It [National French Week] is a national celebration, and across the country schools celebrate all things French with a variety of activities and events that highlight the importance of the French language and culture in the world today, and throughout history,” Foreign Language Dept. Chair and French teacher Corinne Carlson said.
Every morning that week, club members asked French-flavored trivia questions from French Teacher Irina Kasper’s collection of colored cards over the P.A. system. Those who answered a trivia question correctly each won a prize.
In an effort to celebrate France’s artistic culture, the club added a new activity.
“Every year we try to add something new,” Carlson said. “This year we added our ‘artistes’ on the second floor patio who were sketching student portraits.”
During lunch, students could also purchase cultural treats such as croissants, madeleines, Orangina and Perrier from members of the club and students of the French Dept.
As both a student in the French department and a French citizen, senior Romy Bobot generally appreciated National French Week.
“I think that it’s a great way for other students to learn new things about French [culture] and France in general,” Bobot said. “But being from France I have to say that they [students] definitely don’t get a ‘taste’ of France; those pastries aren’t up to French standards.”
Because of the week’s increase in participants, both Carlson and Tran considered this year’s La Semaine Nationale du Francais a success.
“Their enthusiasm about French is the biggest ‘gain’ we could have; and this [enthusiasm] carries into the classroom by motivating them [students] in a positive way about what they are learning in our French classes,” Carlson said.
The French Dept.’s next event will be the annual Cabaret in which students showcase their talents by performing French music or reciting French poetry will be next semester.