Sep 22 2016
A new old dance is sweeping people off their feet!
The current progression of gender equality laws in France
Sep 22 2016
A new old dance is sweeping people off their feet!
The current progression of gender equality laws in France
Mar 02 2016
Both Willamette students and high school students from the Salem area alike came together last saturday for the second annual French immersion day. Organized by the Willamette University french department in the World Languages Studio, French immersion day offered students a chance to experience the language and culture through a mixture of activities, games, and of course plenty of food.
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Feb 09 2016
Crêpes, music, and festivities at the world languages studio, none other than the Willamette french club!
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Feb 03 2016
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Jan 27 2016
The French Department at Willamette University is happy to announce a Monday evening film series to be held in conjunction with Professor Bumatay’s French 241 course on immigration and identity in contemporary France. Each Monday from 7-9pm in Ford 122, French and Francophone films will be screened with English subtitles from Breathless, Jean-Luc Godard’s New Wave classic, to Welcome, Philippe Lioret’s sober look at immigration in Europe today.
1/18 – Breathless
1/25 – Sugarcane Alley
2/1 – Chocolat
2/8 – The Battle of Algiers
2/15 – Black Night: 17 October 1961
2/22 – Sunday, God Willing
2/29 – Salut, Cousin!
3/7 – The Promess
(Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne)
3/14 – Hidden
3/28 – Hate
4/4 – The Class
4/11 – The Secret of the Grain
4/18 – Le Havre
4/25 – Welcome
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Oct 06 2015
Bonjour à tous!
I am Emmanuelle (or Manu) and I’m the French Teaching Assistant at Willamette this year. Most of you have already met me (whether when I introduced myself in the different French classes or during my tutoring hours), but here are a few things about me:
Here is a photo of me wearing the very stereotypical outfit of a French person (beret, red scarf and sailor-stripe jersey)
Normandie is quite famous worldwide for its landing beaches (DDay), where the Allies landed on June 6th 1944. Here is a photo of Omaha Beach (one of the 5 landing beaches along with Juno Beach, Sword Beach, Gold Beach, and Utah Beach), the beach assigned to the American landings. The landing on Omaha was the most deadly of all, with about 4,000 American soldiers killed, wounded and missing – hence the beach’s nickname “Omaha la Sanglante” (“Bloody Omaha”).
It is also in this very region where you can find l’Abbaye du Mont St Michel, which is the third most visited monument in France (after the “Tour Eiffel” and the “Chateau de Versailles”) with more than two and half million visitors a year.
Caen (the city where I was born) is one of the main cities of Normandie and is home to William the Conqueror’s castle, which was built around 1060. William the Conqueror, who became Duke of Normandy in 1035, was the first Norman King of England, reigning from 1066 until his death in 1087. The castle of Caen is still one of the oldest fortified castles of Europe today.
Situated next to the castle is the University of Caen, one of the oldest universities in France. Built in 1432 by the King of England, Henry VI, the university was completely destroyed during the WWII ally bombings in July 1944 and was then rebuilt entirely, hence the fact that the Phoenix is its symbol. The university welcomes about 26,000 students every year and offers a large variety of fields of study.
Normandie is also famous for its food, and more specifically for its dairy products such as milk, cream, butter, cheese but also for its apples, cider, calvados (a distilled cider or apple brandy), and seafood.
Even though I often complain about the rainy weather in Normandie, I love my region for its rural character, its rich history, its landscapes, and the opportunities it offers in terms of culture, sports, studies, etc.
I am a huge sports fan – I love both practicing sports and watching sports on TV or attending matches/sporting events when I have the opportunity. My favorite sports are track and field, handball, and rugby.
I studied English at the University of Caen (Language, Literature and Foreign Civilization) and specialized in American Civilization for my Research Master’s Degree dissertation. I decided to study English and US Civilization in particular because I’ve always been attracted to the English language and interested in discovering other cultures and the history of other countries. Ideally, I would like to teach American civilization at a University in France so after my year at Willamette, I will go back to University to finish my studies and hopefully become a teacher one day.
This year at Willamette will therefore be a great cultural exchange and teaching experience for me, and I will try to do my best to help you in French. So do not hesitate to send me an email or come and see me if you have any questions/problems. Here is a reminder of my tutoring and conversational sessions:
French tutoring hours (Ford Hall):
French table (Goudy):
Basic Conversational French class (WLT 21):
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Feb 07 2015
Bonjour tout le monde!
Ça va? Moi, ça va, actually I’m really excited to tell you about what some of you missed this week and, at the same time, I can’t help feeling sorry, precisely because not all of you came to the Portland Opera with the French Department! So, here’s what you missed in Glee the French Department‘s Adventures!
Last Wednesday, we had the great opportunity to go up to Portland for the Carmen dress rehearsal. For most of us, it was our first time attending an opera, so you can imagine how breathtaking the auditorium appeared to us. But it was nothing compared to the orchestra, down the stage, nothing compared to the sceneries and costumes and finally, it was nothing compared to the outstanding performance of the singers!
Carmen is an opera in four acts by the French composer Georges Bizet! It was first performed in Paris in 1875 and it has been a real success since then. We were lucky because the show had English subtitles to make sure that everyone understood. For those who still don’t know the story of Carmen, here’s for you:
And here’s another reason why you should come to the French Department events, check this out! 😉
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Nov 06 2014
Many of you came and tasted delicious cheese from various different regions of France at last nights wonderful Soirée Fromages organized by the French department and French club!
Here are some pictures of people enjoying one of France’s most important culinary traditions.
Saint-Marcellin, Comté, Saint Agur Blue, Abbay de Belloc and Brie de Meaux
Les Beaux Fromages!
Cheese makes Jack dance with joy!
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Oct 30 2014
Well hello there!
Hope everything is awesome at Willamette, even though I have very little doubts about this according to my personal experience, and that y’all are enjoying life!
Coming back from picking grapes in Alsace (a pretty bucolic region in the Northeast of France), I do have a few things to tell you about our economy, our job market and my country’s environmental efforts, and will do my best to keep it nicely clear and organized.
So, if you please, I will start with what my country is good at producing and exporting. As I said, I just came back from a job grape picking in a wine producing region of my country, which is, as you probably already know, one of the world’s top wine exporting nations. The tradition of making wine is deeply rooted in several of our regions, such as Alsace, Champagne, Côte du Rhône or Bordeaux. Even though exports dropped recently due to a diminished demand from countries like China, we’re still a leader in the market, and the quality of our vinified products is not to be proved anymore.
Map of France’s main wine producing regions
Other alcoholic products, such as Cognac or Calvados, are also pretty popular and still good elements of our exports.
As a European leader in agriculture, France also produces and exports a lot of dairy products (mostly cheese, when they’re not banned…I’m looking at you again, Uncle Sam!), wheat, colza (used in production for edible oil and biofuel), vegetables like beets, and fruits such as apples, grapes or some others.
Luxury products are also doing well as far as exports are concerned, with world famous brands such as Dior, Chanel, Longchamps, Louis Vuiton and other ridiculously expensive stuff. They keep being highly popular as they target wealthy customers not really suffering from the global crisis, and because they keep conveying the classy image of French refinement – not relevant nor appropriate anymore, if you want my opinion on the matter. Anyway, as regards to economics, we’re proud to have these jewels contributing to the radiance of some French symbols (talk about that fancy “French Touch”..!).
Directly tied with this last point, France has an everlastingly growing industry that some of you might have already benefitted: Tourism. My country is undeniably attractive for tourists from everywhere in the world. With the most visited monument on the planet (no need to name it, you probably guessed yourself already), France also has a very typical culture, a super rich History with chunks of legacy scattered all around the country, and a strong identity shining worldwide. Thanks to these assets, we keep being competitive in this field of the economy, which is why I keep this in the back of my head for my professional future in case my main plan doesn’t work out, or in case I want to try something new. But I will come back to this later.
Because there is one more industry that I do have to mention (even though I’d rather not) as it is my duty to tell you the whole truth: France is one of the world’s biggest exporter of weapons. Supplying countries in Northern Africa, Eastern Europe and in the Middle East, this aspect of our economy is often hidden but contributes tremendously to our GDP…
On the other side of the balance, France imports all of its oil (of course), and tends to lean towards natural gas, even though the European government recently banned underground extraction in order to prevent environmental damages. We also import a lot of chocolate, coffee and exotic products, and if you’re lucky, you MIGHT find some peanut butter on a random shelf somewhere..! New technologies (with a lot of imports in the sector) are also increasing exponentially, and even though consumption is decreasing pretty much everywhere (like the car industry going through a significant crisis), people keep buying digital stuff.
As you may have heard in the media recently, the French economy in general is not doing that great. Unemployment is on the rise, industries are having troubles and keep firing workers (generating strong protests against such decisions), and overall the mood is somehow pessimistic. However, there are reasons to hope for; or at least, that’s my belief! Innovative actions can improve the current situation, and we can spot a bunch of local and regional initiatives popping up all across the country (local organic farms, sharing networks, little villages coming back to life with all the shops being renovated, etc.), and don’t worry, our bakeries are doing perfectly fine, most definitely!
I personally would like to work into a field that is still relevant in our trouble age: international business. Indeed, all around the world, companies are growing, with more and more producing and selling eco-friendly, fair trade, organic products, vegetarian/vegan food (a market slowly rising here), healthy alternatives to promote fulfilling lifestyles respecting living beings and the environment… I mean, ya know this kinda drill, Willamette! Well, that’s what I believe in; I believe in businesses as forces for good, not solely aiming to maximize profit at any cost, but also working with a sense of duty in their activity, paying attention to environmental and social impacts, and finding innovative ways to solve today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. In the US, “Benefit Corporations” (aka “B Corps”, www.bcorporation.net), such as Patagonia or Ben & Jerry’s, are involved in this kind of business, and my goal is to join this movement, and why not, eventually, import it here and make it stronger worldwide, to participate in significant changes through providing alternatives to people, and ultimately, play my part in the transition to make this world a better, sustainable and more harmonious place.
Yes, we have reasons to believe, and yes, things are already being done to improve our society. As an everyday biker myself, I can tell that I see more and more people leaving their car in the garage to bike whenever they can (even though it’s still a minority in my region, I must admit). In our cities, you will see a lot of people walking their way around, and using public transportations, thus reducing traffic and aiming towards healthier urban lifestyles.
Finally, even though public policies in the past decades heavily promoted nuclear power as a source of energy (electricity that we also export around us to other European countries), wind power is gaining ground bit by bit. A local example illustrates that trend: in Normandy, the region’s government in partnership with a conglomerate of companies initiated a project of building a wind farm offshore, in the French-British Channel, with 75 wind turbines, which would provide clean energy to cities and towns on the Norman coast as well as economic and employment outcomes (learn more on the project’s official website, here: courseulles-sur-mer). Furthermore, I saw in the past few years more solar panels on houses, a trend once again encouraged by government subsidies and tax exemption strategies, easing the steps towards transition.
Offshore wind farms projects scheduled for this decade in the North of France
In conclusion, I would say that, even though France is (*ahem* once again) late on these things, we’re catching up and are getting better as a nation to adapt to the challenges of this century, with a growing will for change. And it is now a well known fact that if you want to see a change in the world, you have to embody it.
So be the change, Willamette!
BONUS: For those interested in Economics, or good music, or funny videos (or all three at once), I recommend this awesome video; I found it smart and entertaining. Check it out, & enjoy!
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Oct 22 2014
On Friday 24th, the French Club invites you to watch the famous French movie Les Choristes (The Chorus, in English.) Come and join us in the Smullin Theater in Ford 122 from 7:30pm to 9:30pm. Just for you to be totally convinced, here’s the synopsis and the trailer!
Les Choristes (2004) with Gérard Jugnot, Jean-Baptiste Maunier, …
In 1949, Clément Mathieu, a failed musician and composer, arrives at Fond de l’Étang (“Bottom of the Pond” or “Rock Bottom”), a French boarding school for “difficult” boys, to work as a supervisor. On discovering the boys singing rude songs about him, Mathieu forms a plan: he will teach them to sing, and form a choir. He groups the boys into their voice types, but one student, Morhange, refuses to sing.
Oh Yeah! One last thing! The movie will have English subtitles! ;D
See yoou there!
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