Sep 23 2012


Les films français, pas si mal que ça ! French movies, not that bad!

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Bonjour tout le monde !

Dans le cadre de son cours, la professeure Mme Ponnou-Delaffon invite tous les étudiants de français à la projection de deux films français au mois d’octobre et de novembre. Voici les bandes annonces. Venez nombreux !

Hi everybody,

Professor Ponnou-Delaffon invites all french students to the projection of two french movies in October and November. Here are the trailers ! Please come along !

La Haine, Lundi 15 octobre à 19h, University Center, UC – Alumni Lounge (Putnam Center – mail office, Bistro -3ème étage

La Haine, Monday 15 October at 7pm, University Center, UC – Alumni Lounge (Putnam Center – mail office, Bistro – 3rd floor


Être et avoir, lundi 19 novembre à 19h, University Center, UC – Alumni Lounge (Putnam Center – mail office, Bistro -3ème étage

Être et avoir, Monday 19 November at 7pm, University Center, UC – Alumni Lounge (Putnam Center – mail office, Bistro – 3rd floor

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Sep 14 2012


French Club Crêpe Table! (block party event)

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The French Club will be selling crêpes today, Friday September 14th, on Mill St. on Willamette Campus from 4 to 6.30!

One crêpe and two toppings will be only $2! So definitely come to support the club and eat crêpes. Our cabinet will be selling them so you can meet us too. :D Basically, it’s going to be fantastic.





Peanut Butter

Whipped cream

Lemon syrup


We’re waiting for you!

One response so far

Sep 08 2012


Faite pour enseigner… Born to teach…

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Salut tout le monde,

Aujourd’hui je vais vous parler de mon parcours scolaire et de ce qui fait qu’aujourd’hui je suis professeur d’anglais en France et assistante de français aux Etats-Unis. L’anglais et moi, c’est un peu comme une histoire d’amour : un coup de foudre et on ne s’est plus jamais quitté.

J’ai fait ma Licence d’anglais LLCE à l’Université de Provence puis ma première année de Master à Middlesex University à Londres, Grande-Bretagne. J’ai fini mon Master Enseignement et Formation en anglais en juin 2012 à l’IUFM d’Aix-en-Provence.

Je pense que j’ai découvert ma vocation d’enseigner au lycée (Lycée Paul Arène, Sisteron, 04) où deux professeures de littérature et d’anglais ont été décisives dans mon choix de carrière. Je ne les remercierai jamais assez. J’ai commencé mes études à l’université et j’ai été assistante d’éducation dans un collège (Collège Maria Borrély, Digne-les-Bains, 04) pendant trois ans (2007-2010) et ça a été une très belle expérience, aussi bien professionnellement qu’humainement parlant. Ces trois ans ont conforté mon désir d’enseigner.

J’ai tenté l’aventure Fulbright en novembre 2011, si on m’avait dit à ce moment-là que j’allais être choisie pour partir enseigner aux Etats-Unis, je leur aurais ri au nez ! Mais mon rêve s’est réalisé. Je fais du tutorat et je tiens un cours de conversation tous les mardis de 16h à 17h, c’est le moment fort de la semaine, je l’attends avec impatience ! J’ai un groupe de dix élèves géniales, motivées et avec un très bon niveau de français. Nous avons parlé des clichés américains et français, de la politique et prochainement du droit des femmes.

Bref je suis faite pour enseigner !

Hi everybody,

Today I’m going to talk about my student career which enlightens why I’m an English teacher in France and a French teaching assistant in the States. English and me, it’s like a love relationship: love at first sight and we’ve been together since.

I studied for my Bachelor’s in English Language, Literature and History at l’Université de Provence then I did my first year of Master’s at Middlesex University in London, UK. I finished my Master’s in Teaching and Education, e English as a second language, in June 2012 at the IUFM d’Aix-en-Provence.

I think I got aware of my teaching vocation during high school (Lycée Paul Arène, Sisteron, 04) where two teachers of literature and English were decisive in my future career’s choice. I’m indebted with them forever.  As I started my Bachelor’s at university, I got hired as a teaching assistant in a high school (Collège Maria Borrély, Digne-les-Bains, 04) for three years (2007-2010) and it had been a great experience, professionally as well as humanly. Those three years comforted my teaching vocation.

I attempted the Fulbright adventure in November 2011 and if one would have told me that I was going to be picked I would have laughed at them. But my dream came true.  I give tutoring sessions and I teach a conversational class every Tuesday from 4 to 5pm, it’s my week’s highlight, I look forward to it! I’ve a group of ten students who are very lively and motivated and have a very good French level. We talked about French and American clichés, about politics and about women’s rights next week.

Well, I’m born to teach!

Here’s a picture of the Fulbright Summer Orientation in Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York State, gathering a part of all the Fulbright language teaching assistants from all around the world.

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Sep 01 2012


Une petite bleue sur le campus… A freshie on campus…

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Bonjour tout le monde !

Je m’appelle Maria Hernandez et je suis l’assistante Fulbright de français cette année à Willamette University. Je suis venue à tous les cours de français me présenter et j’ai vu pas mal d’entre vous aux heures de tutorat, mais pour ceux et celles qui ne me connaissent pas, j’espère faire votre connaissance prochainement ! Avoir été choisie par le programme Fulbright est un grand honneur et je suis fière de représenter la France et d’être une ambassadrice de la culture française aux Etats-Unis.

Parlons un peu de moi : Je viens de Les Mées, un petit village magnifique, niché dans les Alpes-de-Haute-Provence (département 04), à environ une heure de Marseille et deux heures de la Côte d’Azur… bref le paradis ! Ce petit village d’environ 3600 âmes est célèbre grâce aux Pénitents, une formation géologique qui évoque, selon la légende, un groupe de moines coiffés de capuches pointues.

A bientôt !

Hello everybody,

My name is Maria Hernandez and I am the Fulbright French Teaching Assistant at Willamette University for this year. I’ve introduced myself to most of the students in all French classes and I’ve met most of you during my tutoring hours, but for those I haven’t met yet I hope to get to know you very soon. To have been chosen by the Fulbright program is a great honor and I am very proud to represent my home-country France and to be a French culture ambassador in the United States of America.

Let’s talk a bit about me : I come from Les Mées, an amazing village in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence (département 04), one hour drive away from Marseille and two hours drive from the French Riviera… I live in paradise! This small 3600 inhabitants village is famous thanks to a peculiar geologic formation, Les Pénitents. According to the legend the rocks resemble a procession of hooded monks with their pointed cowls.

See you soon!

Les Mées sur la carte / Les Mées on a map

Les Mées

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Feb 28 2012



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Jan 25 2012


Coffee, Moulin Rouge and The Artist

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Welcome back and best wishes for this new year!
I’d like to include a few different things in this post, starting with a few pictures of the events we had at the end of last semester, and with a couple of announcements regarding this week and this semester.

First, pictures of our CHESTNUT ROASTING and FRENCH DANCE MUSIC NIGHT on Dec 8th!!! :)

This semester, a French comedy, “Les Fourberies de Scapin”, will be performed by Willamette students on March 1st-4th (8pm March 1st-3rd, 2pm March 4th, duration about an hour, free entrance, in Kaneko Auditorium). The play will be in French but with a lot of mimes and some English narration. We’re working a lot on the visual and we intend to make it very enjoyable for people who do not speak a word of French – and we’re having a lot of fun rehearsing this month. To give you an idea of what it could look like, here are a couple of pictures of the show we had two years ago when I was working on the same play, in New Zealand:

We’ll also have a French Coffee, Cookies and Games Time EVERY WEDNESDAY around 4pm in the BISTRO!

Tomorrow’s movie for the FRENCH MOVIE NIGHTS, after “Le Père Noël est une ordure” last week, will be “MOULIN ROUGE”, in English (let’s take it slow to begin the semester):

Finally, “The Artist”, one of the latest French movies, with Jean Dujardin, has recently won three Golden Globes and has ten nominations for an Oscar next month. It is currently shown at Salem Cinema on Broadway. Here is a link to the Salem Cinema website and the trailer for “The Artist”:

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Nov 19 2011


Between National French Week and Christmas Break…

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We’re already almost there! Time is flying so fast that it is difficult to keep track of all the events that you might attend before the finals. So here it is: a recap’ of some of the latest French events, and a few announcements for the rest of this semester!

National French Week: November 7th – November 14th

During the whole week, French students and members of the faculty of the College of Liberal Arts could answer questions and earn points: by the end of the week, we had two fantastic winners who could enjoy some free drinks or food at the Bistro! We learnt about French engraving, French architecture, Andorran and French history, and Belgian comics!

On Monday, a round-table event on the Euro-crisis, with Professor Michael Marks and Professor Yan Liang, gathered a great audience of students and faculty members, with questions about economics and politics regarding the current situation in Europe and its possible evolutions.

On Tuesday, “Les Choristes” was shown during our weekly movie night: half of you already loved it before the showing. The other half had not seen it yet but, by the end of the movie, I think that there was a consensus on the film’s awesomeness.

On Wednesday, French table at Goudy: the “coq au vin” was delicious !

On Thursday, French cooking at WISH! As you can see from the pictures, we had a lot of fun and even invented our own “chocolate soupe” (next time, the mousse will work)! On the menu, we had “tapenade” (two bread spreads, with green and dark olives, from the South of France), a modified version of quiche lorraine (from the North East of France), some gratin dauphinois (au gratin potatoes with garlic and crème fraîche, from the Dauphiné, a region close to Lyon which used to belong to the King’s son, who was also known as “le Dauphin” – “the Dolphin”), some crêpes (the famous thin pancakes from Brittany), and a chocolate dessert which was close enough to “mousse au chocolat”. We also had some “sirop de fraise”, a popular non-alcoholic drink, on the table. Yummy!



All the recipes and pictures will be on this brand new website very soon: !

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas: celebrating winter the French way

We only have three weeks between Thanksgiving and the finals, but there is A LOT going on during these three weeks !

Event #1: AUDITIONS FOR THE FRENCH PLAY, “Les Fourberies de Scapin” (November 30th, WLT B21, 4:10pm).

“Les Fourberies” is a comedy by Molière, and we intend to make it as fun as possible, both for the actors and for the audience. We’d like to perform in mimes and in French, with possibly some subtitles as well. We’re thinking of something dynamic, over-the-top, and as ridiculous as possible to make the audience laugh. Elisabeth Maiano and I are working on it together at the moment, and we’re looking forward to meeting a wonderful and extraordinary cast (you?) on November 30th. :) The performances would take place in the spring, either in mid-February or in early March.

Event #2: INTERNATIONAL KARAOKE NIGHT !!! (December 6th, in Kaneko Commons)

This is your chance to be an international star! You will get an email very soon with more information and French songs on which you can practice (we’ll have a very large choice). There might be some training sessions before the actual karaoke night. The Spanish, German, Chinese and Japanese assistants are also all selecting songs at the moment: we’re looking to make this a big event! :)

Event #3: FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS ! (December 8th)

December 8th, in Lyon, is the date of the festival of lights! The entire city is illuminated with candles and huge light and sound effects. Crowds come from all over Europe and fill the streets, where some people give away roasted chestnuts and mulled wine. We already have the chestnuts: they will be roasted on the grils located behind Montag Den and given freely to everyone! We won’t give wine, but we can give songs! We’ll have a time before December 8th to learn French Christmas carols and we can share them with the rest of the campus on that day! In the evening, it will be time to relax with some music, soft drinks and snacks in Montag! :)

Also, don’t forget our last movie night of the semester, this November 30th at 7:30pm in WLT B21: “Huit Femmes” (see previous article for the trailers). The movie nights might come back with a Christmas movie after the winter break, to make the beginning of the Spring semester feel like a continuation of the holiday! :)

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Nov 05 2011


French movie nights in November: songs and laughs! (WLT B21, 7:30pm)

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Because of Thanksgiving, we’ll only have three movies this month, but they are GREAT!

We’ll start this TUESDAY, Nov. 8th, with “The Chorus” (“Les Choristes”), one of the cutest and most moving movies I’ve ever seen. To give you an idea, I’d say it’s the same kind of movie as “Amélie”, except much better. It’s not as “different” as “Amélie”, but it is a very powerful feel-good movie. “The Chorus”, starring Gérard Jugnot and Jean-Baptiste Maunier (from Lyon!), tells the story of an inspired music teacher arriving in a strict boarding school for boys in the first half of the twentieth century. Music is going to change the lives of the boys, as the school undergoes drastic changes, and as some characters finally find what they’d been looking for for years. “The Chorus” was incredibly successful on a worldwide scale, it has wonderful music and it was even nominated for an Oscar a few years ago. A must-see ! (trailer at the end of this article)

The week after, on Wednesday, November 16th, I’ll be showing “The American” (“L’Américain”), the story of Francis Farge, a Frenchman who is convinced that he was born in the wrong place. His absolute dream is to become an American citizen but the US authorities do not see that as a good idea. Francis and his lawyer Edouard Barnier (aka “Eddy”) will have to prove to everyone that he is truly more American than French, even if that means transforming a whole neighborhood into “The Almost 51st State”. See the trailer, in French, at the end of the article.

Finally, we’ll skip Thanksgiving’s week and have our last movie of the month on November 30th (Wednesday). “Eight Women” (“Huit Femmes”) is worth being seen because it is an adaptation of the game “Clue” AND a musical at the same time. One man has been murdered. Eight women, trapped inside the house where the crime was committed, become immediate suspects. Who is the killer? And what secrets are they all hiding? See the trailer and a song from the movie below.

ALL THE MOVIES ARE SHOWN AT 7:30pm, IN WLT B21. They all come with subtitles, and FREE DRINKS AND SNACKS! :)

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Nov 05 2011


Cheese seminar in Portland: we were there !

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Last Thursday, five students of Willamette University went up to Portland to attend a seminar on the debate currently shaking the world of French cheese-makers: should raw milk be replaced by pasteurized milk (reputed to be safer but to restrict the variety of cheese tastes) in the making of French cheese?

We left in the afternoon, picking up a van at 4:30 and working our way up Interstate 5 to Portland. Thanks to the wonderful skills of the entire crew, we quickly found a parking lot just one block away from the luxurious Downtown Marriott Hotel, where the seminar was to take place. We entered the lobby, went to the front desk and were directed to “Salons A through C”, where refreshments were freely available as we waited for the other guests to arrive.                              

After a few minutes, we entered the salon and became a part of “the wonderful cheese community” of Portland: cheese-makers, aficionados, teachers, journalists, etc. The people present were very diverse and came from very different horizons. The event in itself was organized by Oregon State University, who have been revitalizing their local dairy plant for the past few years. As part of this process, and in order to bring an international presence closer to their students, Oregon State asked French cheese maker Sébastien Roustel to become their first “cheese maker in residence”, for the year 2011-2012. For about an hour, Mr Roustel introduced the difficult processes of cheese making to us.

The table next to ours !


The presentation is about to start!


 In about an hour, we learnt, among many other things, that:

- about 15% of French cheese is made with raw milk (mainly DPO cheese, which is more expensive because of its particular taste), and as European regulations tend to restrict the use of raw milk, two markets seem to appear: one of “commodity cheese”, with pasteurized cheese, and one of “cheese for specialists or amateurs”, with mostly raw milk;

- “pasteurized” in France is not the same as “pasteurized” in America: when 104°F are enough for a French cheese-maker, you will legally need 160°F if you’re an American cheese-maker…

 - many experiments are conducted around the world to assess the risks of raw milk, but the results are not always the same: sometimes, pasteurized milk can be more dangerous than raw milk. A series of other factors must be taken into account, such as the cleanliness of the farm, the conditions of storage, etc. Also, not all bacteriae are bad in non-pasteurized cheese: some simply add to the variety of tastes!

- in the past ten years, the number of cheese-makers in Oregon has been multiplied by five: it is hoped that the industry of cheese will follow that of wine in the next few years. In 2011, several Oregon cheeses have won the title of “Best Cheese in America”, and some cheese-makers have opened “tasting facilities” for tourists.

After the presentation came the great finale: CHEESE TASTING ! Platters were brought to each table, with pieces of cheese carefully lined up next to little stickers with numbers, and we all acted as testers in a little experiment. We tried four different kinds of cheese (among them, gouda, cheddar and blue cheese), in their pasteurized and non-pasteurized versions, and had to tell which version we preferred. The first show of hands gave a clear advantage to raw cheese, which was confirmed when we all tasted the gouda, in raw and pasteurized versions. But the pasteurized cheddar and blue cheese restaured a balance, and even though there was still a slight advantage for the raw cheese, things were not far from being even. We were left to finish our platters, and were finally given mints (how thoughtful!) before leaving the room. The drive home went well, and we all went back to our lives, stepping out of the surprisingly wide world of Cheese.

Our little group !

Cheese !

We were very professional and enthusiastic testers/tasters...

Our platter, at the end of the seminar, with the little stickers on each side.

And the mints, which made the whole experience very refreshing!

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Oct 10 2011


Halloween and French Movies…

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Hello everyone !

Halloween is getting closer, and the next four French Movie Nights will gradually take you there !

We’ll start the month with a story full of humour and adventures in Paris in the early 20th century: Adèle Blanc-Sec, who could be described as a French and feminine version of Indiana Jones, will be confronted to the waking up of mummies and dinosaurs that shouldn’t have come back to life !

One week later, we’ll rediscover a fairy-tale that is supposed to take place in France, in a dark forest, in a dark castle, where beauty and monstruosity are sometimes not that different from each other. Jean Cocteau’s “Beauty and the Beast” will also be the first Black & White movie this year !

Right before Halloween, we’ll step back to the present and witness the reunion of two highschool friends in “With a friend like Harry…” If your best friend was a talented writer too busy taking care of his family to use his talent, how far would you be ready to go to get him to write again?

And finally, we’ll celebrate Halloween a bit longer with “Pars Vite et Reviens Tard” (“Have Mercy on Us All”) on November 2nd… People are dying in contemporary Paris, and all the clues tend to suggest the impossible: the return of the Black Plague!

To help you have a better idea of the four movies, here are some trailers:

The last two trailers don’t have subtitles, but of course the movies will have them !

So, to sum it all up:

– When ? On Wednesday evenings, at 7:30PM.
– Where ? WLT 21 (the room with the couch!)


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