Many students take French to fulfill a course requirement, but not so for Cassandra Offt. In an interview, she said:
I decided to take French because it’s a beautiful language, and it’s an important language. People all over the world speak French as both a first and second language. I wanted to see the world through different eyes, and French has helped me do that.
Cassandra has enjoyed exploring elements of different cultures and their perspectives while fulfilling a course requirement.
Alyssa Young stated that she joined French because:
My mother took French when she was in high school, and when I was little, she would sing me French lullabies and say words to me in French. I’ve always had a sentimental connection to the language, and learning it has helped me to better connect to my mom and my childhood.
Each student taking French this year brings something interesting to the table. All have a unique background and drive.
Elizabeth Hodgson is a second- year student studying French and Chemistry. She will spend the spring of her junior year in Angers, France, and is currently investigating internship opportunities in France for the summer of 2019.
Students Attend French Immersion Weekend
For one weekend in February, Carroll students and members of the community gathered at the Mountain Meadow Inn in Helena, Montana. Their goal: to speak only in French for their entire stay together.
The event was primarily organized by the students themselves. While Dr. Renck took care of logistical concerns, students from all levels of French classes and study organized the activities that would make up the core of the weekend.
Alyssa Young and Elizabeth Hodgson taught participants how to make macarons; Parker Gunderson hosted a board game hour (the hit was Apples to Apples in French); Samson Jones and Marilyn Johnson lead immersion-goers through a French sing-a-long/ karaoke session; Sydnee Nowlen and Taylor Tyson taught the art French cuisine through crêpes; Carter Anderson lead the bold on a guided snowshoe, narrated in French; and Cassandra Offt and Caitlin Troyer organized a poetry reading session. Finally, on Sunday morning, Father Patrick Beretta of Butte offered a French Mass.
My favorite part was the snowshoeing. Carter Anderson was in charge of that, and he was walking along saying all these facts in French.
My favorite part was the food. We had some good themed French food. I was enjoying the raclette so much I melted the last bit of cheese, cut up some apple and had some apple and cheese crêpe. It was really good.
Mangeons: Let’s Eat!
On Monday November 20, 2017, faculty and friends were invited to a special lunch prepared by the French classes of Carroll College. This three-course meal was not only a special treat, but also a lesson for attentive French students, who made the dishes entirely off of recipes written in French.
The first dish prepared was Bœuf Bourguignon. This is a beef roast with onions, carrots, mushrooms, and potatoes. The second was Quiche Lorraine. The dish was prepared with heavy cream, salt and pepper, onions and eggs. Adding a little bit of ham and cheese added a perfect touch. Last, a clear fan favorite, was Tarte Tatin. This melt-in-your-mouth dish is an open apple caramel pie. It is a fact that not one person left on an empty stomach.
Our lunch brought all the French classes, friends of the French Program, and passersby that joined in, a little closer. Great conversation was had over an even better meal.
Abigail Dolan is in her third year at Carroll studying English Education.
“Miam-miam”: Making Macarons at Carroll College
In November, Carroll College French students took part in a hands-on language and baking workshop, in which they learned to make classic French macarons, a sweet meringue- based confection made out of egg white, sugar, almond powder and food coloring.
The delicate macaron shells are generally filled with buttercream, jam or ganache, creating a delectable sandwich that is moist and sweet and easily melts in the mouth. The workshop was taught by Meg Munden, a local macaron enthusiast and baker. Meg owns the local macaron shop called Macaron Mania. During the workshop, French students from all levels learned how to make the delicate pastries in a variety of flavors, and learned several methods with which to make the fillings and the shells. They also learned baking techniques, piping techniques and came away with a better, and very delicious, understanding of the delicate French pastry.
The flavors of macarons varied from Pistachio with a raspberry filling, to a coffee macaron with chocolate Ganache, to a vanilla shell with sweet nutmeg filling, among many others. The workshop was fun, insightful and interesting. Not a single student felt as though they had macaron (made a wrong) decision by coming. One student said that they “could not wait to take their macaron skills to the next level and experiment with other flavors and fillings!”
Katherine Anderson is a second-year International Relations major with a passion for studying abroad. After her summer in Morocco, she hopes to spend the spring of 2019 in France.
Global Carroll: Poems on Many Tongues
On November 15th, Carroll College hosted an amazing event entitled “Poems on Many Tongues,” which featured poetry in more than a dozen languages, presented by students and staff. Several of the participants were native speakers in the language in which they presented, while others spoke in their second, and even third, languages.
There was a great diversity of language as well, branching out from just the ones taught at the school. Poems were presented in romance languages such as French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian. These were mixed with Asian languages such as Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and Khmer. There were even poems in Russian, Creole, and Old English.
Many chose poems and authors seminal to their culture. There were readings from Alexander Pushkin in Russian, Pablo Neruda in Spanish, Victor Hugo in French, and more. It was an incredible experience to absorb the sounds and senses of different languages. Despite not being able to understand the words, it was a unique opportunity to genuinely feel the art of poetry. There is something transcendent in a poem that reaches beyond simple meaning of words and touches the hearts of the listeners through the sounds, the lyricism of each syllable.
French was very well-represented at the event. Professor Nathalie Caulliez read a poem by Du Bellay, and students read poems by Paul Éluard (Alyssa Young), Victor Hugo (Carter Anderson), and Rimbaud (Cassandra Offt).
As Carroll College continues to expand and look to a more diverse world view, it is events like this that further that dream. All these languages came together to create a program that displayed the different and fantastic aspects of the spoken word. In the words of Elizabeth Hodgson who presented “Liberté” by Paul Élaurd, said, “It was an unbelievable experience to be able to be immersed in another culture, even if it was just for five minutes. It made me want to travel, to get more experience with these amazing cultures.” This event was an incredible success and one all participants and spectators want to see repeated.
Cassandra Offt is a senior majoring in English Literature.