By Taulant Kastrati ‘15
French club meets every Friday to discuss different Francophone cultures. After researching countries, members come to club with stories to tell, movies to watch, or simple recipes to follow; it’s meant to be fun and to learn. It meets in the afternoon in room 433.
The club has participated in serving the school’s community. For example, it organized the Haitian festival in the cafeteria in 2011 and 2012. French club has recently gained over 20 members, no small feat considering that Azza Bushra ‘14 restarted it only last year. She and the club’s advisor, French teacher Ms. Marly Jean-Baptiste, usually organize events for the club.
“It’s nice that the club is still growing,” said Bushra ’14, “but I hope that the club can still have some intimacy with its members.”
There are no restrictions on participation in the club the only requirement is that students have to be willing to participate.
“We have members from different grades and foreign language classes,” said Ms. Jean-Baptiste, “but proficiency isn’t needed for them to enjoy the club. What is important is that they are willing to learn French language and culture. When we play a movie, I don’t have to tell them to shut off their phones because they do so willingly.”
The club activities include holding cultural festivals, cooking French foods, and watching movies. Members pick a dish from a specific Francophone country, research it, and come to the club with a simple recipe to follow and some easy ingredients. What really makes this different from the traditional French class is that members can cook in the club.
Bushra ’14 said, “It’s a lot of fun to cook with your friends and make exotic foods, I never thought of doing this before joining the club.”
The club has also been known to host cheese-tasting parties, in which club members bring in different types of French cheese to taste. This was in an effort to further “Expose the club to unique French practices,” said Ms. Jean-Baptiste.
The club introduces culture to its members not only by cooking food, but also by showing foreign films. Movie showings at French club emulate those in actual cinemas. On one day,
Les Miserables played while members ate freshly popped theater popcorn and drank assorted sodas. It’s okay if one doesn’t know enough French everything is shown in the subtitles. The purpose of this club is not only to expose students to French culture, but also to French lifestyle.
In an effort to gain news members, the club has hung posters up around the school. In addition, Ms. Jean-Baptiste offers five points extra credit for going to at least five club meetings.
Tanber Khan ’17 said, “I would join the class if I had the time. It sounds cool and I heard that we’d get extra credit for joining it.”