Questions with Featured Clubs: French Club Edition

By: Anna Lietman and Evie Schumann

Early Tuesday morning, we were fortunate enough to speak with Lizzie Poulos, one of the two presidents of French Club. However, we did not have the opportunity to hear from co-president Rebecca Weinberger or vice presidents Emma Bryan, Caroline Jobson, and Mckenzie Carter. Though Parsons was very curious about the cheese offerings of the club, we decided to delve a little deeper. Here are some of the questions we asked:

What’s your mission as a club here at HB?

Inform the HB population about current events in France and foster an understanding of French culture.

Do you have any good French cheese recommendations?

Personally, my favorite is Brie, because that’s a classic. Camembert is good too. There was one really gross one that they tried to make me eat that starts with L. I can’t remember the name, but if you see a French cheese that starts with an L, don’t eat it!

What do you have planned for this year?

Last year the club was centered around movies and food but we want to include some current events discussions and talk more about culture. Not to worry, movies and food will still be involved, but we’re hoping to incorporate other activities like skyping with French students.

Why should we join your club?

Like I said before, there will be good food and movies (with subtitles). In addition (let me be Mr. Vogel for a second here) the world is becoming more and more internationalized and it’s important especially with one of our greatest allies, France, to understand their culture–particularly if you want to go into business, any sort of law degree, etc. If you’re not as interested in that sort of a level you can look forward to the movies and food.

How you do feel other members of the HB community perceive your club?

The problem for us, from what I picked up on during clubs fair, is that people don’t understand you can join the club without speaking French. We’re not going to be speaking French in the club and although there may be films in French, there will always be subtitles. So it’s not about French speakers learning more about French culture, it’s about the entire school learning more about French culture. That’s important to understand.

Do you focus more on language, culture, current events, history, etc.?

Yeah, that type of thing. Maybe pop culture too. Honestly, what’s important is for people to understand the pop culture so if, let’s say someone goes to France, they won’t be completely shell-shocked and they’ll understand what’s going on and have an opportunity to relate to the people there.

Do you ever highlight French singers/pop culture stars? (If not you should)

It’s really embarrassing: when I went to France I told them about Stromae. He’s from Belgium and he’s kind of I guess their version of Bruno Mars because he’s talented, obviously, but people push him off as being too mainstream. So all the teenagers in France like Daft Punk, which isn’t even French. I don’t understand it, they like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and one other random band. It was the weirdest thing.

Can we expect to Skype with any cute French students during club meetings?

We’re hopefully going to Skype with Laure (my French exchange student) and her friends, maybe even her English class. When I went to her English class in France, they were reading The Great Gatsby. French teachers are very different. You know how here you can talk about your opinion and no one ever tells you your opinion’s wrong? Well, in France it’s the opposite–your teacher always tells you your opinion’s wrong, and what you have to think.

Are there crêpes in your future?

We did make a ton of crêpes last year. Every meeting we had crêpes prepared and then one day we actually taught people how to make them, so if people want to learn how to make French food, we’ll do that. French culture is so based around food. It’s a ritual, honestly.