HRVHS French Week celebrates culture

Students broke bread together at HRVHS just before the Thanksgiving break, but it had nothing to do with pilgrims.

They literally broke bread, passing around baguettes sold as a fundraiser, and then adding cheeses, jams and other condiments to the quintessential long loaf French bread.

The occasion was part of French Week, celebrated by the HRVHS French Club and friends.

The students ate baguettes with brie and listened to classic French music, under the tutelage of French teacher Jennifer Stevens.

Every year the French club thinks of creative activities to celebrate French Week, but dressing up each day is always essential. Some of the dress-up days this year included scarf day, barrette day, blue white and red day, and famous French person day.

“Vive la France,” said senior Myrna Najera, who has saved up for four years for this spring’s French Club trip to Normandy and other points in France.

“It’s something I’m really looking forward to,” said Najera, the French Club president.

Students at Hood River Valley High School are required to take two years of a foreign language in order to graduate; classes offered include Mandarin, French and Spanish.

“I think this whole week was about more than the language,” said Maddy Graham, French Club vice president. “Culture is a big part of what we learn; not just grammar but the way they speak in other areas.”

Students became familiar with French Impressionist artists, with a focus this year on Vincent van Gogh (who worked mostly in France) and they got the opportunity to create their own rendition of famous Impressionist works.

A special event also took place on Nov. 18, something French Club had never done before. After school, students, local Francophiles and teachers went down to Andrew’s Skylight Theatre to view the French film “Romantics Anonymous.”

“It was the perfect way to finish a very French day,” said Graham. “The movie was an awkward romantic comedy which everyone enjoyed, even if some of the viewers didn’t speak French.”

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