Guided by wine and cheese connoisseur and former phonetics professor, Mme Annie-Claude Motron, students sampled wine from various regions in France and 18 different cheeses, a mere beginning in the country that boasts 365 types of cheese, one for every day of the year. As Madame Motron explained, cheeses are classified first by their milk: vache, chèvre, ou brebis (cow, goat, or sheep), and then again by their consistency, molle ou dur, (soft ou hard). Madame Motron then led students through the steps of wine tasting: looking at, smelling, tasting, and, most importantly, discussing the wine with friends.
A hearty congratulations to Naomi Jabouin, a Bowdoin College undergraduate, and Cameron Flynn, a University of Michigan undergraduate ! These two current students of the Middlebury College School in France program (Naomi in Bordeaux and Cameron in Paris) were recently informed of their acceptance in the French Heritage Society’s summer internship program (http://frenchheritagesociety.org/). Each year, this non-profit organization sends anglophone students into châteaux throughout France to work as bilingual guides. The lucky interns have the opportunity to improve their French, deepen their understanding of the nation’s patrimony and gain some firsthand experience in cultural tourism. Ms. Jabouin will be working this summer at the château de Fontainebleau, while Mr. Flynn has been placed in the château d’Acquigny and the château de Montréal.
Inspired by the 18th century French philosopher Denis Diderot’s massive, thirty-five volume Encyclopédie, the current exhibition in Special Collections & Archives reveals our enduring curiosity of animals through a selection of rare and unusual books dating from the 17th through the 20th centuries.
Other works on display include Edward Topsell’s The historie of foure-footed beastes, published in 1607 in London (and possibly one of William Shakespeare’s literary sourcebooks) and a polar bear as described by Captain James Cook, the British explorer, in the 18th century, upon arrival in the Russian Arctic Circle.
Also on exhibit in the Davis Family Library: Banned and Banished: Ovid and 2,000 Years of Exile curated by Mikaela Taylor.
We need only say ‘Giverny’ to lose ourselves in thoughts of fresh scents, rich colors, gorgeous light … No wonder the Impressionist Claude Monet chose this lovely retreat to develop, right up to the end of his life, his chosen arts of painting and gardening. Ten days ago, a number of students from our Paris program stepped into the sensual universe of this grand painter, visiting his house at Giverny along with its garden and famous pond. They were even able to see the special studio Monet made to undertake his Water Lilies, the legendary cycle that currently hangs in the Orangerie museum in Paris. Making the most of the nice weather, they finished the day with a long walk to the neighboring village of Vernon. Many thanks to Lucy and Julie who accompanied the students during the visit.
On May 3, students in the Middlebury Paris program visited the Pantheon, that illustrious Parisian monument where lie the great men (as, as of recently, the great ladies) of France. This visit concluded the course “French Secularism” given by Professor Nicolas Roussellier. Students were able to enjoy a very interesting and informative tour, led by Dr. Roussellier, who was particularly interested in the history of the Pantheon and its evolution throughout the centuries. We took the time to dwell at length inside the monument to observe its frescoes and tombs. A big thank you to Mr. Nicolas Roussellier for this high quality tour.
For the commemorations marking the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of the Chemin des Dames Ridge, Sunday April 16th in the region of Aisne, historian and School in France faculty member, André Loez, found himself explaining to the Head of State, President François Hollande, the failed French assault on the Germans. For the official press release : http://www.elysee.fr/communiques-de-presse/article/centenaire-de-la-bataille-du-chemin-des-dames/ .