French Club: Doors open to everyone Foreign language not required

Abby Kroener, Reporter

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     The French Club meets about 1-2 times a month, primarily during Hawk Soar and sometimes after school.  This organization does not require a member to be currently taking French or to have taken it in the past.  It only cost $5 to join and you can get a t-shirt for $10.

     Maddie Kramer is a former member of French Club and has taken the language all four years of high school.  Kramer is advanced in French, although she doesn’t mind students who are not familiar with the language joining the club.  “I think it is awesome that they can join,” she continues. “It is a cool opportunity for people who wish they could have taken French.”  The senior claims that it is “cool to see how much it [French club] has grown” from year to year. Kramer keeps coming back each year because she says, “it is fun and I like it a lot,” she said her favorite part of the club is crepe days.

     The president of the club is senior Alison Grafton, who has been taking French, and been in the club since her freshman year.  She said, “I really enjoy it. I love How interacting and interesting it is,” she adds, “although we learn so much, it is a fun, social class I get to take.”  Grafton found out about earning this position at the end of last year which gave her time to plan for the club and events over the summer.

     Lauren Taber has taken French for all four years of high school and has been in French club for two years.  Taber says that she chose to take on the vice president position because “I wanted ideas for the club that I wanted to share but I also love French.”  This is the first year that the student has decided to be vice president. She helps the president, Grafton, out with running the meetings and planning events such as parties.

     Grafton claims, “as president, I oversee most things for the club but Madame Arist, the advisor of the club,  is the most in charge and she helps me plan stuff.”   

     The president claims that allowing students that don’t take French to still join the club, “is one of my favorite things about the club.”  Both the president and vice president allow this because they want it to be inclusive to everyone. “Without being in french club, people who don’t take french probably wouldn’t know about a lot of the things we talk about and do, so it’s exciting and fun to share it,” says Grafton.  Taber likes it “ because it’s awesome to share French culture with different people,” she adds. “I hope those students can feel a sense of community and to have fun. Even if they just learn how to say hello or to make a crêpe that’s more than enough.”

     Grafton likes to  focus on the cultures of France and French speaking countries, including food, holidays, and traditions during the meetings.  This means that each meeting is different but she claims that usually she will go over the most important things like upcoming events,  and “a lot of the time we will have snacks or breakfast, sometimes this is french food like crepes.” 

    Grafton explains that they also try to do something fun like watch a french short film or play a game. Taber mentions that when they plan future activities, they tend to ask the entire club for their opinions because “we want them to enjoy what we do and feel like they have control too.”  Grafton adds that when making the decisions of big trips, that they make them “to accommodate them to everyone else’s schedule.”

     “I want to do more things during the winter when everyone is miserable and wishing it was warm and school was out but I’m still thinking on it,” says Taber.  Grafton then thought of the idea to plan some parties, such as “a fête de Noel (Christmas party) and a party for Mardi Gras, because they both are popular here and in France.”  They also hope to go to the Baltimore Museum of Art in December to look at French art. In this trip, Grafton says she is planning to go to a French restaurant after the museum. She also said that she is planning to go to La Madeleine in the spring. The president says, “we have gone there in the past and everyone loves it. It is a French style restaurant in Columbia.”  Taber adds, “it’s basically a French Panera.”