McDaniel hosts sixth annual French Day

Manchester Valley High School sophomore Steven Priester and Foreign Languages lecturer Cathy Bodin cut a king cake during the Mardi Gras portion of French Day.
March 26, 2013

More than 200 students from every public high school in Carroll County along with their teachers and chaperones descended on McDaniel’s campus March 14 to celebrate French language and culture as part of the college’s sixth annual French Day.

French professor Martine Motard-Noar and students in the Department of Foreign Languages organized the daylong event. According to Professor Motard-Noar, French Day was started to “energize students by showing them what can be done with French.”

The high school students started off the day by taking a nationally competitive exam in French, “Le Grand Concours,” which is sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of French. Students earning top scores on the test can earn a trip to Paris to study French, as well as other prizes.

McDaniel faculty members then led various workshops and hands-on activities. Jonathan Slade, associate professor of Communication and Cinema, introduced students to the “French New Wave,” one of the most significant film movements in the history of cinema, which involved French filmmakers of the late ’50s  and early ’60s, while Cathy Bodin, adjunct lecturer in the Department of Foreign Languages, led a workshop on “Mardi Gras” complete with mask-making and King Cake.

The students also enjoyed a French lunch followed by a New Orleans jazz concert.

Senior Eddie Blankenship of Taneytown, Md., a McDaniel student coordinator of the event, said that he hoped the students learned more about the French-speaking world than they do in their high school classrooms.