Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Normandy Scholars: Day 5 - On the Beaches

(Today's blog is a bit of an extension on yesterday's.  These thoughts on the the school life at Lycee Jeanne D'Arc come from Sterling Gilliam '17.  Internet connectivity issues persist for now, so thus a lighter entry again.)

The Gate of Jeanne D'Arc
Yesterday was our first day of classes at Institution Jeanne D'Arc, the French high school attended by our exchange students.  Having met many of the students (ones without an American student) over the weekend, we were welcomed by friendly exclamations of "Salut!"

Sterling gives a side glance to the camera during class

After un petit-déjeuner (breakfast) with the other French and American members of the exchange, we headed to our first classes of the day. My first class was Geographie (Geography). The lesson was on maritime trade, disputes, etc. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of the material I was able to understand.

After a break, during which it seemed the entire school squeezed into their lounge/cafeteria area, I had two hours of Philosophe (philosophy), in which my French comprehension skills were greatly humbled. Next, before lunch, it was another period of Geography, in which the same lesson from before was continued.

Our students help an English class debate the resolution,
"Parents Always Know What's Best for their Children"
Fittingly, Katie and Bit explain our school system to an English class
Since my correspondent, Chris, has chosen the "Literature" track of high school, he studies only the humanities. His classes are as follows: French, Italian, English, Philosophy, and Geography/History. Unlike in the United States, where high school students study both the sciences and the liberal arts, students specialize during high school in France. Chris hopes to study history at University and one day become an archaeologist studying the Moyen-Age (the Middle Ages). One of his history classes is conducted in English; I cannot imagine even attempting to take a history class in French.

Quite different from ours, the French education system was fascinating to observe. Included is a picture of the textbook used for the Geography class.

The aforementioned textbook

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