Belated French Friday: C’Est Ouf to Meet Smart, Kind Middle School Students on Crêpes Day

Post-classroom visit

It’s a belated French Friday post, only because I was meeting a class of 8th graders yesterday.

Which was ouf.

Last Friday, I left you with two French expressions. Dan used the services of Google and suggested “Get the pill” for “Se dorer la pilule” and “This is a pick of ouf” for “c’est un truc de ouf.”

Thank you, Dan for trying. Really, that was cool. But I cannot give you an A. That’s Google’s fault, really.

Google, can you hire me?

* Se dorer la pilule doesn’t mean to get the pill but to get a tan, also simply to relax without doing anything.

Get the pill would be “Prendre la pilule” and it would also be said in reference to the birth control pill.

On the other hand, we don’t have the exact equivalent of the vivid American expression: Take a chill pill.

* Ouf is Fou, only written backwards. Fou in French means crazy.

C’est ouf means it’s crazy.

Un truc is a thing.

C’est un truc de ouf means it’s a crazy thing.

 

So, yes, meeting with the kids yesterday was ouf, in a very good way.

C’est ouf!

Following your advice, I went with a selection of photos depicting France and Paris. One one girl had been to Paris, so all of them enjoyed my personal Normandy selection. And they smiled when they saw me at their age.

As expected, the addition of music was a great idea. I played music while the students settled in. Then I picked classic French songs and extracts of contemporary songs from singers and bands and played them during the presentation. Even the teacher could not sit still when she heard some French rap.

Since the main characters of my novel eat at different cafés, I added a few slides about typical fare that Parisians and French eat at their favorite cafés.

 

And I wore my special T-shirt 🙂

The kids loved my last slides about the Chandeleur. Eating crêpes on February 2 is yummier than waiting for a groundhog to see or not his shadow.

So after the school visit I rushed home to prepare my batter. When my four children lived at home I doubled and sometimes even tripled the recipe and we ate crêpes for dinner. Now my husband and I have a couple for dessert and eat the leftovers warmed up for breakfast.

But when I arrived we changed our minds, so I made a regular batter.

The batter, my mom wrote on her recipe, should not be too thin and should not be too thick. That’s the reputation people from Normandy have: undecided 🙂 But her crêpes batter is the bomb.

 

First crepe is like a first draft. Necessary.

Better

My husband added a sunny-side-up egg on our crepes

We ate until there was no batter left 😦

I wish you all a fantastic weekend!

If you are a football fan, enjoy the Super Bowl. I know of a few diehard Patriots fans around me. It’s in my nature to cheer for the underdog. Although, on Super Bowl I will be found in a park or at the movies, which are pretty quiet on Super Bowl.

Just saying 🙂

 

Giving an Encore to Older Blog Posts

One of the most challenging goals for a blogger is to bring fresh material to each post.

That’s why the re-blog button was created, I suppose.

When bloggers use this function they re-blog their most popular posts.

They respond to an “Encore” from their readership.

In the English section of my French English Larousse dictionary, the definition of “Encore” takes one line but two long columns in the French section.

In fact “Encore” in French can mean, among many other things, “Not again!”

If I served the same dinner twice in a row at home my kids might say: “Encore!”

I wouldn’t take it as a compliment.

Today, although aware of the French meaning of “Encore!” I take the chance to serve you older posts.

For two purposes:

1-    It’s not every year that I can eat crepes, wait for the Groundhog to see or not its shadow, and watch a football game.

2-    To analyze with a cold head the writing journey of a non-native speaker.

Last year I wrote about the Superbowl.

That was my first Superbowl. We won’t watch this year because we won’t be home. In a way I’m glad.

First, my California friends who are football fans are disappointed that the 49ers lost and they hate (their own words) the Seahawks.

Then, I still don’t have an opinion on the subject. This sport remains strange to me and even though I went to the Berkeley stadium once for a game and felt a little more American after, I would lie if I said that I loved it. I enjoyed watching people, and it turned to be important for someone who doesn’t know the rules of the game. When people cheered, I cheered, when they stood up like one, I stood up too, when they booed, I booed. I just had to make sure I was watching the right people, the ones who wore the colors of my daughter’s school. That I could manage.

Last year I wrote about the American Groundhog versus the French Chandeleur.

A year ago I also wrote about the Chandeleur.

A few months ago I was offered the Liebster Award for my blogging. What I liked about it wasn’t really the award, which was a nice gesture from a fellow blogger, but the opportunity to explain why I blog.

Words are my tools to express my feelings and also share my dual identity.

Like a few other bloggers I write in two languages.

When I write in French, words flow naturally. It’s no accident that we call our native language “mother tongue.”

When I write in English, I don’t feel the same freedom. Yet.

The acquisition of a language is a complex process, a fascinating one, too.

I compare it to the stages experienced by a baby learning how to walk.

A baby falls and stands up. Again. Again. And again. Until reaching stability, then competence, and finally confidence.

Today when I searched for older posts related to the Chandeleur, Groundhog Day and Superbowl, it gave me the opportunity to re-read some of my early posts.

In the same way I want to throw away old manuscripts, delete files, I want to erase some of my posts.

And yet I won’t because they are steps along my writing journey toward confidence.

Today, for once, I didn’t create a post completely from scratch.

One task remains, though.

To write one in French.

Meanwhile I’m curious.

Are you a football fan? Do you care for the Groundhog or the Chandeleur? Do you like crepes?

More importantly, do you peek at your early blog posts? If you do, how do you feel about your journey?

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