French III hosts Mardi Gras celebration

The celebration taught students about the food and culture of France

Joe McClain, JagWire reporter and photographer

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Students enrolled in French classes gathered in the senior cafe on Friday, Feb. 24 for the annual Mardi Gras celebration hosted by the French III class.  Mardi Gras is a holiday celebrated in French-speaking regions before the beginning of Lent.

The Mardi Gras celebration is meant to teach students about French culture to help them understand the language better.

Junior Caroline Gambill helped organize the event along with the rest of the French III class.  Gambill enjoyed being able to celebrate French culture with students of all levels of fluency.

“It was part of our project for the French III class,” Gambill said. “It was a good experience for everyone to be apart of the culture and celebrate.  Being aware of the culture can give you a new insight of [the language].”

French teacher Charisse Highlander thinks the French III classes did an excellent job of working together to put on the event.

“Everyone has a role and a responsibility, whether that be as an individual or as a group and they get a grade for it,” Highlander said.

Sophomore Eric Niewohner chose to attend the celebration “mainly for the food,” but he ended up taking more home than just a good meal.

“We ate French food, like jambalaya, listened to music and learned a lot about the history of Mardi Gras and French culture,” Niewohner said.

Highlander thinks that having the opportunity to try different styles of food and being able to immerse themselves in French culture will prove to be valuable for students in the future.

“I think [students] are excited to see how something we celebrate here in the U.S. relates to French history and culture,” Highlander said.

Gambill sees many advantages to learning about French culture in and outside of class.

“I think it is important because learning the language alone doesn’t really immerse you in the culture,” Gambill said.

Highlander plans to continue the tradition of Mardi Gras in future French III classes.  She is excited to help the students improve the celebration and make it bigger.

“Now we will talk about what went wrong, what went right, and what we could improve for next year,” Highlander said.  “One day we hope to be able to open Mardi Gras up to the whole school.”

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