Students in French 232: Comics and French 274: Medical this winter have exchanged conversations in real time with French students from the Classes Préparatoires aux Grandes Ecoles de Management et de Gestion, in Orléans, France. Students have truly enjoyed meeting and interacting with native speakers, sharing about cultural differences and discussing current events. It has been a real privilege for the UofM students, especially during this challenging remote semester.
In addition to teaching English to her students, Professor Agrégée Sylvie Gouchet participates in projects around gender parity to raise awareness among the younger generation and address issues such as “égalité de destin” (=equality of destiny). Her latest project, “Yes They Can!”, is an exhibit on influential women of all times.
As Professor Gouchet was preparing her exhibit she contacted me to inquire about a potential interest in participating in the project. In three days, 15 students volunteered and created documents for the event. They proposed a woman of their choice, wrote descriptions in French and the English translations, which they illustrated with a few photos. Their selection was truly inspiring, diverse, and empowering, representing women in politics, literatures, the arts, the sciences, and more – (Jennifer Aniston, Robin Arzon, Angela Davis, Amelia Earhart, Rosalind Franklin, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Jane Goodall, Jackie Kennedy, Maggie Nelson, Florence Nightingale, Michelle Obama, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Maria Tallchief, Harriet Tubman, Serena Williams).
Unfortunately, because of France’s third lockdown, schools closed on Friday April 2nd, opening day. Professor Gouchet took pictures of the exhibit to share with us and is looking forward to May 3rd when everyone will return to school and enjoy the works of her students and 15 undergraduates from our French program.
A huge thank you to Professor Gouchet for including our students in this inspiring exhibit and giving them the opportunity to make their voices heard across the ocean! And congratulations to Angel, Arianna, Aseman, Dania, Elizabeth, Ella, Haven, Hawraa, Jasmine, Jessica, Kennedi, Lauren, Mina, Rachael and Rayyan for participating!