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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

French Club to show Chocolat for Valentine’s Day

By Caroline Manausa/reporter

Photo courtesy Lisa Arth  Members of the French Club perform in last year’s International Festival on NE Campus. The club will host a showing of the film Chocolat at 7 p.m. in NE’s Center Corner.
Photo courtesy Lisa Arth Members of the French Club perform in last year’s International Festival on NE Campus. The club will host a showing of the film Chocolat at 7 p.m. in NE’s Center Corner.

Americans woo their sweethearts with flowers, chocolates and a romantic movie, but nobody does romance like the French.

For Valentine’s Day, French Club students will host the film Chocolat at 7 p.m. Feb. 14 in Center Corner (NSTU 1615) on NE Campus.

“It’s a way to promote French culture and enjoy Valentine’s,” said Lisa Arth, NE French instructor and club sponsor.

Chocolat, a 2000 film starring Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche, is open to all students, faculty and community members. Chocolates, flowers, coffee and more will be available for $1 each. Money raised will go toward the cost of the movie’s viewing rights.

At last year’s International Festival, a dozen students dressed in berets and black-and-white striped T-shirts typical of French mimes. Like actors in an old silent film, two men wordlessly competed for a woman’s attention and turned romance into a comical fiasco.

“All of the language clubs were asked to choose a popular saying among the culture,” Arth said. “We chose the saying, translated into English, ‘When you drink too much wine, reason goes out the door.’”

For the 2013 Fall Festival, French club students again dressed in berets and black-and-white striped T-shirts. At a table called “Café au Lait,” they offered free crème puffs and sold temporary tattoos of the Eiffel Tower and the fleur-de-lis. Money from the sales went back into the club fund.

As students become familiar with French culture, they learn to use the language well, Arth said.

“The world is a small place because of mass transportation,” she said. “You’ve got people flying all over the world.”

NE student Jack Dykhouse is one of those people. French is his only class.

Dykhouse is a philatelist, or stamp collector. Once or twice a year, he travels to France to attend stamp and trade shows. The stamps he collects are printed in Paris. Postal regulations are printed in French. Laws governing airmail are written in French. He subscribes to three periodicals, all written in French.

“It became important for me to speak French, to understand it and to read and write it,” Dykhouse said.

But club members are not required to speak French at meetings.

“[Speaking French] is not the only purpose of the club,” Arth said.

Students such as Dykhouse who want to practice their language skills meet at “La Table de Française,” the French Conversation Table, with Arth and Jacqueline King, NE language lab assistant and French tutor.

King was born and raised in Paris. She and her parents immigrated to Texas in the early 1960s to be with a sister, who married a Texan.

“I think it’s very important to teach foreign language, and I think French is one of the most beautiful and rich languages,” she said.

King would like to see classes in French literature as well as language skills and culture. It is, for her, the best way to experience the flavor of the country of the language.

She recommended French authors from the Middle Ages through the early 20th century: Alphonse Daudet, Anatole France, Honoré de Balzac, Molière, La Comtesse de Ségur, Alexis de Tocqueville. These writers captured what King called “doulce France” or “sweet France.”

“It’s the true picture of France,” she said. “It’s the description of the peace, the description of the children, the description of the people, the description inside the house or the description of the heart.”

Misti De Hart, a first-year NE Campus student, said she felt intimidated starting college at age 34. Then she joined the French Club and met students her own age and older.

“Each of us has something to contribute,” De Hart said. “I end up learning from all of them.”

For more information on French Club activities, call the world languages department at 817-515-6662.

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