Have you ever wished you could experience the joy of being in Paris while stuck in Waterville? Have you wanted to close your eyes and picture yourself sitting at a Parisian cafe, a breeze blowing off the Seine, the Eiffel Tower in the distance, instead of sitting in a freezing dorm in the dead of winter eating dining hall food?
Well, now you can! Colby’s French Club hosted their second crêpe-making event, which allowed students to make (and then eat!) crêpes, so they could experience a little French culture here at the College.
The first event occurred over JanPlan in collaboration with the Student Programming Board, and it was such a success that the French club decided to host a second one.
Aislinn Mershon `25, Co-President of the Colby French Club, explained why the club chose to feature crêpes.
“We chose to make crêpes over another French dish for a few reasons: they’re easy to make regardless of your level of cooking experience, are fun to customize with different fillings and toppings, and, most importantly, are delicious!” she said.
The event was an attempt to bring a bit of France to Colby, and the club pulled out all the stops. They played a French playlist that a member of the club had compiled, and the recipe was not just one that they pulled off the internet.
“We actually used Coline Delice’s, the French Language Assistant, family recipe,” Mershon said.
Betsy Greenberg `25, the other co-president, explained how the set-up of the event allowed it to be more open to the community.
“We find that events with food tend to draw larger crowds, and also thought that setting it up as a drop-in event might make it more accessible to those with busy schedules!”
The drop-in aspect certainly worked, because people were able to swing by to both make a crêpe and catch up with friends.
“It seemed like everyone who attended had a great time! There was a continuous flow of people in and out of the room, with many stopping in for a quick crêpe and conversation with a professor or friend,” Greenberg said.
Amanda Alpert `25 was one of the many students who attended the event and made a crêpe for the first time in her life.
“The event was so much fun! I loved the cultural exchange and opportunity to partake in something new while eating delicious food!” she said.
While it was a French club event, it was not exclusive to French club members. Alpert pointed out how other clubs should take inspiration from the event and host more open activities where students can interact with different cultures and each other.
“I love that the event invites people from anywhere to partake in a new experience from another culture! I think other clubs should host similar events where everyone is welcome and are able to learn about the clubs’ respective interests or cultures,” Alpert said.
Mershon explained why it is a good thing to attend events like this one.
“Attending club events is a great way to connect with classmates outside of the structured environment of a course, learn more about the cultural aspect of what you’re studying, and take a break from the semester’s academic demands. French Club events have the added bonus of including lots of tasty food as well––I think everyone can appreciate the benefits of that,” she said.
French Club in particular aims to unite people with a shared love of French culture and tasty food.
“As a club, we aim to provide a community for students with an interest in French language and Francophone culture! We hope that these events will introduce students to others who might be in their classes in the future, or at least give them a friendly face around campus,” Greenberg said.
The French club does not require anyone to speak French, so no one should feel like they cannot join because of a lack of language skills.
“The club helps people connect and have fun with people of similar interests without a barrier of language ability, which we think is fantastic,” Mershon explained.
If you were unable to attend the crêpe event, do not fear! The French Club has several events coming up that are open to the community.
“Later this semester, keep an eye out for two French movie nights (with English subtitles) on February 23 and April 5 in Lovejoy 100 at 7 pm and a carnival in collaboration with the Italian department on March 7 in Page Commons at 6 pm. Additionally, we’re reviving the pre-COVID French Club annual trip to Quebec this year, which we are so excited for!” Mershon told the Colby Echo.
Alpert thinks that everyone should attend future French Club events, regardless of if they are members of the club or not.
“These events are a way to try something new, learn from other cultures, and meet new people! The people there are super friendly, and who doesn’t like good food?” she said.
~ Mairead Levitt `25
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