Jacob Marshall & Marcus Payne
The French Club went to Montreal for their annual trip to Canada from March 23 to March 26, where they went to the church Notre-Dame Basilica, went on the tour Ghost’s From Old Montreal, took a cooking class, got tours of the city and learned tricks from Cirque du Soleil performers. The trip and activities they took part in helped them increase their knowledge of the French culture.
Over 40 students attended the trip and they all had nothing but positive comments to say about the experience. “I enjoyed hanging out with all my and friends, and seeing all the sights was really cool,” said sophomore Skylar Hardt. Likewise, senior Sydney Baum really enjoyed walking around the art district and seeing the “massive murals along the sides of the building.”
One of the first activities they did was the Ghosts From Old Montreal tour, which was on Friday night. It is a tour in which professional actors take guests on a ghost-themed tour of Old Montreal. Guests have a choice to go on a ghost tour or a ghost hunt. For this trip, the group chose the tour. Baum said that at first it was a lot of “boring history talk.” But once the tour started they began learning about murders and it got more interesting. The tour took them to places where major events unfolded and legends and stories were told about that place. “I found it very interesting because she gave some information that you don’t usually find in history books,” said French teacher and chaperone Solace Amankwah.
On Saturday night the students went to a sugar shack where they got a tour of how maple syrup is made through tapping trees. Then had a 17th century family style meal with pea soup, ham, bacon and mashed potatoes all topped with maple syrup, followed by dancing.
On Sunday, they went to an observatory and the students got a birds-eye view of the whole city. “We could see the city at different angles like the eastern part of the city, the western, the northern, and the southern. So we had a chance to look at the city from different spots,” said Mme Amankwah.
On Monday during the day, they went to a Cirque du Soleil class. During the Cirque du Soleil class the students were split up into four groups and spent 15 minutes on each event learning what that person in a Cirque du Soleil would do. They learned how to juggle, jump on trampolines, walk on the tightrope and flip around on a trapeze. “The Cirque du Soleil was really fun to just see everybody messing around,” said senior David Tyler
Also on Monday the students went to a cooking class. They used maple syrup in almost all of the food they made which included hamburgers, salad dressing and a maple syrup tart.
While the students weren’t learning how to be in a circus or taking a tour, they had two hours a day where they were allowed to walk around the town. They mostly shopped for clothes and ate food during their freetime. “I got a lot of lattes,” said Baum. Junior Emma Buck said her favorite part was shopping on St. Catherine’s street, where she bought some clothes.
The students were able to practice speaking in French when they talked to Canadians while they ordered food, talked to the tour guide, and shopped. “There were certain activities where we had to talk in French or we wouldn’t be able to participate in the activity,” said freshman Khani Cossa. She and freshmen Tyler Aitken learned how to say “it’s sick” in French: “C'est malade.”
The French teachers enjoyed the positive effects that the trip had on the students. “The students got to be immersed in the French language. They experienced Canadian and French culture, got to eat the food and took part in different activities,” said Mlle Ludovico. “I enjoyed the fact that the students have an opportunity to see a lot of French because the signs are in French, they hear people speak French and they have the opportunity to speak French,” said Mme Amankwah.
Everyone stayed in the Sandman hotel which was included in the $400 fee, which also covered all of the activities, bus and most of the meals. The entire trip was organized by Mlle Ludovico. Spanish teacher Xiomara Santos, Spanish teacher Simone Pacilio, and Mme Amankwah came and chaperoned the trip. They rotate the trip every year between Montreal and Quebec City.