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  • Abbie Scoby

A French Revival

Shannon Rattray ('23) and Emy Fawzy ('23), co-presidents of the current French Club, had started a revival of the MJHS French club this year after the club had disbanded about four years ago.

The idea of bringing the French club back to life came to them about a semester ago when Rattray, Fawzy and a group of friends were in Honors French 2 and due to the Covid pandemic preventing them from being in school as often as they would like, they were falling behind in the French class despite their efforts to keep learning.

Rattray and Fawzy, along with their friends, were only able to learn and memorize bits and pieces of the teaching provided by Mr. Turvaville, and they strived for more. They wanted some way to learn the French language that they had been missing from the class.

They planned to further immerse themselves in French culture beyond what they were able to do in class, so they came together with the idea of recreating the French Club, a club where one can be immersed in French culture, food and language outside of the regular class setting.

The French club, with its first year returning, is making strides to provide students with the French culture and experience that they want and/or are lacking. At the first meeting, which was after school in Mr. Turvaville’s room, members of the French club made French-style crepes on a stove within the school.

The two presidents of the French Club, Rattray and Fawsy, had made the crepe batter the night before and bought in the toppings for the new members attending to flavorfully decorate their crepes.

Fawzy brought the batter to Mr. Turvaville’s room the morning of the first meeting, which was on August 9, after school and started at 3:55 p.m. Laughter and a little bit of smoke filled the room as the cooking of crepes began. Turvaville and the co-presidents assisted the newcomers in making their own crepes. They had various toppings, including blueberries, strawberries, Nutella, powdered sugar and many other delicious treats. Students waited in line to get the chance to make their own crepe, with an estimated number of twenty people. It was said to be such a success that they plan on doing many events like this involving French cuisines, such as the classic French croissant or baguette. Mr. Turvaville is the French teacher at MJHS, but that is not the only reason he is the sponsor of the French Club. As stated by Rattray:

“...he has a very deep love for everything French and strives to get as many students interested in French culture as he can.”

As a teacher and sponsor of all things French, he deeply cares for all the students who involve themselves in the classes and clubs he provides. He also has a trip to France planned over the summer, however, there is limited attendance, so it will be first come first serve. Students who attend will be able to go to France with Mr. Turvaville as the guide and experience French culture firsthand. He plans to tour with the students around Paris and other parts of France including the beaches, bakeries and creameries (a french word for shops that specialize in making and selling cheese).

Mr. Turvaville has also been a huge help to the new co-presidents, inspiring and supporting them through every step of the process and assisting the students with using school kitchen equipment when making French food.

Outside of the classroom, the French Club is involved in charities and community service projects where they collect clothing, pet products, shoes, and other various items to donate to shelters in exchange for community service hours. With this being French Club’s first year, the goal of the club, as Rattray had said, was:

“ rally up interest in French culture amongst more students that maybe aren’t taking a French class, as well as learn how to make and try various French cuisine,”

It seems that they are already achieving just that.

A Selfie of Shannan Rattray, the co-president of the French Club at MJHS.

A Portrait of Emy Fawzy the co-president of the French Club at MJHS.

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