In an attempt to promote French studies and to underline their value in today's global society, the American Association of Teachers of French announced that National French Week will be celebrated Thursday, Nov. 7, through Wednesday, Nov. 13. As always, Fort Hays State University will be taking part in the festivities.
French Week is a time to share information with young Americans on the part French can play in their lives and careers and serves as an excellent opportunity to dispel the myths surrounding French language and culture.
Besides English, French is the only other language spoken on five continents and plays a major role in every area that involves human communication -- such as international business and politics, medical technologies, education and sports.
Pasteurization, the Braille alphabet, Foucault's pendulum, Teflon, rayon, margarine, morphine, radium, parachutes and the telephone are all derived from French and all appear in everyday life.
French companies employ more than 400,000 Americans. The United State's largest trading partner, Canada, speaks French. French even comes in handy in Kansas, where 40 Wichita area businesses hire individuals who can speak French for various managerial, marketing and technological positions.
Historically speaking, France is America's oldest ally, an alliance that dates back to the American Revolution and continues to this day. The French have always expressed an admiration for the U.S. Constitution and people. The French press often shows respect and gratitude for the generous help given by the United States to France during the two world wars.
The French Club at FHSU will attempt to highlight all of these points and more during National French Week.
The schedule of activities for French week begins with a proclamation by Henry Schwaller IV, City Commissioner, at 3 p.m. Thursday in the Memorial Union lobby, following a lunch of French cuisine being served in the union cafeteria.
The French Film Series continues with Beaumarchais, the Scoundrel -- a film about the life and times of Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beumarchais, the famous supporter of the American Revolution and author of The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro. The film will show at 7 p.m. Thursday in Rarick Hall, room 114.
Starting Friday, Nov. 8, and continuing through Nov. 16, displays by members of the French Club will be in the Hays Public Library, Forsyth Library, Albertson Hall, Tomanek Hall, Rarick Hall, Malloy Hall, Stroup Hall and Memorial Union.
A French chocolate sale will take place in Memorial Union lobby from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday.
Dr. Stephen Tramel, chair of the Department of Philosophy, will give the seminar "Simone de Beauvoir" at 3 p.m. on Tuesday in Rarick Hall, room 360.
The next installment of the International Spice program, French Spice, will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday in McMindes Hall cafeteria. French FHSU students will share samples of French food and desserts and will give presentations about their country.
Some professors at FHSU will also take part in the weeklong festivities by dedicating a class period to France. Martha Holmes', assistant professor of art, art history class; Kristine Bair's, instructor of English, world literature class; Dr. Josephine Squires', assistant professor of political science, international relations class; and Dr. Dosse Toulaboe's, assistant professor of economics and finance, microeconomics class will all feature a French theme one day during the week.