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Discovering France: CHS French Teachers’ Favorite Destinations

CHS French teachers Marci Harris and Danelle Mosher share their experiences and adventures in France, as well as their all-time favorite French destinations.
Photography by Marci Harris

The time CHS French teacher Danelle Mosher spent in Strasbourg was a turning point in her life. Strasbourg, a sizable city located on the border of France and Germany, offered a college program that sparked her desire to teach and encourage others to embrace the richness of French culture.

Mosher also went on a more recent voyage to France with her husband, two of their friends and two kids: a one year old and a two year old. Mosher thought that was really something to remember.

“There was a waiter who at one point slammed his hand down on the table and he said ‘Assez!’ like ‘Enough!’. And the mama bear in me came out and usually I’m pretty a little bit shy, you know. But I said in French, like ‘that’s not okay, you scared the kids!’,” Mosher said.

However, when they got out of the city and spent some time in Arcachon (a large collection of sand dunes on the west coast of France, comparable to Sleeping Bear dunes in northern MI) they were able to really relax and it was a more enjoyable time for and with their kids.

Mosher also lived in Strasbourg for the majority of her junior year of college, and this was the first time she had ever been to France. During this year, she realized France was the place for her.

“[Coming to Strasbourg] helped me decide that [France] was a place, you know in general, that I wanted to keep coming back to and keep working with. That’s how I decided to become a teacher. I wanted to encourage other students to explore and travel and speak French.” Mosher said.

Mosher isn’t the only one who had a memorable first experience in France. Marci Harris, another CHS French teacher, agreed that her first time in France was her favorite.

Harris first went to France when she was a Junior in high school. When she and her French class visited Paris, she was absolutely blown away by the culture and uniqueness of the city. Everything she had learned about in the classroom was right in front of her.

“I just couldn’t believe the pictures in my textbook were actually real, and the people were really saying these things,” Harris said, referring to the locals in Paris.

Her fondest memory from her class trip to Paris was strolling into a French cafe and ordering an Orangina to drink. Orangina is a bubbly, orange and citrus flavored drink, popular in Europe and most commonly seen in France and Switzerland. Harris saved the bottle when she was finished and still has it today.

Although Harris enjoys the big cities of France, she has always loved the less touristy areas as well. A tourist once came up to Harris and asked her if she spoke English. When she said yes, the tourists came to the conclusion that she was not actually a local like they first suspected.

“When they realized I was American they were like ‘Oh, we’re so sorry. We thought you were French.’ And it was the greatest compliment I’ve ever received in my life,” Harris said.

Harris and her husband spent the rest of the day near Parc Monceau, in the upper West side of Paris. They visited a small café whose menu was only in French. When they sat down, the waiter approached them to take their order, conversing entirely in French.

“For that afternoon, walking through that park and being in that cafe where I just spoke French, I sat there like a Parisian that was just hanging out,” Harris said.“That was a day that I really didn’t feel like a tourist and I felt like I could live there.”

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About the Contributor
Mariah Zeigler
Mariah Zeigler, Journalist
Mariah is a sophomore at Community High School, and this is her first semester in journalism. When she's not at school, you can find her hanging out with her friends, thrifting, looking at Pinterest, or rewatching New Girl.

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