Je suis une francophile qui étudie l’ingénierie chimiste and I am a chemical engineering major who studies French

This week was an exciting week for me as I finally declared my french minor!

{I thought it was time since I merged a French word and an English word today as I was talking to my friend about % signs and said parcentage (like par-sent-tigg) and was confused why he couldn’t understand what I was saying.}

When I was deciding on schools,  not only was the strength of Chemical Engineering department and its research focuses important, but the strength of their French department was definitely considered.One of the things that attracted me here are the wide range of classes; some of the ones I am really interested in include Medical French, Real French (slang), Teaching French in Elementary Schools, and French in America. However, the thing that has finally convinced me to become a french minor was the teachers. Every single teacher has been incredibly dedicated, fun, and friendly. In fact, a lot of my professors have been French which is really cool as well.

To celebrate the official declaration of my new minor (even though I have said I was one since day 1), here are some of the unexpected perks of being a ChemBE and a french minor.

I can become royalty by eating a cake. 

This year I have become much more involved with French Club; I am now on the Events Committee and I get to help plan all the events that the club has. Since it is French Club, the majority of them involve eating (which is great for me). One of the events we are planning is a holiday party where we will have galette des rois.

Galette des rois is cake with a hidden toy baked inside. Whoever finds the toy in their piece gets a crown and becomes royalty for the night! Hopefully, it will be me. Of course, they have to give up some cake to make space for the toy, but royalty has to be ready to give away cake to its people (i.e. Marie Antoinette).

Castles are awesome. 

Since castles are not something we have in the United States, it’s been really interesting to learn all about castles and what they have inside.

Checking to see how deep the moat really is (and if I can swim it to get inside the castle).

People in French don’t only speak French. 

They speak a Spanish-French hybrid in Basque and a Celtic-French hybrid in Bretagne. The French government tried to suppress these languages and made it illegal to teach those languages in school. That law has now been repealed.  However, there is a quite a bit of tension in these regions. These regions love to have parties to celebrate their culture and plan for independence from France. At this one, there is apparently a wild boar running around the celebration- and with the drunk people there, there are sometimes casualties. And flashmobs:

The French word for mole is mole. 

Not this type of mole! The 6.02X10^23 type of mole!

My first ChemBE professor was from France! I sat in the front row and always would ask her questions about life in France. One day, I told her I always wondered the French word for mole was and she answered simply that it was mole with a french accent.

A degree from our French department is recognized by the French government.

Pretty cool, huh?

I am full of crepe. 

Between the French department’s free crepe event and Sofi’s Crepes by Penn Station, I am definitely getting my fill of crepes here in Baltimore. Funny story about the word crepe: I was saying it the french way (basically just sound like you are hawking up something when you say the r) and my friends had no clue what I was saying. I told them I was talking about the french pancakes and now whenever they pretend to talk in French, they just pretend to hawk something up.

The French don’t actually strike more than the Americans. 

Yep, you heard me right. French workers actually spend less days striking than the average American worker. They are more protesters and will do it on their own time.

Protesting it up- American style.

Quiche is amazing. 

Yes, I’ve had quiche before, but never homemade quiche. Believe me, you should try it.

Can I please have some more?

Speaking of quiche, more free food. 

As an active member of French club and an American Institute of Chemical Engineering member, I can attend free dinners with professors, get free barbecue every month so far, free cheese tasting events, and more. I’ve gotten pretty good at scheduling it (look out for a blog soon)!

The word for an “Elvis Cut” is banane du rocker.

Because Elvis's haircut comes up in any sophisticated or intellectual conversation.

Hopkins students are so diverse.

Coming into Hopkins, I thought I was so unique. I thought I was going to be one of the only non-humanities major in my writing intensive French class. However, I met my friend Lex who is also a ChemBE and fellow french minor. Each one of my French classes has people with a diverse range of majors and interests, creating so many interesting discussions.

All French citizens have to register in the army at age 16 and must complete a minimum of one day of military service. 

Cheese can affect your dreams. 

We had a cheese tasting event for French club. Not only did I stuff my face with cheese, but I learned a lot of interesting facts about cheese. I also walked down N Charles St with a huge slab of cheese- and got some interesting looks.

Which one of you will give me a dream about marrying Ryan Lochte?

The French Revolution is so much more interesting when Lady Gaga talks about it. 

Engineering isn’t the same in France. 

Engineering is 5 year degree in French; it’s not the same (and as interdisciplinary as the JHU curriculum). It’s more a technical specialty than an engineering degree in the United States.

French and ChemBE overlap quite a bit. 

Every day, I learn of more ways that my majors overlap -- whether it’s the fact that the ChemBE department is filled with Francophones (my first ChemBE professor was French, my advisor is Quebecois, and my PI is Belgian) or that French speaking countries also like to manufacture chocolate and pharmaceuticals (the industries I’m looking to go into).

I know I'm quite a nerd, but I had to take a picture by the Atomium (the unit cell of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times!) I think this is really a perfect picture of how Hopkins has connected my love of French and ChemBE- I'm in Brussels, Belgium (probably thinking of waffles) near a nerdy science attraction wearing an oversized Hopkins sweatshirt and smiling. :)

A main Godiva plant is located in Belgium. 

Enough said.

French R&B (and their accompanying music videos) are weird.

French rap is even weirder. 

Yes, they are rapping about a Celtic legend.

Au revoir mes amis!

JHU_Kate T.


From the Breezeway:

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Posted in Academics, Pop Culture, Why Hopkins |

3 Responses to Je suis une francophile qui étudie l’ingénierie chimiste and I am a chemical engineering major who studies French

  1. Ian H. says:

    Love this blog and French as well. ‘I am full of crepe’ made me laugh out loud.

  2. Sydney R. says:

    Nicki Minaj >> French Rap.

  3. Gerard Depardieu says:

    J’aime ingénieurs chimistes. Surtout les étudiants à la Johns Hopkins