July Newsletter

Dear Alliance Française Member,

Summer is here in all its glory, and it is finally getting hot enough that we can start to complain about how hot it is. Time for sunscreen, daiquiris, and swim suits! And face masks, the breathable kind, preferably. Unfortunately the waves we are hearing about these days are not the waves we had pictured kissing our feet in our vacation dreams. This begs the question on everyone's mind: how does one smile out there in the world with a face mask and sun glasses on? A squint, a head tilt, a raised eyebrow? We have the answer: the Duchenne smile! Named after Guillaume Benjamin Armand Duchenne, a French neurologist who studied it, it’s the kind of smile that lights up the WHOLE face, engaging not only the zygomaticus major muscle to lift the corners of the mouth, but also the orbicularis oculi to raise the cheeks and crinkle your eyes at the corners. It requires a little practice. We thought you might enjoy some French-inspired online events throughout the month, whenever your jaws need a break. Here we go:


Our Specialty Class this month is Le Siècle des Lumières taught online and in French. The Age of Enlightenment reshaped European beliefs in the 18th century, but its impact still lingers on many of the world's most important documents. The course will introduce students to thinkers such as Diderot, Voltaire, Locke, Montesquieu and Rousseau, who challenged the basic ideas of society and came to advance ideals such as liberty, progress, tolerance, fraternity and constitutional government. How timely! Sign up here. Thursdays 10:30am-12pm - July 9, 16, 23 and 30. There's still time to register for Summer Group Classes! The July program starts as early as this week for some classes, a little later in the month for others. Details here. EVENTS Apéro Antivirus Friday 3 July, 5-6pm. Welcome to our Happy Hour in French! We'll compare our best Duchenne smiles and share the jokes of the moment - or whatever else is on our busy minds that isn't too closely related to a certain virus. Sign up here to receive a Zoom invitation. Zoom Café Monday 6 July, 10:30-11:30am. Enjoy your morning coffee/tea/cocoa and join our monthly e-gathering for a chat in French. All levels welcome. Note that the Zoom Café is held on a Monday exceptionally this month - the rest of the week being busy with exams. Sign up here to receive the Zoom link.
Apéro National Tuesday 14 July, 5:15 or 8:15pm. Another apéro? Yes, we can! It's summer after all, and we deserve it. The AF Federation is launching a monthly conversation group open to all AF members across the US! Attendees will be assigned to breakout rooms of 4-5 people. The rooms will be re-created every 14 minutes for a different mix each time. In this way, you'll get to meet and chat with a variety of participants from all corners of the country. In French, of course. Sign up and information here

Club de Lecture On Tuesday 21 July, 10-11am. Everyone agrees that summer is for reading mysteries. Doubling up on Commissaire Maigret's adventures, this month's book is Maigret à Vichy . We thought that moving from last book's rainy Brittany to a tad more South would be a good move to start summer. Members only. Sign up here to receive a Zoom invitation.

While our suggestions for Bastille Day are still in the works, we would like to wish you the best and safest possible 4th of July! If you're re-thinking your vacation plans in light of all the social distancing that circumstances dictate, remember someone once said "vacation is a mindset" - although we're unsure who they were and how sober they were at the time. Alternatively, remember that North Carolina is home to plenty of off-the-beaten-track, fun-packed, hidden gems, such as The House of Mugs in Collettsville! 0 reviews on Tripadvisor to-date. That's what we call a well-kept secret. Shhhh....

Happy July to All! The Alliance Team.