December Newsletter



Dear Alliance Française Member,

We hope you all had a relaxing Thanksgiving holiday, filled with the simple pleasure of celebrating, regardless of party size, and enjoying the wonderful weather we've been blessed with in our colorful corner of the world. As the year draws to an end, and the reds and golds brighten up our skies, we language lovers wonder: what Word of the Year will best describe 2020? Unprecedented, social distancing, remote working, mail-in? COVID-19 wasn’t even a word until February. By April, we had “lockdown," “self-isolating” and “self-quarantine.” Along with it, the word “unmute” saw a 500% increase according to Oxford Languages, and we now know what “Zoombombing” is when people infiltrate Zoom calls for disruptive purposes. So many brand new candidates for word of the year! Isn't it ironic that in a year that left us speechless, 2020 has been filled with new words unlike any other? And we still have one month to go. Here is how we are planning to spend it at the Alliance:

Zoom Café Tuesday 1st December, 10am -11am Our monthly, morning conversation in French is definitely a good candidate for the Alliance's word of the year! Note: upon request from several members, the start time has changed again: it is now 10am. Permanently. For now. Free and open to all. Sign up here. L'Oeil Ouvert Wednesday 2 December, 11-11:45am In this session, docent Dianne Beckman takes us on an art trip to Brittany! What better way to close our Mois de la Bretagne? And add a potential word of the year on the list in the process. In French. Free for members, $10 for non- members. Sign up here. The Light Between 2 Towers with Tom Wohlmut Wednesday 2 December, 6pm When Tom Wohlmut heard a rumor that the San Jose Light Tower had a relationship to the Eiffel Tower, he was intrigued. His recently completed documentary The Light Between Two Towers examines the relationship of the San Jose Electric Light Tower built in 1881 and the Eiffel Tower built in 1889. Suspense, suspense. In English. For members only. Sign up here Who is Emmanuel Macron? With William Drozdiak Friday 4 December, 12pm William Drozdiak is a former foreign editor of the Washington Post and a veteran foreign correspondent. For his book The Last President of Europe he conducted a series of long interviews with Macron and other insiders in the Elysées palace. More suspense. In English. For members only. Sign up here Holiday Baking with Cathy Monnet Friday 4 December, 1-1:30pm Step 1: Gather the ingredients for Fondants au Chocolat et Crème Anglaise and Madeleines. Step 2: follow Cathy's instructions on your phone, tablet or computer, from your kitchen. Step 3: fill your house with holiday aromas and delight your taste buds. In English and French. $20 for members, $30 for non members. Sign up here Happy Hour with the Lafayette Escadrille Tuesday 8 December, 6pm. A talk by Darroch Greer and Paul Glenshaw for an online preview of their film The Lafayette Escadrille, the first-ever documentary made about the founding squadron of American combat aviation, and one of the great stories of the French-American alliance. The story is well remembered by the citizens of France. It is a shining example of young Americans standing up for a cause larger than themselves in a time of global crisis. In English. For members only. Sign up here Apéro Antivirus Friday 11 December, 5-6pm. Everyone is welcome to our Friday evening virtual get-together in French. Free and casual. Bring your smile and/or friend/cat/dog/hamster. Sign up here. La Cantatrice Chauve - Participatory Theater Reading Sunday 13 December, 4pm. Join AF Columbia for an amateur reader's theater version of Eugène Ionesco's absurdist one-act The Bald Soprano. Volunteer to read a few lines or simply follow along. Facing page French & English texts will be screen-shared. All levels of French proficiency welcome. Free and open to all. Sign up here. Club de Lecture Tuesday 15 December, 10am-11am. Back to classics this month with Contes du jour et de la nuit by 19th century writer Guy de Maupassant. Maupassant's Contes are a solid collection of short stories by one of the masters of the form. The book is free to download on Culturethèque and online bookstores. At 10am. In French. For members. Non-members are welcome to try the club. Sign up here. Upcoming Specialty Classes- taught in French: Tuition fees: $80/ 4 sessions of 1 hour each. Sign up for any Specialty Class here Le Fauvisme Thursday, 10:30-11:30am - December 3, 10, 17 and January 7 Fauvism is a style of painting that flourished in France at the turn of the 20th century. Fauve artists used pure, brilliant color aggressively applied straight from the paint tubes to create a sense of an explosion on the canvas. In this course, we will discuss the life of the major Fauve artists and their paintings.​ Great French Novelists of the 20th Century Course 1: Marguerite Duras Wednesdays 12-1pm - January 6, 13, 20, 27. Novelist, screenwriter, scenarist, playwright and film director, Marguerite Duras has awed and maddened the French public for more than 50 years. In this course we'll explore Duras' prolific career as a writer and outrageous social commentator. L'Histoire du Québec Thursdays 10:30-11:30am - January 14, 21, 28, Feb. 4 As one of the first parts of Canada to be explored and settled by Europeans over four centuries ago, Quebec has played a dynamic and fascinating role in the history of North America. This course introduces you to some of the key things you should know about Quebec, from its original First Nation inhabitants and its world-famous historical landmarks, to the most significant events that have shaped the rich history of Canada’s largest province. For those of us who can't get enough of the exhilarating show that North Carolina puts on in late Fall, rejoice: The Old Farmer's Almanac predicts a mild winter in our region, with bright foliage extending way into December! Blame it on forecaster optimism, or the farmer getting too old to know any better, but we are even in for a drier-than-usual winter! To top it all, we Francophiles have another reason to celebrate the season: December 14th is not only International Monkey Day AND Roast Chestnuts Day, it is also and foremost National Bouillabaisse Day! Too fishy for you? Replace with French onion soup - we won't tell. Then with barely enough time to catch our breath comes Look on the Bright Side Day on December 21st. Literally looking on the bright side may be a bit difficult since the winter solstice is the shortest, and often darkest, day of the year. However, we're going to be optimistic, and fully expect everyone to succeed. Have a wonderful holiday season, packed full with special and wacky days! The Alliance Team

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Contact Us

(919) 985-3919

frenchallianceraleigh@gmail.com

Upon appointment only:

5510 Munford Road

Raleigh, NC 27612

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