Quiz time: From which not-so-famous film series have we re-created a scene here? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Ok. I’ll tell you at the end of the post, because you’d have to be a true geek to know this. I mean “geek” in a complimentary way, so don’t take offense if you know the answer! Obviously I myself am a geek or I wouldn’t have staged this photo to begin with 🙂
But for the main point here, I’d like to talk about the beautiful (and massive!) Jardin du Luxembourg. It was on my A to Z list, and not too hard to find and enjoy while we were in Paris. I told my husband that we had to go see this beautiful éspace vert and so we set off, descending from our lovely appartement au sixième étage after having had our amazing “Pastry of the day” with our coffee. There was a coffee press in the apartment which is a close second to the Nespresso! I had walked down to the corner earlier and found a lovely chausson aux pommes at the boulangerie. I thought to myself, “gee, that’s pretty, and who doesn’t like pastry and apples?” So, I bought one and yes, it was delicious. We took lots of pictures along the way because everything is amazing. We walked past the Sorbonne, because, well, one just should I think. Besides, it was on the way.
I started looking around at this point because we were getting close to entering the Garden. It’s been in existence since 1612, when Marie de’ Medici, widow of Henry IV, had the Palace built. Today it’s where the French Senate meets. But the gardens are free for everyone to enjoy, a rather calm place, at least when we were there, with lots of trees, benches, a large pool where kids can sail toy boats, and a collection of statues. Before going inside, I had an objective: the jambon beurre.
I spied a place not too far away which advertised “sandwichs à emporter.” Parfait ! J’y suis allée et j’ai acheté deux sandwichs et deux bouteilles de l’eau. Puis, on est allés au Jardin du Luxembourg où on a trouvé un banc. Il y avait un orchestre de jazz ! Quelle chance ! Dans ce petit enregistrement, vous pouvez découvrir un sens de l’ambiance : (I bought two ham and butter sandwiches “to go” and we took them to the Luxembourg Gardens, where we found a bench. There was a jazz orchestra there! What luck! In the audio recording, you can get a little bit of the atmosphere.)
Dans l’enregistrement, on peut entendre un bruit. C’est le papier des sandwichs. C’était notre premier jambon beurre en France. Heureusement ce n’était pas le dernier ! (The noise in the recording is the paper from the sandwiches. They were quite good, and definitely not the last ones we had in France!)
Alors, est-ce que vous êtes prêts pour la réponse du quiz ? (are you ready for the answer to the quiz?) Ok, in the late 1980’s, a professor of French at Yale University produced a series of films and books which took a radical new approach to language learning at the university level : an immersion-type method whereby one learns with gestures, stories, illustrations and repetition. My professor favors this method and I have to say that it has worked fabulously well for me! One can still see the videos (for free) on the internet, and the books are for sale through several online booksellers. Professor Capretz, sadly, passed away several months ago. He was well into his eighties, I think. In the series, there are two young people who meet in Paris (deux jeunes gens) Their names are Mireille and Robert (suspiciously “difficile à prononcer” en français !) Mireille is a young French girl studying art history at the Sorbonne, and Robert a young American who has traveled abroad to “find himself.” In lesson 15 they meet in the Jardin du Luxembourg. You will find a link to the video below, and the scene that I attempted to re-create occurs around the 5:30 mark.