ESCC French Club Visits Montreal
(Article submitted by ESCC French Instructor Odile Duffman)
After several months of fundraisers, assistance from ESCC’s SGA, the ESCC Foundation and members of the Board, the ESCC French Club traveled to Montreal. On May 14th, eight students from the ESCC French Club, Hayley Marshall (dual enrollment), Alex Marshall (Dual enrollment), Jada Smith (Dual Enrollment), Morgan Doughty, Aaron Mathews, Yasmine Mc Cain, Cameron Shrieves and Nyderia Samuel, along with their sponsor Mrs. Duffman and her daughter-in-law Ms. Kohler (as a chaperone) left for Montreal. The Club rented a van in Exmore to drive to Wilmington, Delaware, in order to catch a train to Montreal. The preparation for this trip required the students to apply for a US Passport, which was a lesson in its own right. When the group boarded the train in Wilmington, they were excited, for it was the first time any of the students had been on a train, another lesson or experience. The train rode along the Hudson River valley with its incredible mansions overlooking the river, light houses even Bannerman Castle which sits in the middle of the river. Further they viewed the picturesque shores of Lake Champlain and discovered a glorious panorama that cannot be seen by car.
The group arrived in Montreal after a ten-hour train ride and elected to walk the ten blocks to their hotel in order to see as much as they could that first day. They stayed at the Travelodge on the outskirts of Chinatown close to “Vieux Montreal.” The following two days were spent walking to various sites in Montreal and eating in the local restaurants. This is where the students came into their own speaking with personnel in French and putting to use what they had learned in class as well as taking chances in expending their vocabulary. They were also able to experience first-hand the information about the history of the French and the British cultures they had acquired in class at the college as well as what they had learned in their French classes about the French influence in Canadian culture.
Since everyone had different interests the students were allowed to break into groups to explore Montreal. A group of them figured out the Montreal Subway system and was able to use it to see parts of the city while another group walked to various sites in Montreal.
After spending two wonderful days in Canada, the group walked back to the railroad station and boarded a train for New York City. When the train crossed the border into New York State, it had to make a necessary stop at the US Customs and Immigration Service. The students became aware of this checkpoint when the agents approached the group and questioned them about their trip to Canada.
On May 17th, the group safely returned to Wilmington, Delaware, to board the van for the return to the Eastern Shore. To be sure, very tired the students were delighted with the trip because they came back with lots of stories and souvenirs to share with their families, friends, and classmates. Mrs. Duffman is currently planning the next trip that the ESCC French Club will be taking.