Major In Focus: French

Major In Focus: French

Haw, haw, haw, baguette, non?

In the past two weeks, I have covered my majors in Creative Writing and Multimedia and Digital Culture. My third and final major is in French. Except that it isn't, exactly. UPJ doesn't have a bona fide French major, but it does have a Broad Humanities degree with a Foreign Language and Literature track, which can then have a nested French or Spanish track. Both language tracks are displayed on the curriculum sheet here.

Because this major is a Broad Humanities major, it requires 24 credits in the Humanities outside of the French courses taken for the major. As I should be graduating with over 110 credits in the Humanities in total, that won't be a problem for me. I already have that requirement finished. The most likely downfall for this "Related Area" is that if you're like a classmate of mine and have a second major in a Natural Science, it could take up all the electives you have to your name.

Each of this major's tracks have just two boxes on the curriculum sheet besides Gen Eds and the "Related Area" of Humanities courses. As a French tracker, I have no choices in the top box. My placement exam from French, which I took the spring before my first semester at UPJ, got me out of Elementary French I and Elementary French II, so I started out in Intermediate French I, the lowest-level course in the French major. I have also taken Intermediate French II and French Conversation up to this point. The Intermediate courses are about learning the more-sophisticated fundamentals of the language. French Conversation focused on how French appears in day-to-day life. Speaking was emphasized over writing, and slang was introduced. Written French I and Business French should help to round out my French language skills.

I'll be taking my first "Literature & Civilization" course in the fall. That class is Intro to Translation Studies. Hopefully, the course will help me to solidify my French grammar while also exposing me to some new pieces of French literature. I took Medieval French Courtly Romance my very first semester at UPJ, but I took it in English, and, despite how it looks on the curriculum sheet, my credits from that class shouldn't count for my major. By "took it in English," I mean that I wrote my exam essays and such in English rather than in French. To have taken the course in French, I would've needed to have taken Intermediate French II, as is the case for any French course on this sheet besides Intermediate French I. I'll need four more courses from this box during my last three semesters of undergraduate schooling. It should be an interesting journey.

If you're a UPJ student with a major in the Humanities and you took French in high school, I urge you to consider adding a major in French to your program of studies. If you test out of the Elementary French courses, you'll need to take either Intermediate I and Intermediate II or three Literature-in-Translation courses in order to get your other major (because of the Gen Ed language requirement for Humanities students), so it'll only take an extra eight courses to get your French major. Alternatively, you could enroll in four more French courses and get a minor. There's fun to be had with either option. There are only a handful of students in our French program, but we're cool, and we'd love to have some new faces in our courses as we finish up. À bientôt!

Cover Image Credit: Max Pixel

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Dear Little Sis

Focus on yourself rather than boys.

Dear sis,

This is your first year of high school and you are about to be 15! I remember my 15th birthday like it was yesterday. Two years later I left for college and left high school behind. I wish I would have had some of this advice when I was your age. I would have slowed down and enjoyed my life, in the moment. I took for granted a lot of the small things around me. I hope you enjoy the life you are given because you only get one! So live it up.

Always search for volunteer opportunities. Helping others will help you become a more open-minded caring person. it builds character and will bring you happiness in ways I can not explain.

School matters more than you might think.

Every college has a certain grade point average, but you should always strive to get the best grades you can. Studying now will pay off in the long run. If I could give you any advice when it comes to school it is that learning multiple studying tips are very important.

Keep a small circle of friends. You watched me in high school so you know that it was always me, Brenda, Michaela, and Summer. I still talk to all of these girls today. One day you will be attending your first homecoming with your girlfriends then you blink and you are attending your senior year prom. You and your friends will fight from time-to-time, but they will be the ones to console you after a breakup or scream with you when you get into college.

Be nice to mom as much as you can.

Mom is the one who will drive you around until you finally can. Then when you can finally drive she will be always worried if you are okay and what you are doing. She will bend over backward trying to find a meal that you want to eat to make you happy. One day you will be in college and realize nobody cooks a pot roast or macaroni like she does. I always regret raising my voice and fighting with her, because all he wanted was the best for me. She will work her butt off to give you the things you want to be mindful the next time you get mad because you want the newest makeup or iPhone. Be grateful for the little things she does, because one day you will be eating ramen and calling her to ask what dryer sheets are.

Focus on yourself rather than boys.

I promise you the person you like at 14 will not matter to you by the time you graduate. At your age boys are immature and the most important thing to them is video games and what their friends think. Always have the confidence to tell yourself that you deserve better.

Get involved in extracurricular. This will allow you to meet so many people that might not be in the "circle" you run with. It is important you are accustomed to people that might be different than you. It is also great for you to be involved with your school so you have memories to cherish for years to come and comes with great opportunities.

Life is what you make it!!

Cover Image Credit: Alicia Steels

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Back To Reality

Only six more weeks of school!

Unfortunately spring break has come to an end. Fortunately, the weeks that follow spring break before summer are some of the fastest you'll ever experience.

If you're a senior in high school, you'll be shocked to see how fast your last year of high school went by. Prom will be coming up, and you'll start to say your last goodbye's to people you've virtually spent your whole life with

Similarly, if you're a freshman in college, you won't believe that you graduated high school a year ago already.

Lastly, if you're a senior in college, get ready to be thrown into the real world real soon. The only way you can delay that is if you're leaving college just to go back to continue more school after (yay for higher education @MedStudents @LawStudents).

These weeks for college students will be filled with the middle round of exams, and then final exams. Finals will hit us like a bus as they always do, but at that point you have three months of not thinking about school once, what's better than that?

The weather will start to get warmer (hopefully.... @Syracuse), people will start to hang out more outside, and you can almost taste the freedom. You see the light at the end of the tunnel, if only you could get there sooner.

Once these weeks go by, I will enter my third year of college and no longer be an underclassmen. My big will graduate and it will just be my little and I in our sorority, and will (hopefully) be getting ready to study abroad.

Back to the reality that is school, it sucks that spring break is over. When you first get back, it's going to feel like the days are dragging and you just can't fathom how you're supposed to get through another six weeks of school.

As you get back into the rhythm of things, you see that March blends into April and once you're in April you realize finals exist again, and then next thing you know it it's May, you just finished your last exam, and you're moving out of school.

Another one gone, another year bites the dust.

The time between Spring Break and finals is actually my favorite. You feel the energy of your school go up because you're in the home stretch of finishing up for the year and everyone just seems happier. Even the chronically stressed take a step back and appreciate all the hard work they've done in the year.

Take these weeks with a grain of salt because before you know it it'll be over. Life goes on and time doesn't stop for anyone, so enjoy your time in the places that you are while you can!

Cover Image Credit: Anna Russo

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