6th Graders at University Preparatory School dive into three weeks of cultural experiences, geography, and beginning language before starting language classes in earnest when the spring semester begins. This is true whether they opt for French, Mandarin, or Spanish. For those students who have opted to learn French, teacher Amy Pasterczyk knew that any introduction to French culture HAD to include Petanque. That’s where the EPC came in. Amy sent a note, and we responded.
On Tuesday, January 10, 24 beginning French students and their teachers met club volunteers to engage in lively games of the French national game. Amy had already formed teams of three; so after a short introduction to the rules and mechanics of play, the games began. Thanks to volunteers Jacques Maussenet, Bill Laprade, David Rockwell, Mike Martin, Jack McHenry, and Michelle Martin, the students received good coaching and lots of encouragement. Playing abbreviated 9-point games, the teams were able to complete two or even three games and left with a new appreciation of French culture. The only difficulty? At one point a young 6th grader asked, “What is a fanny?” The answer: “You need to ask your teacher to explain that one!” After two hours, the students said, “Merci Beaucoup!” and followed the thought with a nice card a day later. For our part, club members invited them to play in the new Petanque Grove when it is ready and encouraged them to dream of Varsity Petanque at UPrep!