I've returned to Conn for my senior year after studying abroad in Paris, France, for seven months. Although happy to return, I did not want to leave my Parisian lifestyle completely behind. Luckily, I have been able to keep French language and culture in my life through the Language Fellows program.  

Every language department (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish) has two language fellows. As a French language fellow, I help to plan French-speaking events on campus. On Friday, I posted flyers advertising the upcoming French film festival in students’ mailboxes. Then, dodging raindrops, I dashed to a French department meeting with about 10 others students of French. At the meeting, Professor Nathalie Etoke, the chair of the French Department, encouraged us students to take initiative in order to sustain an active and well-connected French department. “I want YOU to guide ME," she told us.

Taking her advice, the other French fellow and I held a French baking event after the meeting. Professor Benjamin Williams fortunately guided the small group of us in making madeleines, delicious butter cakes flavored with lemon zest. We played the music of Françoise Hardy while mixing together a smooth yellow batter of sucre, vanille and farine. Waiting for the madeleines to bake, we spoke in French about various Francophone accents and the implications of having an American accent when speaking French. Soon enough, the timer sounded and we took the madeleines out of the oven. They came out perfectly: croustillant on the outside and moelleux on the inside.

After a busy French-filled day, I decided to relax in my room for the rest of the evening. As I was brushing my teeth in Knowlton residence hall, the international house on campus, I bumped into my neighbor Dishane, a student from Mauritius. Having sat together at the French language table in Knowlton before, we struck up a conversation in French.

Heading to bed, I ended a great day by wishing Dishane a bonne nuit.



  • 2 large eggs — oeufs
  • 2/3 cup sugar — sucre
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract — vanille
  • ½ tsp grated lemon peel — zestes de citron
  • Pinch of salt — sel
  • 1 cup all purpose flower — farine
  • 10 tablespoons (1 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter — beurre (melted, slightly cooled)
  • Powdered sugar — sucre en poudre
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Generously butter and flour pan for large madeleines (about 3 x 1 1/4 inches). Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and 2/3 cup sugar in large bowl to blend. Beat in vanilla, lemon peel and salt. Add flour; beat just until blended. Gradually add cooled melted butter in steady stream, beating just until blended.
  • Spoon 1 tablespoon batter into each indentation in pan. Bake until puffed and brown, about 16 minutes. Let cool for five minutes. Gently remove from pan. Repeat process, buttering and flouring pan before each batch.
  • Dust cookies with powdered sugar.