By Phillip Davis (C’19)
At 7:30 Wednesday, October 26th, the French House hosted a “soirée jeux et scène ouverte” (game night and open mic). Light refreshments were provided.
Both students and professors participated in the event, which started with open socializing and simultaneous games of Cards Against Humanity and Scrabble, both in French; some students who did not know French played along with the help of their francophone friends. “I did enjoy it,” says Valeria Bridgewater (C’19), who speaks Spanish but no French, “but I did feel a little left out and so did my friend who only knows Spanish.”
Many students were required to attend for a class, or were rewarded with extra credit for doing so. Professor Aymeric Glacet said that these requirements are valuable because they “challenge…students’ and faculty’s linguistic capabilities and creativity, leading to comic results.”
Eventually, attendants gathered in the piano room to listen to House resident Catherine Ellis (C’19) perform with her band the Tom Cats, whose other members are Catherine Campbell (C’18), Thomas Chapman (C’19), and Thomas Hatling (C’19). They performed “Sweat Pea” and “Heart of Gold” as a group, and one original by Catherine Campbell titled “Love is not the End of Loneliness,” finishing with the two Catherines’ rendition of a Sharon van Elten song.
After that, Ben Mills (C’20) delivered a brief, improvised musical interlude on his bagpipe, commenting that he hadn’t played in a while. Nonetheless, it was very well received.
Professor Laurie Ramsey and Sherlock Xu (C’17) followed up with a performance on the violin and piano, respectively, of “Meditations” from the opera “Thaïs” by Jules Massenet. Professor Julian Ledford continued by performing the “Air de Méphistophélès” from “The Damnation of Faust,” composed by Hector Berlioz. Finally, Sherlock closed with a very challenging Chopin piece on the piano, the C-sharp minor waltz
Cards Against Humanity continued for a little while afterwards, with most non-residents having left by about 9:30 P.M.
Professor Glacet summed up the evening well. “The evening felt like an 18th-century Parisian salon transplanted onto our 21st-century mountain campus,” he said. “Vive la Révolucion!”