Monthly Archives: August 2012

A special story to celebrate “la Rentrée…”

A special story to celebrate “la Rentrée…”

September 2017 update. Summer is winding down. All over France this week, “la rentrée” has started. This is an important word in French life. Here is the perfect time to share once again a favorite story of mine on the French Girl in Seattle blog. Even if I wrote it several years ago, (and a couple of sections could be updated,) I enjoyed reading it again this morning, and hope you do too. It was inspired by a special place I found during my travels in southern France several years ago, childhood memories, and several hours of research. 

Bonne lecture. Happy reading!
— Véronique (French Girl in Seattle)
Il était une fois, l’école. Once upon a time, School.
The story begins here.


26 Responses to A special story to celebrate “la Rentrée…”

  1. Nostalgie, nostalgie… Intéressante ta rentrée des classes, identique à celle que j’ai connue. Un bon retour en arrière. Dommage qu’on ne te voit pas!…
    Bonne journée, Véronique!

  2. Que de souvenirs tu fais remonter..J’adorais l’école moi aussi!L’odeur de la craie sur le tableau, l’encre et les porte-plumes, le plaisir des nouveaux cahiers , avec les couvertures portant les tables de multiplication au dos que nous distribuait la maîtresse. Filles et garçons en écoles séparées, les tabliers sur lesquels il fallait broder le nom et la classe..On a l’impression que ‘était un autre monde , une autre vie!
    J’adore ta Minerva!
    Bises et merci pour ce joli post!

    • Hello Marie. Ah, que de bons souvenirs, n’est-ce-pas? Je me demande si les petites filles en général (plutôt que les petits garçons,) n’adorent pas l’école? Mon fils n’a pas l’air très excité à la perspective d’aller acheter ses fournitures scolaires avec moi cette semaine… Enfin…

    • i agree that girls tend to get more excited-maybe not the exact right word-about returning to the classroom- i thought i was the only one loving the smell of the new text books, copy books new yellow #2 pencils finely sharpened- the sound of the chalk on the board…ah even now these things make me smile!

  3. I’m so pleased you decided to re-post this story. I have just spent a lovely ten minutes or so thinking about my wonderful year spent in a lycée in France as an ‘assistante’ a few years ago and the month I spent in an ‘école normale’ where I had the opportunity to attend lectures with French trainee teachers and visit local primary and nursery schools. It was an unforgettable experience where I was able to learn so much and appreciate the differences between the French and British Education System. One thing which I found difficult at first was the longer school day in France (and Saturday morning lessons!!) Although I thought the leisurely two hour lunch break to ‘recharge batteries’ was a great idea! Your post was so very interesting, informative and certainly a trip down memory lane – including the vocabulary….pupitre, dictée, bons points…. Merci beaucoup Véronique.
    PS I continue to be fascinated by beautiful French handwriting and the wonderful French language of course!

    • Merci for this thoughtful comment, miss b. i am impressed that you spent time at the Ecole Normale. Did you become a teacher in Great Britain? Yes, the school day is longer in France – most kids in my American neighborhood are home by 3:00pm every afternoon! – and then, there is quite a bit of homework to do. As I mentioned, the French school system is not for the faint of heart!

  4. Oh zut, j’ai laissé un commentaire, mais je crains qu’il a disparu…

    Ah, la rentrée, trop vite arrivée, pour nos filles c’est la semaine prochaine, pour moi c’est aujourd’hui, je pars au boulot toute de suite. Les vacances terminées, sigh…

    Merci pour tous tes commentaires cet été, j’étais très absent du monde des blogs, mais je les lisais chaque fois avec plaisir.

    Pour l’histoire des hortensias au Japon, ce n’est pas que le Japon concerné, le Nouvel Obs dit dans leur article que le nuage d’une éventuelle incendie dans la piscine du #4 ferait le tour du hemisphère nord, et atteindrait la côte ouest de l’Amérique du nord quelques jours après le début. Bon, je ne veux pas sembler alarmiste, ni irrationnel, mais visiblement il y a un réel souci là.

    Bon, quand bien même, bonne rentrée ou bonne fin de vacances, bises amicales de Chantilly…

  5. v- i was just thinking about this post…how weird-well honestly this is not one of my favorite times of year-i adore the laid back feel of summer- the no schedule schedule, the limitless possibilities of each sun(well most of them anyway)filled day and add to that my love of the shore/beach/surf …. and i get a bit sad every year-but my love of school supplies and the smell of new text books and copy books distract from the loss of my favorite season-a bitter sweet time like so many things in life-well as always a good re-read-refresher if you will, and here is to all the possibilities a new academic year ushers in-i think i will take 2 classes at the alliance this session ,one for pronunciation and the other grammar conversation vocab etc-i am going to go back i few levels -i was really struggling when i left(dec of last year)-learning has always come a tad slower for me….so HERE’S TO THE FALL!!

    • My dear g. Yes, summer is about to end. I can smell it in the air. I do enjoy fall, but I fear the most here in the Pacific Northwest, are the long, cold, wet months that follow inevitably. Enjoying every bit of sunshine I can get right now… and shopping for school supplies with Junior tonight == 7th grade! Junior High – le Collège! – Things are getting serious! Good for you for returning to l’Alliance. Too bad we don’t live closer to each other, really. I would love to have you as a student 🙂

  6. Veronique, I can’t believe it’s that time already. I do love fall, and have nostalgia for back to school, but how I will miss the long summer days and warm sunshine! Let’s hope the sun accompanies the little ones as the head back to school in the next few weeks! XO

  7. wow, un an déjà que j’ai découvert ton blog, et s’il y a une chose qui ne change pas, c’est la qualité impressionnante de chacun de tes posts. merci!
    by the way, Bonne Rentrée! xxx

  8. I remember that wonderful post from before and enjoyed reading it again. I just love French handwriting–and well–almost everything French. Even the unions back preparing for strikes. Haha. What would France be without them!

    Thanks for the charming photos and story. Hope your darling son has a fabulous year!

  9. At the beginning of a new school year, how I loved a brand new pack of crayola colors…..all with their pointy ends!!
    Since I am new to your wonderful blog this post was new to me too. I loved it and learned so much from it. LOL…see…school is now in session! I still wish ethics was taught in school and hand writing too. With emails, IM, texting, and whatever else is so popular in the modern world, beautiful handwriting seems to be a thing of the past. I am proud to say I have always gotten complimented on my hand writing and cherish a hand written note. Yours is gorgeous! Happy Day to you Veronique 🙂

    • Thank you very much Lynn. So glad you enjoyed this story. It’s a favorite of mine, you know. I loved taking a look at it again this week. Congratulations on your impeccable handwriting. I fear mine has become sloppier over the years. How I loved writing with those “porte-plumes” and that pretty purple ink that stained my fingers!

  10. Wow! Has it already been a year? I just read the comment I left last year and just want to say that I do love school and learning, and most particularly the smell of a new box of crayons and a freshly sharpened pencil!

    There is nothing as exciting as “learning” something new. You can re-post this one again next year, ma chère. Love it!


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