Explore – 2010 – Trois-Rivières

November 6, 2010 § Leave a comment

Les Marmots sont dangereuses.

Explore is a five week intensive second-language program. Participants around the world either pay, or if they have been in school the past year, get a bursary to travel to another Canadian province to learn their second language. Morgan and I chose Trois-Riviéres, halfway between Québec City, and Montréal. We prepared for five weeks of courses, activities, excursions and – NO ENGLISH. if anyone cathes you speaking english, you get a red card and lose 2 of your 5 points. to regain 1 point back you must memorize a poem in french at your skill level. once you lose all 5 points… BAM you’re out. I loved the idea of being forced to learn french. The best way really, is to totally immerse yourse;f into the language and have no need to speak your first language.

Of course, throughout the five weeks, we did have some difficulties, both with the learning and with everything else. When I tried to register the desk didn’t have my forms (i had left them at home!) and had to re-register being lucky that they still had 3 spots left (Note: if you ever want to do explore – make sure you mail your forms, they are useles being filled out with no place to go). Next, i sent the director lady into a panic about how i`d get around, i couldn’t walk on my foot with my stitches in my toe and I had given back the crutches to Josie-Ann. I hobbled into the university with Morgan and Jasons help. Eventually a wheelchair was found for me and they promised they would find crutches for me. It was surely odd the first week of school rolling around on a wheelchair when only my toe was injured, many students didn’t know what had happened and assumed I always needed a wheelchair, these people got pretty shocked whenever i needed to reach up somewhere or move around stairs, and i hopped up on my right foot to maneuver around. (i didn’t do this too often cuz it hurt but still… the looks on some peoples faces!) Crutches were a PAIN. i’d prefer the chair, but i felt like too much of a poser, especially when it stopped hurting when i lowered my foot.

Next difficulty… as soon as i got my stitches taken out and could run around I played ultimate frisbee at the gym with other students and leaders – WAHBAM – dislocated shoulder. This is the second time its happened, the first being in Katimavik in Moose jaw playing basketball… still another injury wasn’t the best thing.

When I got that all sorted out…. Heat Stroke. Un coup de chaleur i learned it as. Trois-Riviéres in the summer is boiling hot, including inside the residences, the university is air conditioned… to the point where boiling hot you’d dress in shorts and tank tops, and carry a set of sweats and sweaters to sit in class with. The change of temperatures got to me and i had to run out of some things to go puke. NOT fun. This ended up being a bit special as i asked around to see if i could sleep in the school and it wasn’t allowed. The director didn’t want me getting any worse however so, against the rules, he drove me and Jason to the grocery store told us to get what i needed and he drove home to get his air conditioner. We got ginger ale and crackers like Mom used to get me when i had the flu and then the director drove us back and installed his own air conditioner into my room. (not allowed – some building men complained about it and i got notes saying i was to report to the principal or something) Eventually more people started getting heat stroke and they opened up a room in the school for sick students to sleep.

The fun parts? The excursions – we went to Québec City, Montréal, Parc National de la Mauricie, and around Trois-Riviéres. I loved the leaders too or , les animateurs. Every week we’d gather to go over rules, excursions, prizes for awesome frenchness (there were also blue cards you could get from teachers or leaders when they thought you were doing exceptionnal in your learning of french, the cards would be put in a draw every week for prizes) because not everyone was understanding spoken french on the same level, the leader would make little mises en situations, or skits, to explain what was going on. They were hilariousss. I’m thinking i want to be a leader for the English side of explore yes? Also there were workshops – After class you’d go to your workshop, each student had 1 or 2. I had Chansons Québecoise, and Action Communitaire. (Québecois songs, and Volunteering) I volunteered at La Maison Grandi-ose. A sort of after school care program for both mentally disabled youth and children, and troubled or behaivioural youth who would help with the programs and children. This was amazing.

Some big events were put on every week as well. Canada Day, Québecoise day, outing to the beach, casino night,  trip to a québecois heritage event (les coureurs de bois), talent show…


Jason and Morgan after the talent show. Jason as Tybalt in a Explore version of Romeo and Juliet with his Theatre workshop and Morgan in her hip hop gear from her dance workshop

Our day on the beach was cut short as it rained a lot and hard. As everyone huddled under the shelters to wait for the bus this volleyball game broke out and it was intense!


Les animateurs!


Fortunately a few people were on top of videoing, so here i borrow the videos off youtube from Sergei, another student in l’ecole internationale de francais UQTR.

La danse à la soirée québecoise!

Mises en situation. An example of what we could do at the upcoming talent show.

Explaining that if we wanted to stay overnight in Montreal we had to purchase a bus ticket at Room 1088.

et finalement, from my Chanson Quebecoise workshop here is our Lipdub!


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