Middle schoolers find French is to their taste


May 30, 2002|By Jean Marie Beall | Jean Marie Beall,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

PUPILS AT NORTHWEST Middle School studying French got a taste of the real thing recently at a Taneytown restaurant.

Bart and Wynne Weil, who own Bart's Place, opened their restaurant on their day off to prepare French dishes for the middle school pupils. The catch was that they had to order those dishes in French. Student volunteers from Francis Scott Key High School, also studying French, were the servers.

Wynne Weil said the field trip came about after her husband demonstrated some French dishes for Denise Diegel, the pupils' teacher.

"From that, Mrs. Diegel said she thought it would be neat to take the students to a restaurant and order in French," Weil said. "Our restaurant is not a French restaurant, but Bart did an internship under a French chef."

Weil said the experience was set up like a field trip. The pupils paid $10 and the Weils used the money to buy the food for the various dishes. The pupils could choose from steak au poivre, coq au vin (chicken in wine sauce) or flounder francaise. They also had soup, salad and dessert.

"It was marvelous," Diegel said. "It makes it more realistic to practice their French in a real setting. Hopefully, years from now they'll remember this experience. They may not remember anything else, but they'll remember this."

Eighth-graders Carly Weil (Wynne and Bart's daughter) and Liz Eiler agreed the experience was first rate.

"I thought it was a good experience to taste French food," Carly said. "We asked them [servers] questions about the food. It was a way to test our French skills. It's a cool language. I'm going to be taking it in high school."

Liz, who also plans to study French in high school, said she was impressed with the servers.

"They did a really good job," she said. "They came out while we were eating and asked us our names and how we were doing."

Volunteering as a French-speaking server was Jon Fitzgerald, a Key senior. He said he has studied French for four years and well remembers his early days studying the language.

"I remember being a first year, so I talked really slow for them," he said. "We had to explain things. I never thought I'd have to explain something in French to other kids. But they did really well. I was really impressed with how much they knew."

Wynne Weil said the experience was equally fun for her husband and her.

"The teacher and kids seemed to really enjoy themselves," she said. "It was definitely fun and we will definitely do it again."

Barnes is SGA head

Kendall Barnes of Uniontown was elected president of Francis Scott Key High School's Student Government Association (SGA). The junior said getting more students involved would be her top priority next year.

Kendall said she first got involved in SGA when she was a freshman and liked it. She has served on the group's executive board but decided to run for president this year.

She said SGA sponsors school events and helps build student leadership skills. Also elected were: Victoria Cashen, vice president; Erin Raab, treasurer; Josh Kellemen, secretary; and Courtney Flook, parliamentarian.

Big dance tomorrow

The Taneytown Senior Center will have a dance from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. tomorrow. The Dusty Valley Band will entertain.

Information: Jackie Boisvert, outreach coordinator, 410-756-4557.

Uniontown parade

For the first time in years, Uniontown residents enjoyed a full-fledged Memorial Day parade, thanks to Sherri S. Coeburn and Cheryl Keeney, who organized the event.

The two women are employees at the Uniontown branch of Farmers & Mechanics National Bank.

"We always like to participate in things in the community," Coeburn said. "When I saw they needed someone to chair the event, I thought it would be a good way to get involved."

In years past, the town's "parade" consisted of a lone Marine Corps color guard walking through town to the Lutheran Cemetery, where a wreath is laid. Town residents would follow behind them.

But this year the color guard had company. Following the color guard were grand marshals Mable Myers and Miriam West, who are among the town's eldest citizens. Riding with the grand marshals was Henry Singer, 90, who was born and raised in Uniontown and always attends the parade.

In addition, the parade included a firetruck from Union Bridge Volunteer Fire Company Inc.; a unit from the Westminster Fire Department; Civil War re-enactors; Air Force, Army and Navy representatives from the recruiting office in Westminster; and students from Francis Scott Key High School Future Farmers of America (FFA) riding a farm vehicle.

The FFA students laid the wreath at the entrance to the cemetery, the Rev. Charles Slaugh of Uniontown United Methodist Church gave the invocation and Union Bridge Mayor Perry L. Jones Jr. served as guest speaker.

Soccer registration

The Woodsboro New Midway Recreation Council will hold its soccer registration from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday and June 22 at the Woodsboro Park Pavilion. Cost is $25 and $35, depending on age group.

Information: Brian Schutsky, 410-775-7048.

Jean Marie Beall's Northwest neighborhood column appears each Thursday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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