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Kim Defforge

Columnists > Kim Defforge

Kim Defforge

Education In France – Shoes vs. Hats

Posted by: Carole on Saturday October 12, 2013 (04:08:47)   (2317 Reads)

Kim Defforge

I recently read the following quote: “In France, once you have chosen a pair of shoes, you must wear them for life.” Well now, anyone who knows me is aware that I LOVE shoes, but the thought of only one pair is unimaginable. I suppose I should say “hat,” rather than shoes, since this is what the American version of this quote would be. Most of us have had a variety of jobs and have worn many hats, with some of us having made total career changes throughout our working life.

In the French school system, the stakes are high: it’s all about memorization and learning is rigid and organized around a centralized curriculum. Tracking in France happens not through classroom assignments, but rather on a school-wide level. Based on test scores, students begin to get funneled into technical or college preparatory schools by middle school.    more ...


Columnists > Kim Defforge

Kim Defforge

Joyeux 400-ieme Anniversaire - (un peu tardif) !

Posted by: Carole on Wednesday September 04, 2013 (03:34:42)   (40501 Reads)

Kim Defforge

André Le Nôtre is best known as the designer gardener of the Grand Siècle, the 17th century, when he created magnificent gardens for the Sun King, Louis XIV at Versailles. During this time, the arts in general were flourishing: music, visual arts, and spectacular creativity in other media.

Born in Paris on March 12, 1613, Le Nôtre came from a long line of gardeners: his father and grandfather were gardeners to the king in charge of the Tuileries in Paris, and his mother was a gardener’s daughter. His elegant style was exemplified from his background in sculpting, drawing, and architecture. In 1635, he was assigned as the head gardener to the king’s brother, to tend to the Tuileries and the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris and the gardens at Fontainebleau.

Reportedly, Le Nôtre was responsible for opening up the area then known as the Grand-Cours, now known as the Champs-Elysées.    more ...


Columnists > Kim Defforge

Kim Defforge

Submerged Dangers In The French Riviera

Posted by: Carole on Tuesday August 06, 2013 (02:40:09)   (1683 Reads)

Kim Defforge

The beauty of the Mediterranean Sea, with its various shades of turquoise and cobalt blue is a stunning, regional icon of the French Riviera. A multitude of boats and yachts of all sizes can be seen docked in the various ports and/or drifting at sea, dotting the ocean’s landscape. Unfortunately, these two luxurious entities don’t co-exist without detrimental, environmental consequences to the overall, fragile eco-systems and marine life.

Toxic discharge from boats is the leading cause of damage to the marine environment. With the proliferation of yachts being built and the average size becoming bigger, the yachting industry has a direct impact on the overall situation.

Grey water discharge is from sinks and showers and is the largest polluter of coastal areas, according to environmental experts. Reportedly, there are no regulations on grey water being discharged into the ports.    more ...


Columnists > Kim Defforge

Kim Defforge

A Colorful Tradition Of The French Riviera

Posted by: Carole on Thursday July 04, 2013 (02:16:11)   (2119 Reads)

Kim Defforge

Before living in France, I had only heard of “mimosa” in reference to the cocktail made from one part champagne and one part orange juice – a delicious and refreshing aperitif. Little did I realize, at that time, that the drink’s name was based on the vibrant, yellow color of a flowering tree.

The French Riviera, called La Côte d’Azur in French, is well-known for its “mimosa”  but not the beverage. Here, it’s a golden flower which blooms between November and March and symbolizes the “Bataille des Fleurs,” where bunches of mimosa are traditionally thrown to the crowds every year during the Nice Carnaval.

This flower was indigenous to Australia, and reportedly, was introduced to Europe by Captain Cook on one of his voyages at the end of the 18th century.    more ...


Columnists > Kim Defforge

Kim Defforge

“Sun, Sea & Savoir-Faire – A Travel Focus On The French Riviera”

Posted by: Carole on Monday June 03, 2013 (01:26:22)   (2002 Reads)

Kim Defforge

Sun

A Mediterranean climate is characterized by warm to hot dry summers and mild to cool wet winters, although this year the amount of rainfall surpassed the seasonal average. The Mediterranean Sea helps to maintain a narrower range of moderate temperatures between summer highs and winter lows, which actually makes the French Riviera a more oceanic climate.

With an average of 300 days of sunshine, Nice is situated between the sea and the mountains, making it easily accessible and an ideal location. Under the warm Mediterranean sunshine, stroll along the Promenade des Anglais – a great place to walk, bike, jog, rollerblade, or just simply people watch. The pebbled beaches of Nice are a mix of private and public, for tourists to have relax, dine, and have fun in the sun.    more ...


Columnists > Kim Defforge

Kim Defforge

An Expat Dance: Who’s Leading Whom?

Posted by: Carole on Monday April 29, 2013 (02:18:20)   (1869 Reads)

Kim Defforge

My dream had always been to live in France – I mean, whose isn’t? So, it was that when life events occurred and opportunities arose, I made the decision to take a teaching sabbatical and lead myself to live one year in Montpellier: a happening, university town full of students and, in my experience, an easygoing and friendly ambiance generally found in the south of France. I had visited the area several times and would be near a French couple that I had befriended through a work colleague. I felt I needed to be where I knew someone, right? Still, it was a frightening decision, although well thought out (or so I thought), as I began to pile cardboard boxes in my living room with goods destined for storage – done nine months in advance, as if preparing for a baby. For me, this did equate to the arrival of a new life.    more ...