dimanche 25 novembre 2007

THANKSGIVING 2007 - Thursday, November 22nd

To see a video about the history of Thanksgiving :



Every year, on the eve of Thanksgiving, in a ceremony at the White House, the President of the United-States pardons a turkey, which means the bird is not killed and eaten.

The animal is chosen from a different farm every year, among a group of birds hatched in April. In August, when the toms ( = the male turkeys) have reached 11kg, six of the most beautriful birds are selected. For four months, they are periodically petted and hand-fed so that they get used to humans.

The week before the presentation, two toms are chosen. They are brought to Washington DC and prepared for the Ceremony. In the meantime, thousands of Americans vote for a name on the White House website, names like Stars and Stripes, Pumpkin and Cranberry, Freedom and Liberty. This year,the names chosen were May and Free. On the day of the Ceremony, the larger and more colourful of the two birds is brought to the White House and hoisted on a pedestal in the Rose Garden, to become the National Thanksgiving turkey.

During the Ceremony, the President pets the bird, makes a few jokes and photos are taken. Afterwards, this year, the pardoned turkey was put in a plane and it travelled first class to Los Angeles where it will live peacefully ( in Disneyland ) until its death ( which usually occurs within two years ).

See the video of President Bush pardoning the 2007 Thanksgiving turkey :


To learn more about the history of presidential pardon :



Here it comes again, that time of the year when everybody starts getting ready to celebrate "Thanksgiving" with family and friends. Mothers are busy buying turkeys for Thanksgiving dinners and fishing out old recipes to figure out how long the "Big Bird" has to cook in the oven. No matter how big or small the family is, big turkeys ornate the table while the whole family flies across American skies to be once again reunited around the table.

Thanksgiving is a typical American tradition. It stems from the times of the Puritans, when the early settlers were able to survive the harsh New England winters with the products of the land. The native Indians taught them to cultivate corn, and so corn became a very important staple on Thanksgiving day. A typical meal consists of Turkey with stuffing, cranberry sauce, green beans, mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes, corn, and pumpkin or sweet potato pies. The family gathers at around 3 or 4 o'clock and they spend a few hours together eating and having fun. After the meal, they gather around and play games or they sit and watch the football game on their big screen TVs. This is the first big holiday after the summer, and everybody looks forward to see each other again.

The day after Thanksgiving, the official Christmas holiday shopping begins. Many people, gather outside the department stores before opening time to get the early birds deals. I have never done it. I do not see the point of getting up so early to spend money. Anyway, I look forward relaxing at home and getting together with friends to laugh and have a good time!


mercredi 14 novembre 2007



Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

dimanche 11 novembre 2007

NOV. 11 - VETERANS DAY - 25th anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington.

People gathered on the Mall in Washington these days to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which was built in 1982. There was a reading of the Names ceremony on Nov. 7th 2007. All the names engraved in the Wall were read over a three-day period.

vendredi 9 novembre 2007


During the holidays, I went to New York city where I met Mrs Cherubin , our American penfriends' teacher ! She drove all the way from Washington to New York and we met in Grand Central Station, which is a huge railway and subway station situated right in the center of Manhattan. I had already seen photos of her, but she was turning her back to me when I caught sight of her; but then,she turned round and she recognized me first. It was very strange to meet a person I've been chatting with on the net for nearly a year without actually knowing her. We had never met before, but we have so much in common that it felt as if we had always known each other. We had very long conversations together because Mrs Cherubin is amazing !she can talk about everything. She is of Italian origin, but she has lived in England, Germany and Switzerland, so she knows Europe very well. Together, we had a walk in Central Park; we visited the Whitney Museum ( a museum of American Art ), we walked a lot in Manhattan and finally, she very kindly invited me to see a show in Broadway. This show was entitled " The Three mo' tenors"; it was a musical show with three very talented black singers who recounted the history of black American music ( from the gospels to rap ). I gave Mrs Cherubin the photos I had taken of my pupils (on a CD), and she gave me a package of letters to deliver on my return to France.I had a great time with this person I can now call a friend,and will keep excellent memories of the moments we spent together. I hope she'll come to France one day to visit me !
( I will soon send a video of our meeting ! To be followed... )

Here is a photo of the show I saw in Broadway with Mrs Cherubin : " Three Mo' Tenors"

mardi 6 novembre 2007


Posted by Picasa


Yesterday, I saw the film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” which I really appreciated. Here is the summary of the film !:

New York 1940. Holly Golightly is a pretty and mysterious American starlet who likes to take her breakfast in Tiffany’s jewellery. To her, it is every evening alcohol, holidays and men don’t miss! Holly wants to find a rich husband. She meets her neighbour whose name is Paul Varjak. They become friends and Paul discovers that behind her amazing character, Holly is hurtled by life and she isn’t allowed to fall in love with somebody. But with the time, a strong passion between Holly and Paul is going to be born of an amicable relation.

This film is really fantastic and sometimes funny. It’s the moving portrait of a lost young woman, brilliantly interpreted by bright and radiant Audrey Hepburn. Her interpretation of the song “Moon River” is a big instant! New York is filmed in an original manner, and the visit to Tiffany’s, is the most delightful stage of cinema which I have never seen!

Here is the song " moon River" ...