Caroline Curran '15 writes: I took an Interim trip to France with 13 classmates. We were given as much freedom as possible as long as we promised to stay in a group of at least three and practiced our French. Being able to choose which restaurants we wanted to eat in for lunch was a big freedom. Without our French teacher to lean on, we were forced to use our French to order our food and speak with the waiters and waitresses.
One day, we bought a dozen pink roses and started down the Parisian street. Failing at our attempts to suppress giggles, we began to give the roses to any cute boys who came our way. Interacting with the French people on a personal level was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced at Randolph. As we approached our meeting spot with the teachers, one of the girls still had one rose left to give away. A tall blonde boy came into view. My friend approached him with the pink rose and held it out to him nervously. He looked startled, but smiled anyway and took the flower. As we watched him walk away, we realized that he was en route to meet up with his girlfriend!! He kissed her on the cheek, placed the pink rose gently in her hand, and they continued on their way down the street. It was little stories like this that made the trip so memorable, and also made us thankful for the trust instilled in us by our teachers that allowed us to have some much freedom in the beautiful city.
Noel Estopinal '15: On my Interim trip to France, I experienced freedom as I never had before on a school trip. I expected to be with the teachers at all times, but when we got there, it was a whole different story. Every day our group got at least two hours to walk around in whatever city we were in. We were free to explore. Those two hours of freedom formed my best memories from that trip. Whether I spent my time eating rainbow-colored macarons or shopping in high-end French stores, every moment was a new adventure. When my friends and I look back at our trip we laugh about the crazy times we had during those free hours. We felt as though were able to explore and do the things we wanted to do, instead of sticking to a strict schedule. We were free to form our own opinions of France, based on our own experiences. I had never expected that amount of freedom, but it ended up being my favorite part of the trip. I felt trusted by Randolph.
Kate Griffin '15: I had been taking French since 1st grade and it was always my dream to go there. When we went for Interim, my favorite place by far was Tours. It was a quaint little town, beautiful like Paris but with not as many people and tourists. Madame Green let us have some free time as long as we stayed with two other people. I had to go into restaurants and stores and speak to French people who only spoke French. I had to order food, make conversation and pay with euros. Even though it was hard, it was so much fun because I was actually using what I had spent all of this time learning in school.
Photos by Tory Simpson Green '91