Lauriane Massin Joins Wilson as the French T.A.

Byline: Laura B. Hans

Posted: October 25, 2010

This fall Wilson College welcomes Lauriane Massin as the new resident Fulbright Scholar and French Teaching Assistant. Massin works with Associate Prof. of French, Melanie Gregg.

Lauriane co-instructs French 101, independently instructs French 201 and assists French 372 with their compositions. She also leads French Table discussions and tutors her French students. She is taking both American History and Spanish classes. She is co-president of Muhibbah.

Massin's origins

Massin is from Mont-de-Marsan, a small city in southwestern France. She is working on her M.A. from the Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour located in the Pyrenees, close to Spain. Her current dissertation is titled, "The Role of Pennsylvania in Civil War Memory and Heritage." Last year she completed a dissertation titled, "9/11 and a Culture of Fear in American Psyche and Society." While Massin lives in the United States, she hopes to share her culture and language with her students and friends. She says, "I want to give them a good, real and positive image of France, its culture, values. I also really want to know more about American culture and have better knowledge of the American way of life, its history and its cultural aspects."

Necessary adjustments

While adjusting to an American lifestyle Massin explains the most difficult aspect is missing French cuisine. She says, "France has really strong traditional values such as gastronomy, including cheese and wine." Gastronomy is the study of the relationship between culture and food. In France a meal is not merely a time to eat food, it is a social event. One eats dinner from about 7:30pm-9:00pm. The meal begins with appetizers or "starters," then progresses to the main course, then desert and coffee afterwards. Compared to American's concept of "fast food," French culinary tradition is vital and treasured.

Massin has also had some difficulties adjusting to dorm life, too. In France there are window shutters on almost every house. Massin is resourceful, as she can't sleep with incoming sunlight. This cultural difference led to a humorous situation. She explains, "A Korean friend gave me some boxes to put on my windows. One day, while I was sleeping, someone knocked at my door. I didn't want to answer and I pretended to be sleeping. But I heard a man's voice. Actually, it was Sherry and the security officer. They had seen my boxes from outside and wondered whether my window was broken or not. I explained everything and Sherry told me that I had to find another arrangement."

Say "Bonjour!"

Massin says her favorite thing about American culture is "the kindness of the people and their open-mindedness. For instance, every international student has a friendly family. I love this concept. It shows that American people are interested in different cultures and they usually do their best to make us feel like a part of their own family." She possesses a positive impression of Wilson College as well. She says, "Teachers, staff members and students are all very kind and nice. They have been very friendly and welcoming. A negative point is the lack of transportation [due to the lack of public transportation] but I am very happy that the international students' adviser, Paul Miller, provides us with a lot of facilities such as shuttles. Everything is done to make us feel comfortable." When you see Massin on campus say, "Bonjour!"

Last Updated: September 25, 2011

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