I neglected to mention that the elder Frenchling is back home in the Hexagone after a successful first year at university in Canada (she's at McGill in Montreal). So nice to have her home and hear her stories about the Frozen North (not bad at all - just dress warmly and have sturdy boots). She's been out and out about recently, re-connecting with her high school friends here in France who are at various French universities and she's spreading the word about Canada in general and McGill in particular.
As a visual aid she's been using this video which she showed me last night. This was produced last winter by the kids in her dorm (Gardner Hall). Set to various pop songs that I'm sure you'll recognize, this short piece gives you a tour of the facilities (including the skating rink set up just outside when it got cold enough) and shows the residents displaying their skills, talents and affiliations (yes, there is a French flag in there).
The elder Frenchling's French friends here are reported to be quite impressed. I suspect their parents would be less so. Lot of things in here that are hard to translate to another context: the idea of "school pride," the jokes about drinking, the crazy skateboarders and the like. How to explain that it's a goofy show of "solidarité" that is not incompatible with being "sérieux"?
I loved it and am posting it here for your viewing pleasure. Mesdames et Messieurs, the denizens of Gardner Hall at McGill University (2011-2012):