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A Note to Our Valued Readers…
We have been sending out separate announcements when we have events or something that we want to highlight. We have noticed that our lists have some of you in three different places and therefore you are receiving multiple announcements each time we do an e-blast. We want you to know that we are working on “cleaning up” the lists so that you only receive ONE announcement at a time. This will take time to accomplish. Our intent is not to badger you or bombard you with e-mails but simply to inform. We appreciate your patience.
Save the Date!
May 8, 2009
A Tour of France and Italy through Wine and Cheese
Mother’s day in France, or La Fête des Mères, is celebrated on the last Sunday in May. The holiday was first introduced by Napoleon in the 19th century, but was not made official until 1950. In Italy, Mother’s day, or La Festa della Mamma is celebrated on the second Sunday of May, just like in the United States. In Italy, it is very popular to give mothers gifts of flowers. Both celebrations are very similar to our American holiday. Mother’s day is similar to a birthday, in that children give their mothers gifts and make them feel relaxed. In Italy, a large Mother’s Day meal is held at midday. In France, the day concludes with a large dinner in her honor, where she is given a cake.
Whether you celebrate this holiday in the French, Italian, American, or any other style, we wish all of the mothers reading this a very happy Mother’s Day!
It’s May Already! It is hard to believe how fast 2009 if flying by.
This month’s newsletter brings interesting articles by our staff and a guest article by Kathleen Gates. Kathleen is a massage therapist who works with babies and infants. As is mentioned in our last newsletter, we will be bringing articles from guest writers who also work with children. and this This month Kathleen will be sharing the benefits of massage with newborns. Babies are this beautiful “clean slate” primed for all kinds of wonderful things cognitively and linguistically, and through Kathleen, we are bringing you one more avenue to explore with your baby.
We are continuing to enroll for our summer programs! And we have included new links to make this an easy easier process for you.
We have been sending you our “Tour of France and Italy through Wine and Cheese” announcements and we encourage you to come and be with us. This is an event NOT to be missed! We are very excited about what we have to offer. You will come away from this event with knowledge about pairing wines and cheeses, introductions to 8 new cheeses and 8 new wines!(Cathy, our Marketing Layout Coordinator already tried one of the wines and said, “It was yummy!”…she is also our quality control testerJ). You will also have a booklet in which you will have all of the cheeses with their paired wines and descriptions, and last, but not least, you will get to keep your wine glass which will be a convenient and useful reminder of all of the fun you had! Additionally, you will get to meet The Language Learning Institute staff asthey serve you by candlelight.
One of the highlights of this event for us is the raffle/auction that we will be having at the “Tour of France and Italy through Wine and Cheese”. All monies collected will go to the start of our Language Learning Institute Scholarship Fund. This year, we are planning to give as many scholarships as possible to children from families who cannot afford our programs. We have been receiving calls from very interested parents who would love to have their children participate in our programs, but cannot afford to do so.
Why have these events? To share culture and community! So come join us! We would love to meet you! A “Tour of France and Italy through Wine and Cheese” will take place right in your own back yard, at the Fenimore Gallery in the beautiful and elegant Proctors Theater, on May 8th. Doors open at 5:30pm and the tour begins at 6:00pm. Tickets are $45.00 pre-sale and $50.00 at the door. Get your tickets NOW so we have plenty of food! We will not only have wine and cheese but some absolutely great accompaniments as well! Bring your friends, family and co-workers: over twenty-one years of age, please. No one under the age of twenty-one will be admitted. Space is limited so hurry! Happy May and we look forward to seeing you all soon.
In addition, Happy Mother’s Day!
Nancy Scarselletta Owner/Developer The Language Learning Institute 518-346-7096
We have been asked to bring our programs for children to Colonie. We would love to do that for you and we are in need of a space to rent. We would like to stay at this location year round and have our summer and winter Camps as well as our Mommy and Me classes and After School Programs. If you know of places that would like to discuss renting to The Language Learning Institute, Please e-mail us the contact information at: [email protected]
Massage Your Way to Infant and Toddler Development
Having a new baby is without a doubt one of the most rewarding (and challenging) times in a new parents life. Infant massage can be done on premature infants, full-term infants and as a wonderful way to bond with an adopted child. It is never too late to start massaging a child. Always check with your pediatrician before starting any program.
If our babies could speak words to us, it might sound like this….. “That feels good……keep doing it!”
Infant massage is a wonderful way to teach our children how to relax. It is also calming for parents. Conditioned relaxation response (CRR) can be elicited through gentle touch and tapping before or during the massage. Often, babies will respond during massage with focused eye-to-eye contact (entrainment) and cooing, their form of communication (or speaking). Parents can feel rewarded with these simple yet powerful infant responses.
“I’m still developing!” Developmentally, an infant is not fully complete at birth. Nervous system pathways are still being refined and developed. Infant massage sparks the neurons in their brains to grow and branch out to encompass other neurons. Massage also provides essential indicators of intimate parent-infant bonding and attachment like eye-to-eye, touch, voice, smell, movement, and thermal regulation.
“I hear you and I’m listening” Infant massage promotes connections with infants through “mother-ese” or the high-pitched voice often used to communicate and soothe a newborn. A mother or father’s voice can be instrumental in laying the groundwork for language development and early speech patterns. Speaking with our children throughout the day will also strengthen this development.
“Help me get that bubble out!” Physiological benefits are numerous and include a reduction in anxiety for both parents and baby. Massage also helps eliminate excessive gas, reduces constipation and colic. It also improves circulation and overall immune system function. Additionally, it reduces levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.
Kathleen Gates, LMT, CIMI was trained through the International Loving Touch Foundation and regularly holds infant massage classes throughout the Capital District. She is also available for private, in-home instruction and consultation. For more information, visit her website at www.gateswayhealth.com.
The Language Learning Institute has, at this time, three scheduled events throughout the year: Bastille Day (or as the French call it “le Quatorze”), St Nicolas Day Event, and now A Tour of France and Italy through Wine and Cheese. The mission of The Language Learning Institute is to bring not only language to the community in which it has a presence, but also cultural understanding. It is through our events that we bring an experience of authenticity to you. This is the time and place that we invite all to participate and learn something new that can enrich their lives and create a new thought about how things are done in different parts of the world, and also to create a better understanding about our relationships to other countries. Bastille Day and St Nicolas are community and family events meant to unite the two. Our wine and cheese event is an adult over twenty-one years of age event and is intended to be held yearly as well. It will focus on different wines their traditional accompaniments depending on the country.
We invite all of you to come out and enjoy our events. In doing so, you also support out programs and the school. We have a very broad vision for the future that I am sure you will enjoy.
When it comes to biking and France, one phrase generally comes to mind: Tour de France. Despite similar bike races in neighboring countries, the 3,500 kilometer race held every July is unquestionably one of the most well known across the globe. As any country would, France takes great pride in hosting the event. One could contend that since the first race was held in 1903, biking in France has become a more common practice. When closely observing, one can see that biking has been displayed in French art, film, and music. One prime example stems back to 1981 when Yves Montand’s “La Bicyclette” was released. The song tells the story of four friends taking a bike ride through Paris…experiencing love, life and French culture. But certainly, the French don’t need a popular song to go biking. In many metropolitan cities, biking is a mode of transportation. In Paris, for example, most major streets have lanes specifically for cyclists. For the more casual cyclist, parks and forests provide French residents and visitors the opportunity to take in the sights while getting some low impact exercise. And since many times bikes come equipped with baskets, you pack some wine and cheese for your next promenade à velo.
La Festa della mamma, or Mother’s Day, an American tradition is also celebrated in Italy during the month of May. Even in Italy, the holiday is celebrated by giving mom flowers and a day off – including breakfast in bed. A traditional Crostata di Marmellata, using Mamma’s favorite fruit jam, is a tasty way to start the day. Crostata di Marmellata A wonderful, traditional breakfast for a wonderful mamma.
Ingredients 300g flour 150g sugar pinch of Salt 3 Eggs 150g unsalted Butter grated zest of 1 Lemon 1 cup fruit jam (such as apricot, peach, plum, cherry)
Preparation 1. Preheat the oven to 400°F 2. In the work bowl of a food processor place flour, sugar and pinch of salt, process for a few seconds to mix. Then add the butter and lemon zest and pulse a few times until the mixture looks like wet sand. Add 1 whole egg and 2 egg yolks and process a few seconds more until the dough forms. (Optional – save the egg whites to brush over the lattice before baking and give the crostata a nice glaze) It is important not to overwork the dough (do not over knead it) or it will harden when baked. 3. Cover the dough in wax paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 20 minutes. 4. Divide the dough into 2 halves, one a bit larger than the other. 5. On a lightly floured board roll the larger half of the pastry dough to a 1/8-in thickness, and line with it the bottom and sides of a 9-in tart pan with scalloped edges and a removable bottom. The sides should be lined with a slightly thicker layer of pastry than the bottom, about 1/4-in. Fold back in the dough that is hanging over the sides to make a thicker lining along the sides. Cut off excess. Prick the pastry bottom with the tines of a fork in a few places, then spread with the jam. Do not use a deep tart mold. 6. Roll the remaining pastry on a lightly floured board slightly thicker than 1/8-in, then with a sharp knife or pastry cutter cut it in strips 1/4-inch (0.5 cm) wide and make a lattice on top of the jam layer. (Optional – brush with egg whites) Any leftover pastry can be used to make a few tasty cookies 7. Bake the tart until golden, about 25 minutes. 8. Unmold the tart as soon as it is ready and let it cool on a rack. If left in the pan it will turn soggy.
Recipes and information courtesy of: alfemminile.com, buttalapasta.com, Wikipedia.it.
This month, we are traveling in the Pacific Region. New Caledonia (named in homage to Scotland-Caledonia being the Latin name for Scotland-by James Cook who discovered the island in 1774) is our Francophone destination. New Caledonia (Nouvelle Caledonie in French) is the largest island in the Pacific Region after Papua New Guinea and New Zealand. Unlike its volcanic neighbors, New Caledonia is a fragment of an ancient continent which drifted away some 250 million years ago. New Caledonia is made up of a main island, the Grande Terre (Noumea is the Capital), and several smaller islands.
New Caledonia is part of the French Republic. French is the official language. Under the rule of Napoleon III, the island was officially declared French in 1853. The first colonists settled in, followed by a new kind of immigrant : convicts who were joined in 1872 by the transported criminals of the Commune of Paris. Yes, New Caledonia is unfortunately well known for its penal colonies (bagnes in French).
New Caledonia has been on the United Nations list of non-self-governing territories since 1986. New Caledonians will choose by referendum if they want to stay part of France or become independent sometimes after 2014.
Next month, we will travel back to the old continent known as Europe. This country we will be visiting is the homeland of one of the most famous vampire!!!
Le Gouvernement et les Nouvelles Françaises d’Amelia
May: a month of Rest & Relaxation
Despite the talk of the economy, swine flu, and Obama’s 100th day in office, the air in Paris is certainly relaxed this month. Why? The French benefit from three jours fériés, or national holidays in May: May 1st, May 8th, and May 21st. Each of these days, schools and most businesses are closed, including museums, so Parisians go outside and enjoy the beautiful weather by going to an antique sale, or just strolling through a park. Why are these days celebrated? May 1st is International Worker’s day, or in other words, French Labor Day. All businesses are closed, including grocery stores. Many unions and workers take it to the streets to protest more workers’ rights, but the atmosphere is much more relaxed than many of the other grèves generales. May 8th recognizes V-E day, or Victory in Europe day which symbolizes the end of World War II in 1945. Hitler killed himself in April, so the armistice was carried out by his second-in-command, the president of Germany Karl Dönitz. The armistice was signed on May 7th in Reims, France (which is in the region of Champagne) and the next day, May 8th, in Berlin, Germany. May 21st is the anniversary of France’s last major revolution. In May 1968, many students protested their rights and involvement in government, which was similar to what was going on in the United States around that time period. The youth of France wanted liberty, equality, and a separation from the conservative attitudes of the older generation. All of the factories throughout France had been closed for the whole month due to the strikes, so eventually the crisis was resolved through the Accords de Grenelle, set forth by Georges Pompidou. He increased salaries, gave more representation to unions, and gave workers 4 weeks of paid vacation. As a result of this revolution, Charles de Gaulle issues a referendum, asking the citizens of France if he should continue his administration or not, to which the French replied no. Charles de Gaulle then resigned, and Georges Pompidou was elected President of the Republic. The French celebrate all of these jours fériés by practicing their liberty and independence from their jobs, their schools, and even just the hassles of everyday life. This month, we should all be a little French, and take time to just stop and smell the roses.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V-E_Day Cours de Civilisation Française
Thank you to all who responded to last month’s “Do You Know.”
As many of our readers know, the Eiffel Tower was built for the 1889 World Exposition. Another exposition was held in Paris in 1900. What was the main technological advancement which was unveiled at this event which is still used today?
Answer: The métropolitain, or subway, was built in 1900 for the World Exposition.
This Month’s “Do You Know”
What architect was accredited with designing both the gardens at the Palace of Versailles and the Champs-Elysées?
“Planning a visit to Quebec province, I decided to attend a set of adult evening classes given by Nancy Scarselletta at a local high school. Her enthusiasm for, and knowledge of, the French language prompted me to sign up for further individual lessons. Over the last two years, I have come to appreciate Nancy’s vast experience –and infinite patience! — in teaching French with her unique emphasis on phonetics which she studied at the Sorbonne. In my opinion, French is not an easy language for English speakers given its unusual rules with multiple exceptions, potential liaisons, numerous irregular verbs, unfamiliar phonics, and plentiful idioms. I’ve appreciated Nancy’s approach and guidance throughout the course. And it’s been fun.”