Learning the American way

By+El%C3%A9a-Marie+Gilles

By Eléa-Marie Gilles

Eléa-Marie Gilles

Religion is very important in the United States as compared to in Europe. Even for young or old people, students can show their religion in school. In France we can not in public school.

Freshman Sadia Moumita wears the hijab during school.
Freshman Sadia Moumita wears the hijab during school.
By Eléa-Marie Gilles
In France, we don’t pledge allegiance of our flag. I knew that occurred, but I didn’t know that the law recently changed to pass from one time a week to every day. I heard that a few people disagreed with that and that was a big subject of conversation between people who want to stop saying the pledge, others who would just change what it says and for others that is not a problem.
By Eléa-Marie Gilles
Students pledge allegiance to the American flag during the Homecoming assembly Oct. 30.
A lot of people show their political party very clearly (see below for the Republican party) and the political leader they affiliate with, either for Senate or the Presidential election. That was very surprising to see the man, alone, on the road side showing everyone his political affiliation. In France it is more taboo and it is not the way of people. Here a lot a people show their political opinion, and I have the impression that is not as taboo here as it is in France.

Man on the side of the road with Donald Trump endorsement posters on Oct. 8.
Man on the side of the road with Donald Trump endorsement posters Oct. 8.
Schools have their own bus for children and they use them just for that purpose. In France, the bus that we use to go to school is the same as we use go to everywhere. Everybody can use them — children on a school trip, old people for transportation, group trips and more. In France, the buses are famous because the color catches the eye. I think of it as similar the red London bus.
School bus arrives at Rock Bridge on Oct. 13.
School bus arrives at Rock Bridge on Oct. 13.
All the trophies are exposed and there are tons of them! I think I have never seen as many trophies in my entire life! People are very proud of what they’ve won, and they are very competitive, so they work a lot to be the best. In France, we don’t have as much as competition, and it is not only to the school to take care of that.
By Eléa-Marie Gilles
Trophies in the music room displaying awards.
For fall, people decorate their house. We do that in France, too. So what is the difference? You could ask me. I will tell you: I have never seen this many pumpkins before I came here! And I learned that here, people carve the pumpkins, and for me that is very cool! I usually just see that on Instagram or Pinterest.
By Eléa-Marie Gilles
Pumpkins in the garden at the back of the shop “My Secret Garden” on Oct. 15.
It was very funny to see this part of the band practice outside. For me that is something different. It made me think of a mini concert outside!
By Eléa-Marie Gilles
The front ensemble practices outside at 7:15 p.m. Oct. 13.
When I was to the Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival with my host family, I saw this man with a very American look. You can see the special hat, the aviator glasses, the plaid shirt, the bottles very vintage as the ECUSSONS. This man represented for me a typical American from the far west (again like in the movies!). It was a bit incredible to see that it is not just in the movie!
By Eléa-Marie Gilles
Man in the Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival Oct. 9.
Yesterday I was in downtown Columbia, and I discovered a lot of second-hand clothes on sale. In Paris there are a lot of this kind of shop, also in big cities. But not in the town where I live. I know it is not as big city as Paris, of course, but it was very good to see that Columbia has this kind of shop for a smaller city.
By Eléa-Marie Gilles
Maude Vintage Clothing & Costume, a second-hand clothes store in Columbia, MO.
Another very different thing between France and the United States is about the take-out box. In France if you do not finish your meal, the waiter just takes it and after you do not really know. I think all of it goes in the trash so there are a lot of food wastage. It is very simple but maybe one of the most intelligent ideas. I like that people can bring their meal home that they paid for, and there is less food waste! I think in a few restaurants you can ask if you want to have a box, but it is not common at all.
By Eléa-Marie Gilles
Take out box from the Flat Branch Pub & Brewing.
All photos by Eléa-Marie Gilles