Swiss-French Mom Speaks to Students

Local Swiss mom visits Classroom during recent (but late!)  3 Kings Day Celebration – 31 Jan 2012 :

Pres Kate Fitzgerald, Andrew & Tonia Brunk and VP Audrey Livingstone


Kate Fitzgerald, Andrew & Tonia Brunk and Audrey Livingstone pose with 3 Kings Cakes

Tania Brunk was born to Swiss missionary parents who spent 12 years sharing the Gospel in France.

Her formative school years were thus spent in France near the French-German border.

Married to an American Air Force officer, Tania is back in the area with her family. She and her 3 year old Andrew recently visited Summit to talk to French students. Having spent last year in a tiny Swiss village of 1200 inhabitants, Tania was able to share both earlier and more recent cultural insights

Speaking only in French to the six seniors in French 4, Tania talked about the differences in the two cultures.  She then stayed on for French Club and shared in English some more about the European way of life.

French Club members carefully bit into 3 Kings Cake looking for the ‘fève’ or dried bean (use used a marble!) which would announce his or her royal status.  French 1 student Jordan Dempsey was crowned ‘Le Roi’.

Tania misses the following aspects of French/Swiss life:

  • Freedom for her children.  Her 5 and 7 year old were expected to walk without parents to school. Switzerland and France ‘feel’ safer.  People trust one another more.  Here in America, a climate of fear is cultivated by adults.
  • Students have 1 ½ hours to 2 hours to eat lunch.
  • If a student doesn’t have a class and has a block of time in the middle of the day, he is free to leave school.
  • Young children ages 5 to 8 have as much time as they need to develop into readers.
  • Most young people learn a trade in Switzerland and trades are respected.
  • Comic Books are sophisticatedly written for a double audience, children and adults.
  • If she met a person who self-identified as a Christian, that person truly was, unlike here in America.
  • The limited choices in extracurricular activities offered to children, so life is less rushed.
  • Mealtime with families is more relaxed.

Merci Tania!  Nous espérons te revoir bientôt.



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