Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hey Rouje… ne ple-ures pas!

This was week was bittersweet. Although there were no classes, and exams were over, my class, or promotion, as we say in French, X2008*, stayed until the final get together Friday night. I packed up my stuff and left Saturday morning

*2008 is the year of entry of this class, X is the thing you prepend to represent Polytechnique. Why X? Because one of the emblems of Polytechnique involves two swords criss-crossed in a X form. Plus P doesn’t sound as cool.

Alexandre, portuguese friend, helping me move out!
Read on about the symphony concert, and the Polytechnique rendition of Hey Jude, don't make it bad (hint, see title of this post)

Symphonix Concert

On Wednesday, I played in a concert as part of SymphoniX. SymphoniX is the student orchestra completely run by students  (so OCO, without Diana, plus alternating student conductor). 

Gabriel, the conductor, and I… Au revoir, Gabriel!

We got an audience of about 150 people! I guess that shouldn’t be surprising given the size of the school.


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I’ve also been part of a quintet all semester long. We played Dvorak’s piano quintet, 2nd movement (Dumka). 

Our (almost) weekly rehearsals were at first hard for me as I didn’t understand all the French music terminology (for example, they use solfege instead of letters for notes). Towards the end though, I started to get the hang of it and it was quite enjoyable.

(L to R). Alexandra, Laurent, your’s truly, Aurore (piano), and Pierre. See you guys! I’m going to miss our late night rehearsals!

Passing of the flag

The official ceremony of the week happened on Friday, when the minister of defense of France arrived to lead the “passing of the flag”, symbolizing the transition from X2008 (the students who are leaving now; I’m a part of this group) to X2009. 

I spy an American flag…

The ceremony was rather official, involved horses carrying laterns, and concluded with the singing of the song of X2008.

Hey, Rouje, ne pleure pas

Afterwards, there was a grand show, called “Amphi Départ”. This was a 4-hour long show basically trying to compress X2008’s last 2 years here into a few hours of sketches, songs, and videos.

I was astonished by the amount of organization and preparation that went into it. First the spectacle took place in two concurrent lecture halls/theatres. Scenes and people would transition between the two theaters seamlessly with video.

It was quite ridiculous, funny (when I could understand the puns), and touching!
Near the end, was this:

The words:
Hey Rouje, ne pleures pas.
Hey Rouje*, don’t cry

*Rouje, an intentional mispelling of the French word for red, Rouge, is the nickname of the 3rd year promotion. X2009 is called Jaune (yellow). Rouge et  jaune are two colors of X.

Seches tes larmes et chantes avec moi
Dry your tears and sing with me

Le souvenir de tes plus belles années
Remember your best years here

Une derniere fois avant d’y aller
One last time before leaving

Au revoir, Polytechnique!

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