Happy Mother’s Day!

Throughout the month of May, the celebration of mothers takes place.
As we all know, the responsibility of motherhood is huge, and the mental load can easily be very stressful.

This holiday exists so we can show appreciation to women who have an influence on our lives, whether it is our biological mother, our stepmother, our adoptive mother, a mother-to-be, a mother who has passed away, and the list goes on.
Hopefully we all have a mother figure in our lives that is there to support us, to help us make the right decisions, and to care for us. 

A bit of history…

This holiday has its own history, depending on the country. 

The celebration of a mother figure is known to have started in ancient Greece, when people celebrated Rhea, the Great Mother of the Gods.
During the 16th century, Christians used to celebrate Mothering Sunday in the UK, a very religious commemoration at the time that honored women and their children.
Mother’s Day, as we know it nowadays, started in the United States. The first women to desire to start this tradition were Julia Howe and Ann Jarvis, who campaigned for a peaceful celebration in the late 1800s. In 1908, the first Mother Day’s celebration took place as Ann’s daughter organized a private memorial for Ann, who had recently passed away.
This idea quickly spread throughout the whole country, even if the proposal to make it an official holiday was denied at first. Eventually, in 1914, the President of the United States accepted it as a national holiday, held every year on the second Sunday of May. After that, several countries all around the world followed up the tradition and officialised this holiday… But what about France?

Mother’s Day in France

The origins of this holiday in France are quite different from what I have just told you about.

In the early 1800s, the French emperor Napoléon I, thought of creating a day where people would celebrate mothers of large families. This idea did not come to life until 1896, as a way of motivating people to be more family-oriented and have more children. Shortly, during the first decade of the 20th century, mothers of big families were starting to get honored as much as the fathers. 

French people would have to wait until the end of World War I to start celebrating Mother’s Day inspired by the American tradition.
In 1918 a celebration took place to honor the women who lost their husbands in battle.  Mother’s Day became an official holiday in the following years, with the intention of celebrating and honoring mothers and their involvement in their family’s lives.
In 1950, a law was passed stating that Mother’s Day would occur every year on the last Sunday of May. However, if the Pentecost (Christian holiday after Easter) happens on that same Sunday, Mother’s Day is postponed to the first Sunday of June. And guess what? That is what is going to happen this year! Mother’s Day in France will be celebrated on June 7th of 2020.

The new way of celebrating Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day, which was first created to make mothers feel appreciated, has now been highly exploited. In fact, retailers quickly understood how this holiday could be beneficial for them and started to take advantage of it.

From Mother’s Day pre-made cards to expensive gifts, the commercialization of this holiday is one of the most successful ways to make money in most developed countries.

What could we do to make Mother’s Day less of a commercial holiday?

Well, there are a lot of possibilities! 

    • Instead of buying pre-made cards at your local supermarket, you could make your own.
      It is quite easy, fast and you have the power to do whatever you want to your card – make it simple or extravagant, you decide!
    • Write a letter to the mother figure you want to celebrate.
      Writing letters is a lost art. Unlike cards, which are meant to be aesthetically pleasing, take this chance to express yourself and tell them how much they mean to you.
    • Food, food, food!
      You could prepare her a little something to eat, in order to show her your appreciation. Whether it is breakfast in the morning or any other meal, this is a lovely idea that would make anyone happy.
    • A drawing goes a long way.
      The simplest things can bring the most happiness in life. If you are an artsy person, you could definitely draw something cute and give it to her as a gift.
    • Make use of your printer.
      Some moments are so special that they become part of the highlights of our lives. Do not hesitate to print a picture (or a picture collage) that means a lot to both of you.
    • Most importantly, do not forget to tell her how much you care about her.
      Sometimes we do not show much affection to the ones we care about the most. This is the perfect opportunity to remind them how important they are to you.

Hopefully, you enjoy this year’s Mother’s Day close to the women you appreciate the most in your life. If not, do not forget that distance does not invalidate your feelings. Cherish the sweet memories!
Also, keep in mind that there are various celebrations honoring other family members such as fathers and grandparents and they are just as important! Appreciate your relationship with others and keep on making great memories.

Entertainment and chill

We all know how busy and stressed out we can get with classes, and work, as part of student life. Sometimes we just want things to slow down for a bit, and enjoy ourselves in front of a great TV showor a book.
The new year started a few months ago and we have already been blessed with loads of new TV series, books, and even movies!
Let me help you through the (potentially annoying) process of choosing what to watch/read by giving you a few recommendations that will hopefully please you.

Don’t you love it when a TV show is so entertaining that it can make you feel every type of emotion, regardless of its nature, in every episode?
You can learn so much from them, and it is also a great conversation topic.
Here is my top two TV series that you should absolutely watch (and they’re both available on streaming platforms) :

Altered Carbon
This one was recommended to me by one of my closest friends and I fell in love with it from the get-go.
The first season of this series aired in February of 2018 on Netflix. It is an
adaptation of a novel also named
Altered Carbon, written by Richard K. Morgan and published in 2002.
The scene takes place in the future, and the technology is way more developed than we could ever imagine. People have, what they call,
a stack integrated into their bodies, which allows everything that they do and/or think to be recorded and stored. Bodies are just bodies – mentioned as “sleeves” throughout the show – meaning that they can be easily replaced. As an example, after your death, if your stack has not been touched, you can come back to life in another body. Rich people can afford whichever body they want.
As the show goes on, we follow
Takeshi Kovacs, a known soldier, coming back to life after being killed centuries ago. He was brought back to life by a tremendously rich person,Mr. Bancroft, who has a strenuous mission for him.

Without spoiling it to you, the show can get very dark and violent but the best part is that it also explores so many original concepts – the human body, the mind (the subconscious, dreams,..), our identity.
Each character has a purpose, and I cannot promise that you will not fall in love with one of them.
Season two of this TV show just aired on Netflix so it is not too late to catch up!
If you like
Science Fiction, this is the show for you.

If you’re down to laugh and enjoy yourself, this could be the show for you.
It has been out since 2015 and thanks to Twitter fans (#SaveLucifer) the series is still going on, and season five will come out during the Summer of this year – which gives you plenty of time to catch up if you have not watched it yet!
The storyline talks about
Lucifer Morningstar, also known as the Devil, who decided to come to earth to live a new, regular life away from the boredom that had become Hell. Owner of a nightclub, he lives his best life as no one believes he is literallythe Devil.
Throughout his adventures, he starts helping the Los Angeles Police Department solving crimes – especially thanks to his ability to make people confess to their deepest desires.
Chloe Decker, an LAPD detective, becomes then his partner and their relationship evolves throughout the whole series, full of intriguing drama.

If you love characters full of sassiness and loads of character development, you will have a blast.
The show has been nominated for several well-known awards: the Dragon Awards, the People’s Choice Awards, and the Teen Choice Awards.

If you are someone who also enjoys reading, I got you too! It is a great hobby to help you improve your concentration, vocabulary, social perception, and even practice a foreign language. I highly recommend you read the following books in English if you would like to improve your English skills.

The Shadow of the Wind
This magnificent fiction book was written by Carlos Ruiz Zafon and first published in 2001 – but it is timeless.
Daniel Sempere is a ten-year-old Spanish boy that loves to read. One day, he goes to a secret place known as The Cemetery of Forgotten Books and chooses a book – The Shadow of the Wind– that is going to change his life forever.
He finds himself on a mission to find everything he can about
Julian Carax, the author of the book, that has disappeared along with all the books that he had ever published. We follow his adventures filled with danger and excitement through his adolescence.
The story jungles between both of these two characters and we get to know how their lives are actually similar in several aspects…

A couple ofquotesfrom this book:

– “Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you.”
– “I could tell you it’s the heart, but what is really killing him is loneliness. Memories are worse than bullets.”

Do not let the length of the book throw you off! Give it a go if you wanna know more about the life of Daniel.

The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos R Zafron

Written by Megan Angelo and published in January of this year, this is her debut novelthat will make you question your online presence.
It talks about
Orla Cadeen, an unsatisfied blog writer that lives in New York in 2015.
Orla and her roommate,
Floss, both dream of finding true love and being known for their talents – writing and singing respectively. They strive for fame together and use the internet to become A-listers.
In parallel, we learn about
Marlow, a young woman that lives in 2051, and her day to day life – how everyone is recorded every single day with barely any privacy.
Technology’s evolution has a huge impact on people’s relationships, including the one with themselves.

The story is beautifully written to make you understand the role of social media in each character’s life – where their virtual life is way easier to achieve than real life.
This novel will show you that no matter how big technology is in our lives, we all crave for
real connectionswith other human beings at the end of the day.

Followers – Megan Angelo

Hopefully, I did not spoil you and my tips were of help! Now go, and enjoy some time off by watching/reading one of my recommendations.
Do not hesitate to leave more recommendations on the comment section!



Do not be scared to watch TV shows, movies or read a new book in English. This will definitely help you extend your vocabulary and knowledge of the language.
If you would like to practice your English even more, some students are organizing “Lunch in English” from Monday through Friday at 12.5pm in room 118 – it is the perfect opportunity to socialize in English.

What about Grenoble?

Finishing high school can be stressful, especially if you know that you will have to move out on your own. Choosing where you are going to study is a big step in every young adult’s life. Thousands of French students are in that situation every year, along with international students that decide to come to France for their studies.

How do you decide where you should go?

As a foreign student, it was very hard to decide where I wanted to pursue my studies but let me tell you why I ended up choosing Grenoble.

Grenoble by night – Source


The city itself

Grenoble, also known as the Capital of the Alps, is a French southeastern city in the middle of three mountains: Chartreuse, Vercors, and Belledonne. It is also the capital of the department of Isère in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region.
It is at a perfect distance from other cities like Lyon or Paris, which lets you explore France as often as you can during your studies.
The city is small enough to make you feel welcomed, but there is still a huge variety of things to do or visit!

Ski resorts
Grenoble is the perfect city if you love winter sports like skiing or snowboarding. If you have never had the chance to try them, this is also your chance to visit some ski resorts like Chamrousse or Les Deux Alpes.
It is a lovely opportunity to spend time with your friends during Winter, away from the city life.

The Bastille
It is one of the most known main sights in Grenoble. It is located on the Chartreuse mountain, and from up there, you get a magnificent view of the city and its surroundings. You can also find some really good jogging tracks and restaurants.
You are able to go there on foot, or you can sit and enjoy a ride on the cable cars and a view over the Isère, the river that crosses the city.

View of Grenoble from the Bastille – Source

Cultural activities
There are several outstanding museums in Grenoble such as the Museum of Grenoble which has an extensive painting collection, CNAC (National Center of Contemporary Art) that has several exhibitions in store throughout the year.
As of performance halls, the Palais des Sports is not very far from campus and it hosts several famous artists.
Also, one of the cinemas that I have tried and recommend, is La Nef because it will occasionally show movies with subtitles!

Continuer la lecture de « What about Grenoble? »

Sleepover at Polytech… (not really)

Since 2007, on the first Thursday of the month of December, La Nuit de l’Info takes place on several campuses in France.


What is La Nuit de l’Info about?

La Nuit de l’Info is a national competition where students, teachers, and companies come together and work on different challenges to develop a web application in one night.
This year, La Nuit de l’Info started on December 5th at 4:39pm, as the sun was
setting and it finished at 8:03am, the following morning.
To participate, teams of ten students each are created. This challenge is not only for computer science students, as students from other courses are welcomed to participate and bring new ideas to each project.
Each company proposes a different challenge and the eventual prizes that can go from gift cards to actual money.

I had the pleasure to meet up with Emma, a TIS3 student who participated at this event and was eager to tell me all about it!

– Could you please introduce yourself? Why did you want to take part in this project?

My name is Emma Theffo and I come from Reunion Island. I am studying Information Technology for Health at Polytech Grenoble.
When I heard about this project, I wanted to participate because I love adventure. I was very keen to try something that I have never done before and further my knowledge about Computer Science.

– Could you please introduce your team?

The name of my team was Polyglottesand it consisted of Gilles Mertens, Valentin D’Emmanuele, Bertrand Baudeur, Ethan Malecot, Paul Cirstea, Titouan Minier Mancini, Daphné Lambert, Mathis Mutel, Alexandre Soulard and myself. Everyone is a student at Polytech, besides Valentin who studies at Ensimag.
We had a coach that was there to guide us during our project. His name is Mathis and he works for
Sogeti, a company that provides technology and engineering services all around the world. However, no teachers were there to supervise us. All the work was done by students!

Selfie time for the Polyglotte team!

– What were the challenges proposed to your team?

This year’s main subject was “to increase the empowerment of students facing precarity”.
This subject was imposed on every team that participated in La Nuit de l’Info.
We could also choose five other challenges, and together we decided to choose:
“Escape from chaos monkey”, “A naming convention not like the others”, “Optimize your solution”, “Cartography”and “Sous la robe des LegalTech”.
Our main strategy to choose the challenges we wanted to work on, was quite
interesting …
(laughs)We actually made a choice based on how many teams were already working on it!
Unfortunately, we only had the time to do three out of the five challenges that we chose… We tried our best to cover all of the issues but sadly, our biggest problem was time! We did not feel like we had enough time to tackle everything… We really wanted to do the naming-convention challenge but we ran out of time before we could give it our best.
Mathis and I were kind of disappointed as we were trying to come up with a funny naming convention.
But on the brighter side, we
won twoout of those three! We came in first placein “Escape from chaos monkey” andthird placein “Sous la robe des LegalTech”.

– Would you recommend participating in this project?

If you like coding and are adventurous, you’re going to love this project!
The challenges were mostly done by the ones who were really good in computer science. Actually, everyone in my team had had classes of computer science before. Nonetheless, I would still recommend to try it out, even if you’re not very comfortable with coding.
You have to keep in mind that, even if you’re not coding, you still have other tasks to do such as choosing the website design, researching about the subjects so the websites can be created and full of information, and so on.
Oh… And don’t forget to cheer your friends up because when someone’s tired, they will need motivational words :).

– How did you manage to stay awake all night?

To stay awake, you need energy and energy comes from food!
We were given pizza, apple pie, apricot pie, and many sweets. Also, keep in mind that we had loads of Redbull cans which turned out to be very useful, along with other snacks that we brought ourselves.
To tell you the truth, it was really difficult to pull an all-nighter because I had classes afterward and I was feeling extremely tired.

– How did you like this experience?

This experience was outstanding! It was so much fun to do this with friends and to spend the night at Polytech.
Our coach, Mathis, was so funny and friendly. He was a big support system that really helped us to get through the night.
A few times during the night, I felt kind of useless but I would always find the
motivation to keep going and find new things to do and be helpful… I would say that it was a great experience overall and I am very proud of my team!

– Are you thinking about doing this next year?

Yes, why not! (laughs)
Hopefully next year, I will have the knowledge to help a bit more when it comes to coding.
I also found it very interesting that the main topic of La Nuit de l’Info, was an
actual topic that affects a lot of students in France and raises a lot of questions.

– Anything else you would like to add?

I would like to thank my teammates and our coach for everything that they’ve done. I hope you enjoyed it as much as me.
I encourage everyone that would be interested in La Nuit de l’Info to sign up next year and let’s get coding!

Did you know…?
During La Nuit de l’Info, several students rode the bicycles with mile trackers that were at Polytech to help the Telethon fundraising!