This article is one of a series of posts dedicated to our latest project, Humans of La Tour. Inspired by the successful Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton, Humans of La Tour is comprised of a series of journalistic portraits created by the Journalism students at La Tour. They seek to highlight a few of the many people who make up the La Tour community: those we see every day as our professors and classmates, as well as those whose hard work and dedication keep the school running smoothly on a daily basis.
Each portrait was created by an Anglophone Section student in Ms. Temple’s Journalism Elective as part of their final project for the Spring Semester 2021.
By Marie-Sigrid MAGNIER (2EA)
It is always interesting to see how two siblings can grow to be completely different people when they had most of the same experiences. A good example of this would be the Leclerc siblings, Mathilde and Oscar. These two French siblings came back to Paris in September 2020 after two years living in New York. They left Paris for New York because of their father’s job. During their first year in New York, Mathilde and Oscar studied in an American school which they left the following year to go to the Lycée Français. They are now back in Paris, studying at La Tour.
The first difference between these siblings would probably have to be their answer to the question, “What would you say is your biggest achievement?” Mathilde’s answer was that a couple years ago, she and some friends created their own startup called Eco Pack. “It was based on a pack to help people reduce their waste by changing from a plastic to a wooden toothbrush and from a plastic water bottle to a reusable metal one and much more,” she said. While her younger brother, Oscar, explains that he was especially proud of winning a rugby tournament with his team from the “stade francais”.
Another big difference between the two is how they relate to the different places they have been. For example, when I asked what has been one of your best experiences, Oscar’s answer was “to go to La Tour and make many new friends,” while Mathilde’s first answer was about something she did in New York, which was her experience of being in a swim team where she won competitions and made many friends and memories. She later changed her answer to her experience in the INSEAD summer camp. This is a summer camp which she particularly enjoyed this past summer because it was about business, something she’s very interested in and where she made several friends who shared the same interest as her. We can tell that she associates her best memories first with New York and then with Paris while her brother does the opposite, thinking first of his experiences in Paris.
But after all, even if their personalities are completely different, they both agreed on some things. Such as how different their lives are here compared to when they lived in New York. Starting with the food, the culture, and the fact that housing is separated according to streets in France, while in America you have blocks which completely changes the way of life for them. Another thing they agreed upon was the differences in the way people celebrate holidays between the two cultures. For example, the Halloween and Thanksgiving parades that took place in America don’t happen here in France. One thing that has taken some getting used to is the fact that people don’t celebrate Thanksgiving and fewer people go out to celebrate Halloween in Paris than in America, which to them was a little bit weird at first and they had two get used to it. While interviewing the siblings it was particularly interesting to see that even if they had completely different identities and personalities, both still had a similar perception of things, especially on their bicultural experiences.