Meet our Majors

Foreign Languages Questionnaire

Julie Hippen
Julie Hippen is our 2014/2015 Major of the Year.

Name: Julie Hippen

Major: French

Year at UNO:  junior

Hometown: I was born in Lake Charles, La., however I grew up in and around the Baton Rouge area.

Favorite book/author (French, Spanish or other): I am in the process of reading a French children's book called Le Club Des Cinq et le Trésor de L'île. Although my favorite French book is a little book I like to read to my five year old daughter at bedtime called Qui veut un bisou?

Favorite musical group: As far as groups go, I like "Train" and "Maroon 5."

Favorite musical solo artist: I enjoy early jazz; so I like artists like Louie Prima, Ella, and Louis. But I also enjoy some French artists like Shy'm and Carla Bruni.

Favorite actor/actress: Matt Damon, Denzel Washington, and Bruce Willis are just a few of the actors that I like. If you ask me to choose my overall favorite, I would have to say Gary Cooper.

Hobbies: I used to like to read; however with school I generally only get a chance to read my assignments for school. I really like music. I find playing my piano or flute to be very relaxing. Also, my family is very important to me; so I make every opportunity to spend as much time with them as I am able.

Francophone or Hispanic person (living or deceased) whom you most admire and why: Of all the French historical figures that I have learned about, I admire Lafayette the most. Because he believed in the reason the British colonists had gone to war with England, he defied a royal command and joined the Continental Army at 19. After he returns home a hero, he becomes one of the spokesmen for democracy at the beginning of the Revolution. Even after he is jailed, he and his wife continue to speak about democracy. The biggest reason I admire him is that he was born into a family of privilege with money, position, and education; yet he was willing to leave all of that to fight in a war that could not help his position, merely because he believed in the idea of democracy. After he came home, he desired to see France embrace democracy and he was willing to go to jail for it. He was a man willing to act and sacrifice for his beliefs. And when things did not go well, he was not deterred.

Favorite French or Spanish word(s) or expression(s) and why: Enseigner, c'est apprendre deux fois. I can fully relate to this proverb. I have five children and have home schooled all of them. My oldest just graduated from UNO in May, the next two are in college, and I am still teaching the younger two. Because of this I really understand this statement.

Most memorable French or Spanish-related moment(s) at UNO and why: I am an older student that had wanted to go back to school for years. Finally, when I had the opportunity, I went back; however I really did not know what I should major in. (I have a lot of interests.) I was asking Dr. Augier a few questions about some verbs, when out of the blue I just asked, " Do you think I could do this? Do you think I could major in this?" and then without hesitation he said, "Yes, definitely!" I guess it was just one of those light bulb moments; but it was also very encouraging. Not only did I now have a goal, but someone that had already been there thought I was up to the task.

The main reason(s) I study a foreign language: I suppose there are a lot of reasons why I feel that learning a foreign language is important. The world is becoming smaller and smaller and it helps you to be globally minded to learn about other cultures and languages. Yet probably the biggest reason I chose to learn another language is just because I enjoy people and simply enjoy talking with them. I find learning about other cultures very interesting. Countries visited and when: When I was in high school I took a trip to Mexico for a week. The only other place I have visited is the Bahamas. I went to Harbor Island, Bahamas in 1995 after hurricane Andrew went through there to help out with the rebuild.

Graduate school/career plans: Although I would like to go to graduate school, I am not sure exactly what I want to go for. I would like to learn more French; but I am also considering getting a masters in teaching English as a second language.

Do you communicate in French or Spanish outside the classroom? If so, with whom and in what situations? There is no one in my home that speaks French; however I try to talk as much as I can to my two youngest children. My daughter, Lydia, likes it when I talk to her in French. We will read stories at bedtime, I ask her questions in French, and even tuck her in bed in French. When I tuck her in at bedtime I tell her, « Je t'aime» and she knows to say, « Moi, aussi». But it is a bit difficult to have long conversations when she does not really know a lot. Still, it's a start. :)