BRASHER FALLS - The mousse was on the loose Tuesday afternoon in the St. Lawrence Central School cafeteria.
It was in cups and on plastic spoons. It was smeared on the floor. It was pasted on students faces. But, most importantly, it was in their mouth.
Now in its 11th year, the object of Tuesdays chocolate mousse eating contest was for a blindfolded student to shovel the mousse into his or her partners mouth as quickly as possible. The ingredients in the chocolate mousse include whipped cream, chocolate pudding and milk.
Altogether, 44 students participated in the activity coordinated by the French Club as part of their celebration of French Week.
We have a lot of eighth and ninth graders this year. That showed theyre interested in staying with it, said French Club Advisor David A. DeRushia.
After six preliminary rounds that featured three or four teams battling each other simultaneously, two semifinal rounds were held with the winners of rounds one, three and five battling it out in one contest and the winners of rounds two, four and six trying to outspoon each other in the other battle.
When the last of the mousse had been shoveled into a mouth, the winning team was Luke Mollella and Isaiah Lyons, who outpaced Anita Vodron and Barbie Foster in emptying their cup of mousse during the finals. Mr. Mollella and Mr. Lyons received, appropriately, a stuffed moose.
Chocolate mousse had a French connection, according to Mr. DeRushia.
Its a dessert in France. We kind of put our own spin on it, moose in Canada versus chocolate mousse in France, he said.
Tuesdays event was one of a number of activities taking place at the school as part of French Week, which began on Monday and wraps up on Friday.
Each day begins with a French song from Quebec thats played before homeroom, and a Quebec Fact of the Fact of the Day is read on the morning announcements.
On Monday, students created posters featuring famous people and places from Quebec. The posters are displayed around the school.
They also took part in a Scavenger Hunt, pairing up to search for French items around the school. They had a list of 60 items - written in French - and they had to not only find them, but also translate the words to know what they were looking for. The winner found 31 of the items, according to Mr. DeRushia.
Yesterday we had 25 participants in the Scavenger Hunt. They had 40 minutes to find the items. They were bothering the teachers, they were bothering the other students, he joked.
On Tuesday, in addition to the chocolate mousse eating contest, they learned about the province of Quebec.
Wednesdays activities include a lesson on Cirque de Soleil, including the history of the company and videos of the different shows they put on.
French students will participate in Game Day during their Thursday classes. Weather permitting, Mr. DeRushia said they will play French games outside.
The week wraps up on Friday with a school-wide Trivia Contest for grades five through 12 during their homeroom period; a Francophone Internet Scavenger Hunt for French students; and an American Red Cross Blood Drive sponsored by the French Honor Society.
Mr. DeRushia said one week each year is designated by the American Association of Teachers of French as French Week, and St. Lawrence Central is among the participants.
AATF is a professional organization founded in 1927 for French teachers in the United States. Teachers may be involved in primary, secondary or university education. Additionally, retired and student teachers are welcome. There are currently about 10,000 members in the organization.