Questions for a French Freshman

You’ve seen her walking around campus, and you’ve heard her contagious laugh and distinct French accent in the Dobbs University Center (DUC). But just who is Valerie Salmon? Valerie is a pre-BBA freshman in the College who is also majoring in Economics. She is a native of Paris, France and a member of the Emory Crew team. The Wheel sat down with Valerie and asked about her experiences in America, her likes and dislikes and her perfect date for this Valentine’s Day.


What is something cliche that all French people say about Americans?
Americans are terrible at geography. I had a friend who posted this on Facebook: “Spending a week in Rwanda in July!! … To my American friends: Rwanda is a country in Africa.”

Favorite French saying?
“Qui ne tente rien, n’a rien.” It means “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

Favorite American saying?
“Don’t let the bedbugs bite” and “Holy cow!”

What is the biggest difference between France and the U.S.?
Size. For everything. Here, you ask for a small Coke … your small here is our tall in France.

Favorite American celebrity?
Scarlett Johansson.

Least favorite celebrity?
Kim Kardashian

Favorite and least favorite American food?
Favorite: blueberry pancakes. Least favorite: your salad dressings.

What’s the weirdest thing Americans do?
You guys use Ricolas as cough drops. In France, they’re just candies.

What do you bring back to Emory from France after every vacation?
Milka chocolates!

You’re directing a movie based on your life. Who do you cast as yourself?
That’s hard. You’d need a tall actress. I like Julia Roberts. She’s always smiling.

What era of the past would you most like to go back and visit? Why?
The Enlightenment. I could have a long conversation with Voltaire and [Jean-Jacques] Rousseau — to remake the world over drinks. Voltaire went to my high school in France. That’s actually not a joke, he did.

What would be your chosen superpower? Would you use it for good or evil?
I’d snap my fingers and be able to teleport — for good! So I could travel quickly.

If you won an Olympic medal for any activity, what would it be?
I’m good at keeping very long friendships with people I’ve known from different countries.

You’re thrown in jail for a bad habit. What bad habit would it be?

Weapon of choice in a zombie apocalypse?
Harry Potter’s wand.

Describe your typical Thursday night:
Crew practice, dinner at the DUC with the team, shower and library until late. But factor in some time for chilling. Like watching a movie or answering emails. Or Facebook.

Favorite thing about Emory?
The people I’ve met, how beautiful the campus is … and Emory Crew!

Least favorite thing about Emory?
Housing: it is extremely difficult for different genders to live together.

Best place to eat on campus?

Favorite place on campus?
Lullwater Park

Your perfect date?
The bar on a top floor of a nice hotel with a stunning view. And the perfect guy would be there, of course. Somewhere like The Sundial at the Westin Peachtree. It’s an awesome place.

Flowers or candy?
Flowers! Roses anglaises or garden roses. Way more romantic than the red ones.

—By Jenna Kingsley