‘Written version of the spoken text’
Presentation of Margaux
My name is Margaux,
Little Miss Sunshine is my nick name. Everyone calls me like
that because I am always happy and I am very social.
Maybe I am a little bit too social sometimes. Before
starting at University college, a day was organized to get to
know the other students. We had to take the train to go
somewhere. On the train, I went to sit next to everyone,
just to speak to them for a little while and to get to know
them. When the train stopped in the station, I changed
wagons sometimes, just to be able to get to know as much
people as I can.
Anyway, lots of people call me little miss sunshine. I even
have a key hanger in the shape of little miss sunshine and
I love to laugh, eat nice food and dance!
I hate people who lie!
I joined the research because I have dyslexia and
dysorthography. This means that I have a learning disability
that influences my accuracy and fluency in reading and
Look, this is me, when I was just a little girl. My mom says I have been happy and smiley ever since I
was a little. Even on baby pictures you can catch me smiling all the time.
I believe that you have to search for your own happiness and that you have to enjoy life as much as
Presentation of Margaux’s family
My family means a lot to me.
Let me present them to you…
Margaux’s youngest brother
This is my youngest brother Christophe.
We are very tight and do a lot of stuff together.
He has his own company in ‘cleaning works’.
He loves Air planes and movies.
He hates fish.
Margaux’s oldest brother
This is my oldest brother, Mathias. He always wants to protect me and my brother. Both of my
brothers have dyslexia and dysorthography as well.
They have both accomplished quite a lot, they are both self-employed.
Mathias works as a land surveyor.
He Loves RAFC (Royal Antwerp Football Club).
He hates prejudices.
Margaux’s mum
This is my mum.
She works as a debt counselor. She and my dad have a company together.
They have to work a lot and we don’t get to see them so often, but when we do get to spend quality
time we have so much fun!
My mum always told me that it’s not because I have dyslexia and dysorthography, that I’m less than
someone else. She always told me I could do whatever I want to do! The support from my parents
and my brothers is very important to me.
My mum loves a quiet holiday with the family.
She hates salmon.
Margaux’s dad
This is my dad.
He works as a bailiff and is working in the same company as my mum. I really look up to my parents
and what they have accomplished.
I look a lot like my dad. He’s also happy all the time and is very social.
My dad loves nice food.
He hates fights.
Margaux’s dogs
And finally I want to present you my two dogs, Flinn and Flack.
They are the newest members of the family, but I couldn’t live
without them anymore!! Aren’t they adorable?
They love cookies.
They hate going to the vet without each other.
Now, you have met my entire family. I wanted you to meet them, because they are very important to
me!! They couldn’t be missing in the portrait. I always had a lot of support from my family.
Doll of Little Miss Sunshine
This is a small doll, that is standing on my desk and always nods yes -.
Whenever I feel down, I just look at it. It always gives me courage.
Leo Club
I am very active in the Leo club!
Leo Club is a youth organization of Lions Clubs
International. The word L E O stands for Leadership,
Experience, Opportunity.
The Leo Club’s goal is to provide the youth of the
world (with) an opportunity for development and
contribution, as responsible members of the local,
national and international community."
Leo Club members are addressed as “Leos”. We, as
Leos are encouraged to develop leadership qualities
by participating in social service activities. These
activities can have focus on for example children,
elders and persons with a disability. Leos also raise funds for several projects.
The reason why I joined the Leos, was because I wanted to meet new people and also because I
wanted to help people who are facing some difficulties. Further, I really wanted to do something with
children. Now I’m organizing activities for children within special youth care. These are children who
have been placed out of their homes, because of a problematic education situation. For instance,
now, we’re going to organize a trip to Bellewaerde, an attraction park in Belgium.
Being part of the Leos is really important to me. I have a lot of friends within the Leo’s club and I am a
very active member. Besides organizing activities, I often contribute in organizing events, like parties
or also in fundraising.
My mum organizes a lot of things. I also feel like organizing stuff is something that has been running
through my vains forever. For instance, during high school, I was always the one in charge of the rose
and donut sale.
Partly that’s how I decided to study Event Management. So far so good. I am very serious about myy
studies. Getting a good diploma is very important to me. As my entire family, I am very ambitious.
Later, I really want to obtain my own spot in society. I want to mean something.
My friends tell me that I am ambitious, because during my last internship I was involved in a pretty
big project and I always want to do everything perfect. It’s the reason why I participated in the Leo’s
International experiences
With the Leo Club I was able to do international exchanges through Europe and the entire world.
When I was 18, I went to Germany and I stayed there for one month. This was a youth camp, so I got
to know a lot of new people. I still have a lot of contact with the other youngsters from the camp.
The atmosphere in Germany was the most fun, compared to the other exchanges.
I was nineteen when I went to Japan with the Lions club. I stayed there for two months. The first two
weeks we spent on a youth camp with all the other young people. The rest of the time I stayed in
host families. In the area where I stayed, they hadn’t see any foreigner in a long time.
I stayed in four different host families in Japan. This was my first host
This was the second host family where I stayed.
Here you can see the third family.
Finally, on this picture you can see me and my last host family in
Can you see me on this picture? It was taken with the other
youngsters who went on an exchange to Japan.
When I was 20 I went on an exchange to Mexico. I stayed there one month and a half.
This is a group picture in Mexico.
We took a picture with all the youngsters in Tepic, Mexico.
And here you can see my host family in Mexico…
This is a girl from Finland. I met her during this exchange in
Mexico and we are still in touch with each other.
After all these exchanges, we also had someone coming
over at our place. It was a boy from India. The problem is
that my parents are always working, so we couldn’t do a
lot of stuff with him as a family.
Since I have already been on a few exchanges with the Leos, I
kind of knew what to expect from being far from home. So it
wasn’t such a big step for me as it is for some other people.
I mainly wanted to go on Erasmus for the experience. I am a very
social person, so an important reason to go on Erasmus was to
meet new people. Also, I have always been interested in
different cultures as you can see from all the exchanges I did, so
getting to know the French culture was a stimulant to go as well.
Further, I think it’s good to put on your CV. When you have
international experiences it’s an advantage when you are
looking for a job. Yes, I am ambitious, it runs in the family ;)
A final reason to go on Erasmus was to become more
independent. Even though I think I was already quite
independent, I wanted to enhance this quality.
Erasmus – Besançon
I went on Erasmus to Besançon. Here you can see a picture from
the city.
My first choice was to go to Montpellier with another girl from my
class. When my school told me that we wouldn’t be able to go
there, I gave up Dublin as a second choice. In this way I would be
able to improve my English. In the end that didn’t go through
neither, but they told me I was able to go to Besançon. So, it wasn’t
my first choice to come over here  My friend decided not to go on Erasmus to Besançon, because
she had her mind set on Montpellier..
Despite all the changes of destination, I was determined to go on Erasmus. The only thing that would
have been able to keep me home, would have been my family, moreover if there would have
happened something to my parents or brothers, I don’t think I would have had left to France.
I didn’t feel like I had to face extra barriers to go on Erasmus. Because my parents sent me on
language camps ever since I was a little girl, I was used to different languages. So despite my dyslexia
and dysorthographia I didn’t really saw the language as a barrier. I got extra time to do my exams as
well, so that also made it easier for me to deal with the French language.
Going on Erasmus is different than the other exchanges I did. You go to classes and in the evenings
you hang out with friends. It’s different from the other exchanges because then I stayed in host
families and the focus was more on getting to know a different culture.
During Erasmus, the social contacts are more on the foreground. There are a lot of parties and gettogethers.
When I think about Erasmus now, the first things that I think
about are my friends and my small room – because that was a
huge adjustment compared to the large room I have at home.
If you look carefully then you can see the doll of little miss
sunshine on my desk. This is the doll that I told you about in
the beginning, that always nods and makes me feel better. I
take it with me everywhere I go.
When you ask me about the meaning of Erasmus, I would have to
answer: “the good friends that I made”. A while ago, we did a
reunion already with some friends from Erasmus. The connection
that we have, is very special and means a lot to me. This is a
picture from the group of people that I used to hang out with
during Erasmus. The friends I made are mostly Erasmus students
as well. It was very hard to get to know the French students,
because they kept their distance and weren’t willing to go and
have a drink with us for instance. They were prepared to give
their notes and everything, but we never met up with them
outside of classes. Furthermore, when looking back at my time in
Besançon, I feel like I accomplished my goal of becoming even
more independent, although I was already quite independent.
My Erasmus has had an influence on my future perspectives.
After my Erasmus experience, I knew that I wanted to go
abroad again and I have decided to study one more year
Final note from the researcher
When we asked Margaux how she wanted to make this portrait, she immediately told us that she
wanted to do something with pictures. Margaux loves pictures and has a lot of them from her, her
family and friends. The next thing she mentioned, was that it was important for her to involve her
family in the portrait, because they play a central role in her life.
Furthermore, Margaux told us about ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ and what it means for her. Throughout
Margaux’s story, it became clear to us that ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ is a metaphor which is very present
in her life. Friends call her like that because she is always happy and smiling. Also, she has a lot of
pictures, a doll and a key hanger of Little Miss Sunshine.
Because this metaphor is so present in her life, we decided to watch the movie ‘Little Miss Sunshine’.
After watching it, we noticed that Margaux had more similarities with the main character of the
movie than just being happy. The movie is about a very close family that sticks together in order to
pursue Little Miss Sunshine’s goal. As researchers we found similarities with Margaux, because her
family is very close as well. Margaux and her two brothers both have dyslexia and dysorthography,
but they always had a lot of support from their parents and from each other. Together, they walk the
same road in order to pursue their goals.
Because of all these reasons we, the researchers, decided to put this theme of ‘Little Miss Sunshine’
central to Margaux’s portrait, along with her family and the pictures.