It’s like Paris in the Spring…

well not exactly but Spring is finally here in Western France and we are enjoying our half term break! (Classes here run until the first week in July!) Some of the students remained on campus over the break to take the GCSE examinations. (University of Cambridge certified and graded exams.) Of course we were busy prepping the students and Philip had many visits in the form of worried students with last minute questions about the Classical Civilization examination. By the way, the students think they did very well on the exam.

In other news we returned home from an afternoon shopping trip to find some of the students playing American baseball. (Have you ever seen British and French boys trying to play baseball? Let’s just say I now understand why it’s an all American pastime!)Anyway Mr. G couldn’t resist a turn at bat and while the first pitch was a swing and a miss the second ball went out of the park, or at least over the fence. (I verify the truth of this statement.)

We also received this lovely gift for the twins from one of the senior boys, Ambroise, and his family: lovely matching outfits! However some gifts offered last week were, oh, let’s just say, a little less then welcome? We passed on a stray cat offered by some senior boys. (Although we did feed the little guy. To be honest it was rather hard to refuse but with all the small creatures already living in this cottage I think adding another would violate some sort of French health code law. I joke…sort of.) Oh, and we passed on the baby badger too. We sent food instead. The stray cat is still around; must have been the food…

We have also been busy harvesting strawberries which we have been enjoyed on our Whit Sunday picnic or when the need arises for a sweet refreshing treat! They are delicious! (Pictured here in the least photogenic pot I own.)

Happy Spring and good luck to the remaining students who are continuing to take their GCSE exams this week!

About thechavagnesexperience

Philip Gonzales, BA, MA, Mphil is a full time teacher at Chavagnes International College and that includes all the tasks involved in living at a boarding school: being on rotation for early morning wake-ups, nighttime dorm duties, supervising study halls, participating in daily communal meals, and the like. He teaches philosophy, classical civilization, religion and boxing mostly to the senior students in the upper school. He has earned a four year baccalaureate degree in Philosophy from Ave Maria University, an advanced Masters degree as well as an MPhil degree from the Institute of Philosophy at the Katholieke Universiteit of Leuven in Belgium and is now actively pursuing his doctorate. His travels in pursuit of his PhD have taken him to Poland to the University of Warclow and to the University of Maynooth in Ireland. Throughout his academic career he has been award an Academic Merit Scholarship at Ave Maria University, the Roby Scholarship from Thomas More College of Liberal Arts to study for a semester in Rome, as well as another Academic Merit Scholarship from KU Leuven to complete his MPhil degree. He has taught at the American College of Louvain in Leuven Belgium. He also has membership as a Junior Member of the International Hermeneutics Society and is a member of the International Association for the Study of the Philosophy of Edith Stein. His PhD dissertation is concerned with the philosophy of Edith Stein and Eric Przywara and their reinterpretation of the analogy of being. Sarah Gonzales, BA MA is a part time English teacher at Chavagnes International College. She also contributes to the pastoral support of the College and her students. Having transferred from Thomas More College of Liberal Arts to Ave Maria University she earned a four year baccalaureate degree in Literature. Her thesis pertained to Virginia Woolf’s work and the language of images and time as presented in the form of the modern novel. She also received an advanced Master’s degree in European Studies from the Katholieke Universiteit of Leuven writing her thesis on the concept of the Nation and the Nation State with the specific case study of Northern Ireland. She has been awarded a Rotary Club Scholarship for her excellence in community service, as well as the Roby Scholarship awarded to aid her studies in Rome. Sarah also has experience teaching religious education as well as figure skating to students of varying ages. She currently enjoys living in France where she raises her children and is free to pursue a variety of interests at her leisure.
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