Happy Thanksgiving!



I will pause for a minute as a courtesy to my American readers while the shock subsides because, as they know, Thanksgiving was over two months ago! This post has been sitting on the dashboard for a while. Let’s hope, that like a good wine, this post has gotten better with age. Here goes…

On November 22nd Americans celebrated Thanksgiving and we, living farther afield from our homeland, still carried on this lovely holiday tradition with our family and American students. It is one of my favorite times of the year; a time to give thanks, to remember our blessings, and to share good food with family and friends.

The memories of past Thanksgivings also make this time of year one of my most loved. Celebrations were a big deal in my family and my Mom and Dad made sure that everyone had a “marvelous time”, as my Mother would say, when the days remembering births, feast days, holidays, and other celebrations of varying degree would arrive. Although we did still miss all the Aunties, Uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, and sister’s-in-laws, nieces and nephews again this year! But in my own small way, I try to carry on this tradition with my children. Which of course means, among other things, spending days in the kitchen with my girls cooking and baking, laughing and talking, enjoying the preparations for the holiday just as much as the day itself.


So this year there were two American students who joined us, happily being freed from evening study periods and other such activities. John, who has been with us for every Thanksgiving, and become a regular fixture at our Thanksgiving table, celebrated with us. And another new face, Steven joined us as well. This will mostly likely be our only Thanksgiving with him as he was just accepted to Thomas Aquinas College in California, which is also the Alma Mater of one of my own brothers! We are very happy for him and he will be leaving us at the end of the academic year.

So although this post is late in coming we wish that each of you who celebrated Thanksgiving truly enjoyed it, and, for those of you would did not, we hope that you can pause, if only for a moment, to give thanks.



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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