It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

                A few years back an office/school supply store ran an ad featuring a parent and two kids shopping for ‘back to school supplies’. This popular Christmas song, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” played in the background. The parent was in ecstasy dancing up and down the aisles dropping pencils, notebooks and backpacks into a shopping cart while the children (one boy, one girl – of course) followed behind, arms crossed, sulking and dragging their feet. Pretty clear message, if I do say so myself.

                Anyway, for me, it really is a wonderful time of the year. While my eldest is now school age, I’m happily going to officially start homeschooling her this year. Sorry indoctrinating, French, socialist, public school in town; I have heard too many bad things about you. And I will begin teaching at the College this academic term for the first time since the birth of the twins! Classes started and we are now a few days into the school year and I’m thrilled. I have students from France, England, Spain, Malta and South Africa. They have so much potential. I just love teaching; I love the former students returning with big smiles, I love meeting the new ones with shy promising faces, and I love the eager look of anticipation and hope on all those faces when I begin a new year with them.

                So while I’m sure that I don’t share the same reason for my joy with the parent in the commercial mentioned before, at the end of the day we are both pretty darn happy this time of year. So cheers to happy parents, joyful teachers, and young minds all thirsting with the expectancy and love of learning that only the opening of a new school year can bring!

                The photo I have put in this post is just one of the three of us looking happy. As it turns out my camera is back in the U.S. where we spent our summer holidays with my family. All my photos were deleted somehow and so I left it in the capable hands of my Dad hoping that he will be able to recover the lost photos! Until then happy new school year!



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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5 Responses to It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

  1. Me says:

    Happy homeschooling!

  2. laure says:

    Hello, is there anyway to contact you by email ? We are living next to Nantes for the moment and are planning to come back to Chavagnes next year, where I come from..I would be happy to meet you.

    • Hi Laure,
      So nice to hear from you! I’m glad you will be moving back to Chavanges! I got your facebook message and will send you my email address! I have been very behind on blogging but look forward to meeting you soon. Keep me posted on the move and we can give you a tour of the College. 🙂

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