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Farewell letter from France

April 16, 2014

 Another "Semester in France" study abroad experience draws to a close and faculty member Rose Clark shares some parting thoughts. 


The time is drawing near to say farewell to France and yes the tears have already started flowing. Reflecting back, we can all say Wow! What a busy March and April!! The student’s had a wonderful trip to Paris with Gerry Honigsblum leading the way. They visited a host of museums and explored the city for a week learning about amazing artists. Gerry also arranged for the students to meet with a two practicing artists in Paris. It was a very educational trip and I have heard so many good stories about Paris. I unfortunately missed the trip to attend a chemistry conference in Chicago.

The students left from Paris to go on a two week Spring break tour of Europe. There were SFU students in Ireland, Scotland, England, Germany, and Italy. My son Eddie and I actually ran into two students at the London Tower Bridge. It was amazing after crossing the bridge I was busy looking around at the buildings and I hear Eddie talking to someone. I turn around and there stand Alyssa Smith and Sara Vallelunga. We were all laughing at the probability of accidentally meeting up in London on Spring break. You are probably confused as well since Eddie and I were just in Chicago, Il. After the chemistry conference we headed back to Pennsylvania for a visit and then to Europe a few days before classes started. Our trek back to Ambialet included Paris, at trip through the Channel Tunnel to London, and Bordeaux.

After Spring Break everyone has refocused their energies to school. We have had a couple of diversions of course. I think all of the students have made it down to jump in the Tarn River with the wonderful temperatures we have been having. Lisa Gentile hosted a dinner for everyone at her house down in Ambialet, which was great fun. We have also been enjoying time with Fr. Malachi and Fr. John Mark this Palm Sunday weekend. There was a lovely concert in the church on Saturday night with performances by local artists playing the Harpsichord, piano, bass, and flute. Mass on Sunday was absolutely beautiful with Père Jammes, Fr. Malachi, and Fr. John Mark celebrating mass together. The students all participated by providing assistance with readings, doing the passion reading in French, and singing during the mass. It was wonderful to see the church filled with smiling faces from the Priory and the surrounding villages.

It has truly been an amazing experience and I encourage you if you get the chance to study/teach/travel abroad. The learning potential is endless.

Au revoir,

Rose Clark, Ph.D.
Department Chair and
Professor of Chemistry