A senior looks back—and plans for a bright future
January 28, 2010 By Laura Pasley
term on Centre's campus. This spring, she will be taking part in
the Centre-in-Strasbourg program.
One of Pasley's two internships was working for Ben Chandler,
who represents Kentucky in the U.S. House of Representatives.
This has been most common response I get when I tell other Centre students what I’m doing next semester.
So I tell them again: I'm living abroad in Strasbourg, France, for my final semester as a student at Centre College.
“Why?!” is usually peoples’ next question.
Studying abroad is no rare act at Centre. What is unusual (in the minds of other students at Centre) is that I would choose to do it in my last term. Nearly all my friends who have graduated in years past had to be forcibly removed from their dorm rooms by the Department of Public Safety because they didn’t want to leave. Okay—not really. But when I tell these friends I'm choosing to spend my last days at Centre in another country, many are dumbfounded.
I always thought I'd be like them, dreading the day I had to leave my home for the past four years: Centre Dear. But when the opportunity arose to study abroad my senior year, I was offered the perfect ending to the perfect experience I’ve had at Centre.
As an English major with an over-active imagination, I tend to look at real life like a text that needs to be analyzed. In this instance, my first year at Centre offered quite a bit of foreshadowing for my last. My first semester at Centre, I took a class with Dr. Ken Keffer called “French Thought and Art.” I was one of only three first-year students in the class, and it was my only elective that term, but I thought to myself, I like French, I love art but never really got to explore it, and philosophy might be cool... I’ll do it!
This is pretty much how I picked my classes at Centre from then on.
I picked some classes on topics I knew I already liked ("Southern Literary Renaissance"), what I thought sounded interesting but I was never able to learn about before ("State and Local Politics") and then some classes that I knew nothing about, but went for anyway ("Research Methods in Education").
And I can safely say that though all my classes on my transcript may seem completely random, they have also completely defined my experience at Centre.
I ended up becoming an English major and a government minor, with sights set toward education policy. And now, (foreshadowing completed!) my last classes at Centre College will be with Dr. Keffer—only this time, in Strasbourg, France.
I’ve experienced some wonderful things while here: NCAA tournament crowds cheering on the Centre men’s basketball team, professors who have made me dinner, friends who have turned into family, and of course, classes that have challenged my thinking and writing for the better.
So with two internships, my senior seminar, and completed graduate school applications behind me, I fly to Strasbourg on Feb. 3rd. And when I return in May for graduation, I will have seen things I could have never seen on campus—but I will also hold dear the things that I did.