|Senior falls hard for France
RELEASED: Aug. 14, 2003
DANVILLE, KYOne could consider rising senior Sherri Rose a true Francophile.
After spending the 2003 Spring semester in Strasbourg, France through the Centre study abroad program (which rates sixth in the nation in study-abroad percentage), then a month undertaking an internship in France, she's now continuing her love of all things French doing collaborative research this summer with Centre professor Ken Keffer.
Many people said to Rose,"You're a French major! What're you going do this summer? Work in a grocery store?"
But as she sat down with Keffer, her advisor last year, she realized that there were numerous ways to develop her French skills.
Previously a pre-med student with a liking for French, her fascination and love for the language grew when she spent a semester in Strasbourg. Throughout her four months there, she had the opportunity to visit 10 countries, as well as enhance her understanding of French culture and life.
"It was a wonderful experience," she said. "It taught me to be a lot more independent, and it was both challenging and interesting being away from home during the war with Iraq."
This newfound independence helped her gain the confidence to spend four weeks in Besançon, France, this summer participating in the Centre Internship Plus Program (http://web.centre.edu/careerd/internships.htm#internshipplus). In the Centre de Linguistique Appliqueé, she observed techniques for teaching English with a hands-on approach, and worked on an independent study on Gustave Courbet, the famous French painter.
After spending a few weeks with her family in Fort Wayne, Ind., Rose is now back in Kentucky having cultural and philosophical conversations with Keffer, NEH Professor of modern languages. They're working on collaborative research based on her experiences in France.
Both professor and student are working on a French translation of a book that Keffer had published in 2001 about the works of Montaigne, the great French Renaissance thinker and writer. Entitled Transcriptions Rivales des Essais de Montaigne, the book will be published in Spring 2004 by Champion Press in France.
Keffer acknowledges the benefit of collaborative research, saying it allows students to learn and expand their horizons, as well as develop faculty-student relationships that aren't directly related to class material.
Rose is also assisting Keffer in the preparation of his upcoming fall class "Impressionism and Nature," in which students will study the major painters of the genre, in addition to getting an authentic feel for the style using the techniques on canvas and visiting art galleries in Chicago.
Next year, Rose plans to return to France for a short visit as part of her John C. Young Scholars project (a program that offers outstanding seniors an opportunity to engage in two terms of independent work, guided by faculty mentors), in which she will translate a short story and expand her knowledge of the Alsace region.
Rose plans to make French an integral part of her life after Centre by studying French literature in graduate school.
Rose's advice to any language major/minor out there: "You can get the experience you need. All you have to do is look for it and keep your fingers crossed."
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