In May of 2022, I realized my career dream of providing an equal opportunity study abroad in Greece program for students from all economic backgrounds. I raised a record $50,000 to nearly cover the cost for twenty deserving students. The experience was life-changing, and I would love to offer the same opportunity to students who wish to study abroad in France. Please help me give my students the gift of learning from the book of the world.
Cultural immersion will provide my Philosophy of Paris: City of enLIGHTenment students with a deeper understanding and a greater appreciation of the brilliant minds and historic figures covered throughout our course. They will retrace the steps of French Enlightenment thinkers Descartes, Voltaire, and Rousseau, giants of the French Revolution Marie Antoinette, Victor Hugo, Olympe de Gouges, and Napoleon, controversial existentialists and lovers Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, and WWII rebels Albert Camus and Hannah Arendt.
Travel to Paris will allow some students to realize their dreams of visiting the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the Palace of Versailles. I, of course, am most looking forward to paying my respects at Jim Morrison's grave. Don't judge, as we will first pay our respects to the intellectuals in the Pantheon.
My study abroad courses are designed to create a support system which will endure throughout the college experience and long after graduation. This proved successful in Greece, as we have become a family. Two students became engaged and asked me to officiate the wedding! I've provided select testimonials (from postcards my students presented to me at our final dinner) below, and I once again kindly request that you help me give more deserving students this life-changing opportunity.
I cannot thank you enough for introducing me to the world of philosophy and, more importantly, to all of these people and experiences. I never would have thought I would be doing something like this my first year of college. It has been so powerful and beautiful, and so much more than I expected. I feel so connected to all of these people, and so grateful I got to do this. I had a hard time finding my people when I first got to Salem, and now I know I have a safe haven here with them and you.
I don't think there are words to express how grateful I am for this experience. Not only was this the trip of a lifetime, but I also feel like I've gained friends I never would have, with like-minded people. You somehow found a way to bring 20 strangers together and create a family. Not only is this something I will never forget, but it is something I will always cherish.
For once, I don't even have the words to say to express just how grateful I am for everything you have done for all of us on this trip, in this class, and for how much better you have helped me become as a person. I've dreamt of coming to Greece since I was 8 years old. I could never truly imagine it then, but now I can't picture being here with anyone but this amazing group. I know that it was your dream to take a class to Greece, and I want to thank you for letting me be a part of your dream team. I can't wait to see what the future holds now as a traveler, a Philosophy major, or as a person, but I know for certain I want you and your classes to be part of it. Like I said, we all came for the trip, but we stay because we love you.
Thank you for the best experience of my life. College is a huge milestone, and this story will always come up. As a future educator, you have inspired me in more ways than possible. Taking your class was the best decision I made in college. You are the teacher that made me feel most comfortable. I will tell stories of this experience and the impact you had on me forever to my future students and children.
Thank you so much for making this trip happen! I've done so many things out of my comfort zone and I'm beyond grateful. I am so lucky to have had a professor like you. Please don't let anyone dull your sparkle. You've changed many lives, including mine.