cakes, prose, woes -- the photos, food & thoughts of a french-speaking seattle-native in brazil

In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it. -AB
In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Gonzaga University

back to school one last timeI am a fraud. I am not a real traveling food and cultural editorialist. But i have hope for someday. Alas I am just a college student. Today runs commencement of the end, la rentree of my final year of undergraduate study-- surprise! I will be graduating on time despite the year of study in France (yes I was there to study, shocking) Welcome back to to school, to studying, to essays, and senior thesis; Salty and I will finish our history and French double major together. Allow us to introduce you to our school, we are the Bulldogs, so welcome to Gonzaga University, on y va.

Above is a sample of part of the recruitment DVD sent to the homes of prospective students to solicit attendance. Ha! Above is a video by now former Gonzaga students Luke Barats and Joe Bereta who have now moved on as comedy script writers for NBC and independent film productions. In the short film Gonzaga Love, we are shown that Gonzaga knows how to party--Jesuit style. Oh yeah.

Named after the Italian patron saint of youth Aloysius Gonzaga, Gonzaga University was founded in 1887 by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). Before the state of Washington even joined the Union, Jesuit Father Joseph Cataldo of Sicily and the St. Michaels Mission ventured into the region inhabited by the Spokane Indian tribe to begin the tragic yet inevitable tribal conversion to Christianity. In the world of Catholicism, the Jesuits connote the image of education, in the United States there are 28 Jesuit colleges and Universities, Georgetown in Washington DC being the oldest.

The location for Gonzaga was established as a central point between the Spokane falls, an edge on the competition with the local Protestant missionaries in the Jesuit attempt to instill a more prominent pressence. The land was purchased for the school in 1881, and began the first academic year in 1887 for white only students to be educated in the jesuit tradition. Evidently the school grew, expanding curriculum and enrollment from the one building college to what is now a full university with a college of arts and sciences, a college of education, business studies, engineering, professional studies, and graduate law. Though there are 92 undergraduate fields of studey, all who study at Gonzaga recieve a Jesuit education--a fifty fifty of area of study combined with requirements in philosophy, theology, and rhetoric.

Gonzaga, like most private colleges in the United States, is small. Each class has a capping of no more than thirty students with an overall undergraduate enrollment of around four thousand. The result is a small campus community, one of which for the first two years class rooms are but a few minutes walk from your bedroom door. The "community" and "family" aspect of the whole thing gives one the impression oftentimes of being at girl scout camp. While Gonzaga has many assets, great professors, many wonderful students, and a sense of community, it has its downfalls. It is overpriced, very conservative, and slightly, if i may say, a little too full of itself.

But this is my school, and it will always be. Like Paris and Seattle, Gonzaga will always be a home, Spokane will always be a home. The school year begins with a picnic on the lawn, complete with oyster bar in a boat, whole roasted pigs, and candied apples. This is where our big bucks are going eh. Well, Gonzaga knows how to party. French literature first thing in the morn, and the afternoon rounds with modern history of Mexico and the history of immigration to America. I'm lobbying for the new course of comprehensive food history--i will let you know when we win. The bell is ringing--see you after class.


Aran said...

as you know, i also went to a jesuit university and loved every minute of it. our jesuit professors/priests ere kind of revolutionary in their thinking and i loved it! hope you have a good last year!

Ryan said...

Wheeling is home to Wheeling Jesuit University.. it's just like Gonzaga, except on a way smaller scale. History of Immigration to America huh? So far I love student teaching..but I really miss college!!

Priyanka said...

There are plenty of opportunities to travel post-college, as I'm sure you're aware. One of the best things you can do after school is travel again, there is so much still to see in the world.

Good luck to you, and welcome back!

Christy said...

On your last lap huh? Same here too. I'm on my last semester..and after that I'll be earning money full time. Kinda daunting actually, cuz I don't know what I'm going to do full time. Yet.

Anyway, enjoy this last lap of overpriced higher education degree while it lasts. Grown up responsibilities await us after this is over. Goodbye thesis and term papers and hello bank loans and mortgage. Ouch.

Tartelette said...

Your university reminds me of mine,minus the beautiful campus. It was a sister university of La Sorbonne and there were no more than 30 students per class.Very personable. Enjoy your last year!

Mallory Elise said...

yeah, it's been alright so far---mainly because the history and student publications departments are back in my life!

thank you all for your words, maybe i won't drop out after all. tee hee. just kidding. in the end, we really do like it here.