- Mrs. Claire Davidshofer, a native of France
- Jean-Paul Laforge, a Canadian instructor living in Grand-Falls, teaches some of the beginner's courses as an adjunct instructor
Mrs. Davidshofer's Biography
Hello! My name is Claire Davidshofer. I was born in Bouaké, Côte d'Ivoire, a French-speaking country, where my family lived, because my father practiced medicine there. My mother did not work, but took care of her children, five daughters! We lived in a big house near the hospital and we were helped by two "boys" (servants) and a cook. We liked Tiémoko a lot and I think it was reciprocal. He learned to read and write and converted to Catholicism. We did not know Kouamé, the cook, as well, because he only took care of the cooking. Finally I remember Gaston, another boy, who would tell us stories at night when it was dark. Once to frighten us, he placed live embers between his teeth! It was quite effective!
The climate was very bad, especially for Europeans; for example because the sun was very hot, we had to wear a helmet until five o'clock in the evening to prevent having a sun stroke. We had to filter our drinking water, take quinine not to contract malaria, and watch out for huge scorpions, red ants and venomous snakes!
After a two-year return in France to recuperate from the climate, my family went back one more time to Bouaké where I went to school. As you can see, French-speaking Africa is an important part of my childhood and my identity.
My father finally retired and I spent the rest of my childhood and adolescence in Toulon, France, on the Riviera. I went to school there before going to college in Aix-en-Provence. During my undergraduate years I spent a year in England where I taught French conversation in an all-boy private school. After receiving my Master's in English, I came to the United States where I first taught French at Presque Isle School in Maine and met my husband, an American. Later on I started teaching French at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, and I still do! I love my job!
Two years ago, with faculty members from the other campuses of the University of Maine System, I visited the four French university partners to set up exchanges between professors and students. Everyone was friendly and excited about the partnership. Each campus is located in an historical town, full of charm and interesting monuments. Each campus is also within one to four hours by TGV, a very fast train, from Paris. This makes it very easy to go and spend a day or a weekend in Paris. I also went to see my sisters in Toulon. By clicking on the link below, you will be able to see some of the pictures I took during my trip. (requires Microsoft PowerPoint)
Title: Instructor of French
Office Location: Teaching Online
Phone: (919) 294-6906
MA in American and English Literature Aix-en Provence (France)