This week, I received a special gift from Ohio University, my Alma Mater, when I was contacted by the Library/Acquisition department who wanted to purchase a copy of “My Sicily,” a creation of an Ohio University Alumna to be signed and included at the OU Alden Library. I’m so touched until today as I share this news with you.
You see, my sister and I were raised with a Mother and Father that always believed in and pushed for the pursuit of an International Education, teaching us Sicilian, Italian, English and French from an early age in our home. My Mom was a language teacher in Sicily who, not only motivated my sister and I to pursue our Higher Education in the United States, but also inspired a number of students, Italian and International (since she was responsible for Study Abroad Programs in Sicily as well) who passed through our homes during my childhood. She was the first Educator my sister and I ever knew. Her dedication to learning and her patience allowed us to blossom to the fullest of our potential. When we moved to the USA, it was my cousin Yvonne, who first introduced us to Ohio University. She was studying there and kept insisting we visit her while we were in our selection process. Truly, it was love at first sight and the rest is not “history” but a beautiful story that lasted all throughout our undergraduate and graduate studies as my sister pursued 4 undergraduate degrees and 2 graduate degrees and I completed 3 undergraduate degrees and 2 graduate ones.
Along the way we learned Spanish and Portuguese. At Ohio University, we found a home away from home meeting numerous students from across the globe who shared similar stories to ours, we traveled the world within and outside of the classroom, and also took advantage of the many Study Abroad Opportunities offered and studied in France, and later worked there, and also throughout Italy, and Martinique and Mexico. The pure, intellectual, sincere bonds and friendships we began at OU last until today as we keep in touch with our closest friends, the memories we hold within will never be forgotten. I’m so humbled and honored to have received this precious surprise – and look forward to walking the paths of My Alma Mater, a true gem in the heart of the gently rolling hills of Appalachia once more this spring as I’ll present and converse with the students of Ohio University on one of the most vibrant and bohemian intellectual communities I have ever encountered across the globe.
Grazie – Gracias – Merci- Obrigada – Thank you dearly.
With infinite gratitude and every good wish to the students of OU!