Instead of writing the usual article I would like the readers to get to know their International members. I know that the residents of Robson Ranch are aware of the club, but they do not know much about us. I would therefore like to introduce one member at a time from the club. I will start with the president of the club, Marie-Christine Koop.
Marie-Christine was born in the south of France, but she grew up in Cannes on the French Riviera. While growing up she was influenced by her maternal grandmother. Her grandmother was an independent woman who traveled and lived in several countries (she fled from the Bolsheviks with diamonds sewn in her dress), and as a result she spoke several languages. In Marie-Christie’s own words her grandmother was smart, assertive and very successful as a business woman. Her mother has been very nurturing and her father was always very ambitious for her.
She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Provence and at a teachers’ training college in Aix-en-Provence where she majored in English and French, with a minor in German. After spending her junior year in England she came to the United States in order to perfect her English and become an English teacher in France. But she had the opportunity to teach French at the college level and she loves it. She married an American man at that time and decided to pursue a master’s degree in French literature at the University of Albany (NY). She later received her Ph.D. in French at Michigan State University. She is satisfied with the route she has followed and loves to teach French civilization at the university level. She takes students to France every other year to direct a semester program in Cannes. This program is very gratifying to her as it gives her the opportunity to share her language and culture with young people who are always full of enthusiasm. She will be leaving on one such trip with her students in the near future. We are going to miss her.
Marie has one younger brother whom she is very close to. He lives in Cannes and is a jazz musician. She has one daughter who she thinks is just wonderful. She lives in Houston, and through her she has a lovely grand-dog.
After her daughter graduated college, Marie-Christine moved to Robson Ranch for several reasons, the main one being safety as she travels on a regular basis and she does not want to leave her house unattended. The range of activities was also a big incentive, especially the Robson Ranch Choir. Like most of us she also finds the residents very warm and welcoming, and she has made several friends in the community.
I asked her what are three favorite things she likes about her culture, and she stated that it was difficult for her to narrow it down but she would say that it is the way of life, the arts in the broad sense and the cuisine.
In her spare time, among other activities she likes to read history books (especially on the Middle Ages), watch movies, travel and enjoy special moments with friends. In her words she has no time to be bored.
As the president of the International Club she has been very active. She has written the by-laws and she also makes sure that every month there is an announcement made of our meetings in the HOA.