20 Questions: A sketch of Centre professor of French Karin Ciholas

RELEASED: Aug. 24, 2006

  Karin Ciholas (left), with her niece and son, Phil (center), and at the Porte de France in Vaucouleur with fellow pilgrims (right).

1. Position/title: Professor of French.

2. Hometown: My father was Norwegian; my mother American; I grew up in Switzerland; I've lived in Paris, Strasbourg, Zürich, and in Virginia, North Carolina, and Kentucky. My home is where I happen to be.

3. Career highlight: Seeing Centre Players and Tony Haigh perform my play One Candle in the Night.

4. Signature class: Existentialism and the Search for Meaning.

5. Recent publication/exhibition/performance: The presidential fiction award from Green River Writers for one of my short stories. The recent performance of the Madrigal Feast: "Four Queens" presented by Centre Singers and Barbara Hall.

6. Family details: Paul, my husband, is French. He was a professor at UK and KSU and writes books in his retirement. Two sons, both Centre grads. Both are engineers.

7. Hobbies: Creative writing, painting, sewing, interior decorating, travel.

8. Pets: Fritzie, a cat who adopted us. We have become very good cat servants.

9. Prized possession: The hand-carved walnut bed my great-great-grandmother was born in.

10. Last book read:The Lost King of France by Deborah Cadbury, the fascinating story of Louis XVII and how they unraveled the mystery thanks to DNA evidence.

11. Memorable trip/vacation: In 2004 I went on a two-week pilgrimage to France in the steps of Joan of Arc. I stayed in monasteries in or near most of the places famous for having a connection to Jeanne.

12. Favorite movie:Proof.

13. Favorite album: Mozart piano concertos. Any of them. All of them.

14. Favorite food: Coquilles Saint-Jacques.

15. Favorite smell: Hot chocolate after walking in the snow. Fried apples and bacon on a frosty morning. The fragrance of gardenias. Freshly cut grass. And of course, the aroma of a madeleine dipped in tea.

16. Person you most admire: Joan of Arc.

17. Living figure you'd most like to meet:Paul Rusesabagina, thehotel manager who housed over a thousand Tutsi refugees during the genocide in Rwanda. He now lives in Belgium.

18. Historical figure you'd most like to meet: Madame de Maintenon. Born in prison, she became Queen of France as the second wife of Louis XIV. She founded a school for young girls. She's fascinating!

19. What would you be doing if you weren't teaching at Centre: Novelist, architect, interior decorator, museum curator... I'm still not sure what I want to be when I grow up ;-).

20. Describe yourself in three words: Excited about learning.



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