TAHLEQUAH – Northeastern State University graduate student, Karla Coulson, was recently awarded the Evelyn P. Woods scholarship to cover the expenses of attending the Living Literature Trip to Paris, France this summer.
Under the direction of Dr. Bridget Cowlisha, the group of students undertaking the trip will leave May 25 and arrive back in Tulsa on June 3.
Coulson has been an English teacher in Oklahoma's public schools since 1983. She is currently a teacher at the secondary level and department chairperson for Claremore Public Schools.
To receive the scholarship, Coulson had to be enrolled in the NSU class for college credit and be employed as a high school teacher.
“I am overwhelmed. It's taken me a few days to come back to earth. I truly am humbled by God blessing me with a gift that has exceeded all of my expectations,” said Coulson. “My students are just as excited and several of them sent a ‘What Ms. Coulson should do in Paris’ paper around which they filled with all types of suggestions.”
Students participating in this trip will be required to read certain books prior to the trip as well as during. Students will also get to experience certain locations while doing some of the readings.
Coulson is excited about visiting Notre Dame and reading excerpts of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” on the grounds of the Cathedral. She is also excited about studying the French Revolution.
On the trip, students are encouraged to partake in the French culture. They must get to their destinations by walking, try French cuisine or make their own meals from items found at the markets around the city. This is something Coulson is excited about.
“I've always wanted to go to Paris and experience the Parisian culture and way of life,” she said. “I've read so many books that were set in France and I'm also a French film fanatic. Anything with subtitles.”
Coulson is planning on bringing her experiences from the trip back to the classroom. She is also adding two novels to her curriculum, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “The Count of Monte Cristo.”
“I'm creating a class blog that will have pictures of the places that relate to the novels,” said Coulson. “I'm wanting to use this blog as a preview to the novels and as a place to encourage the continuation of classroom discussion. My goal is that my students can make connections between life and literature.”
This trip is giving NSU students a chance to step outside of the United States and learn about French culture.
“I hope to gain a deeper appreciation of the French culture and in turn, share that appreciation with my students,” said Coulson.
For more information on the trip visit http://parissummer2009.blogspot.com.