Richard Murphy ’14 Senior Profile: French & Francophone Studies

Murphy.RI associate my love for the French language with Satine’s tragic death at the conclusion of Moulin Rouge. We watched the film in my first year of French class in high school – much to the dismay of the administration – and something about its story spoke to me. Was it the snippets of French conversation that, at the time, escaped my understanding? Was it the dramatic tale of love, loss, and broken dreams that resonated with my burgeoning sense of teenage angst? Or was it, perhaps, that part of me that always wanted to experience a life of such passion and poetry, a life that can only truly be found en La Belle France? Whatever it was, I knew from that day in April 2007 that I wanted the French language to be a lasting part of my life. Now, seven years later, I am so happy with my decision to translate that seed of passion into an academic degree because of the opportunities it has afforded me. Sadly, Romance languages do not feature highly on lists of profitable majors, but what my major may lack in bankability, it more than makes up for in memorable experiences. Thanks to three and a half years with this department, I can read and discuss works of foreign literature, I can add four months at a French university in Grenoble to my list of attended schools, and I can claim my FREN210 professor as my only faculty Facebook friend. Thank you to the French department and William & Mary for three and a half special years, I’ll be sure to give you a shout out when I’m on MTV France.

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