Paul Naanou ’17 Senior Profile: French & Francophone Studies

NaanouMLL is more than a university department, it is a family. My professors and my classmates are among the coolest people I know and it has been a privilege to know them. As a Math major, it was really important for me to maintain my connection with the humanities and my French major gave that to me. My parents are Syrian and growing up, I had a hard time making sense of my two identities, but my experiences in MLL really helped me come to celebrate the richness of my background. Whether that was through interviewing Lebanese francophone poets for my thesis, or reading Mauritian literature in Magali Compan’s classes, what I’ve gained as a French major is the ability to build meaning out of interactions with the unfamiliar. I will never forget my brilliant professors’ dedication, my semester in Paris interning for a children’s publishing house, or the hours spent in awe over the world’s grandeur with my classmates.

I plan on being a high school Math teacher next. However, no matter what I end up pursuing, I hope my work puts me in contact with people with all sorts of backgrounds whom I can listen to and learn from because MLL taught me that the best lessons come from those interactions.


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