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An Extraordinary Year: A Journal of a Student Abroad, 1956-1957 Paperback – August 11, 2015
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About the Author
Judith Woodall Hauman Dye is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Newcomb College of Tulane University. Following her studies at Newcomb, she received a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship for graduate study, and earned her Master of Music Degree from the University of Michigan. During her singing career, she won the Detroit Grand Opera Scholarship Award, was a finalist in the regional Metropolitan Opera auditions, and a runner up in the WGN Chicago radio opera auditions. She has performed throughout the U.S., including venues in New York City and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D. C. In addition, she served on the faculty at the University of Toledo. The mother of two daughters, Constance Hauman of New York City, a singer and composer, and Carrie Hauman of Los Angeles, an artist and writer, Judy currently lives in Toledo, Ohio with her husband, Nicholas Dye. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
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But when she reaches Paris and settles into student life, something sadly predictable begins to happen. She seems to have spent virtually all of her free time on dates with various young men--sometimes a couple in one evening. It reminded me of how important popularity as measured in number of dates per week was to girls like Judy. Male attention meant everything. The hours she devoted to serving as arm candy for various boys is depressing because it meant she never experienced the solitude that provides a jumpstart on maturity. Only very occasionally does she recognize the reality of post war Europe and the fascinating politics of Paris during those years. She seems to have returned home to Kentucky with exactly the same limited values and world view she possessed at the start of her trip.
This memoir of a year abroad seen through the eyes of a gifted, spirited, keenly observant college junior barely out of her teens has amazing insights into the depths of experience that beheld her during a year of studies, travel, socializing and eye opening forays into the everyday and cultural life as well as the political aspects of that time in Europe.
From the experience of ‘living’ with families of a different culture Judy gleans deep insights into the differences and the ‘sameness’ in the lives of people whom she is fortunate to be enmeshed with, sometimes very good and sometimes more difficult but always with insight into the various personalities that are part of the experience.
The writing is very ‘immediate’ in that it seems to have been written ‘in the present’ so that one would seem to be reading one of her most recent letters home… Except of course when describing the cost of several lengthy trips to various other countries where one can stay in a very nice hotel for perhaps $5. per day, probably with 2 meals and almost private bath. Or where one can have a fine meal with ‘delicious’ wine for less than $2. and a taxi across town costs less than $1. Imagine 18 days in Switzerland , Austria and Germany including travel, hotels and 2 meals per day…$120.
The times have a’changed.
An excellent and always interesting glimpse into an era long gone that most of us have never seen or would even imagine by today’s standards and morays.
I would recommend this book to both former and future students on journeys abroad, parents of students abroad, music and French aficionados, those heading to Europe for vacation, and anyone looking for a light, yet historical piece to read for leisure. Kudos to Woodall on a wonderful read!
The book reminded me of the summer that I spent studying in Europe, while working on graduate studies in Education. This was about the same time that Judy was there in Europe . Her book brought back many nice memories and was good reading.