I would like to dedicate this blog to Dr John Lee. I first meet John when I arrived at the Paris, France campus of Schiller International University in January 1988 to begin work on a Masters of International Relations. As Chair of the International Relations & Diplomacy department at the University, John personnally greeted all new students. And I knew the day that I meet him my world had changed for ever, for the better of course.
During my time as a graduate student, John was my professor, my thesis advisor, my friend and many times a surrogate father. Along with his wife Joyce and children, I was welcomed into their home for family dinners and special events. Although my family was far away I was never lonely because I knew that I had John and his family. Long after I graduated and moved back to Canada I would receive wonderful packages in the mail from John. These envelopes were filled with newspaper and magazine clippings, posters, programs, and various other items all carefully chosen by John to share information about people I knew from Paris, current events, topics related to my degree, whatever he thought I would enjoy. I happily anticipated the arrival of these packages and still have the contents of the last two I ever received from him.
John has passed away but his memory and legacy live on through his work in Academia, International Relations and Diplomacy and his incredible sense of caring for all those who were privileged to interact with him. This blog is for him. He always asked me to write a book about my days in Paris and beyond as he would note with that special twinkle in his eyes that I had so many “experiences” and “situations” to share from those days. As he was fond of pointing out, I ended in places and situations that no one could ever anticipate or replicate! But thankfully because of all the knowledge, skill and diplomacy that he worked so hard to instill in me, I was always able to extricate myself without causing any international incidents.
So John, this for you! I will still write my Paris and world adventures down for you but in the mean time I can capture this adventure as I go. I know that you are watching me with that wonderful smile and twinkle in your eye. I hope that I continue to make you proud.
For everyone else reading this blog you can learn more about John and the American Graduate School in Paris of International Relations and Business Administration that he founded in Paris in 1994 with another of my former professors and their colleague by visiting http://www.ags.edu/about-ags/history .