“Ca va, toi?”, I hear greeting me as I walk through the double doors into Villa Alvarez. Mr. Denis Brochu somehow maintains his nonchalant finesse through the nonstop time he spends putting up with our antics. In fact, committing so much time to us, I sometimes wonder if the students of SYA France leave him any room for a personal life. I am reassured when he comes into the hallway to tell us one of his silly jokes, or a story about something ridiculous he had seen the day before from answering a late night call in the emergency room, to making a list of restaurant recommendations, he has helped me through it all. “Franchement”, there are very few men with a passion as large as Mr. Brochu.
His was the first face I saw at the Boston Logan Airport, an instant sign of a great year to come. Mr. Brochu has seen all of us blossom; in the classroom, on the trips, and on the stage. I have had a particularly close relationship with Mr. Brochu this year, as I was placed in his group of advisees. The advisory got a chance to bond, after several group lunches at the creperie (you can ask around, we truly got the special treatment!). While he does have a select group of advisees, it is clear that he treats all of the SYA France students with the same love. To prove this theory, I asked a couple of students how to describe Mr. Brochu. In response, a student said, “There are so many ways to describe Mr. Brochu; he finds a way to do his job in the most fun way possible, and he’s always around for a laugh”. Another said, “he is the papa bear of SYA France”.
The verdict has spoken; our year in France would simply not be the same without Mr. Brochu’s help. Thank you to Mr. Brochu for a wonderful year in France, and we wish you many more good ones to come.
Mr. Brochu pictured above with several SYA France 2016 students.