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Browsing a person's bookshelf may be more telling than reading their resumé. You can tell a lot about a person by the books they read. Every spring, colleagues and retired department members of the English and French Language Centre (EFLC) get together to satisfy their curiosity, sip tea and unwind after a year of hard work by discussing what they love most: books, language and ideas.
Entrethé, named appropriately for its references to sharing and tea, has been running since 2001. Organized by FSL teacher Jean-Yves Richard, this breather from more formal departmental meetings functions as a sort of "salon-de-thé" where a handful of presenters gather to share books they've chosen, then engage in stimulating discussion with the others, all the while sipping on blends of far-away teas.
"Curiosity brings me back. I might find a book that I want to read," says French professor Loretta Hyatt. "Plus, it's way of relaxing with faculty at the semester's end, without the stress."
While Hyatt revealed herself as a romantic mystery-lover by presenting Carlos Ruiz Zafon's novel, L'ombre du vent, the dozen participants sipped on Richard's selection of Tanzanian black tea, Chinese black tea and Japanese green tea, and munched on various pastries. Diane Farès, another of the four presenters, showed her love of film through her rendering of filmmaker Denys Arcand's collection of essays Hors champ, admitting that she was quite moved by parts of the book.
When asked what keeps him coming back to Entrethé, retired department member Jean-Phillipe Aubert replies, "Memories, friendly relations. Keeping in touch with McGill and the McGill spirit."
So whether it's to gain insight and stay connected to colleagues, decompress after a heavy semester, or simply to find a good summer read, Entrethé continues to be a hit. After all, what better way to end the day than with a little thé, entre amis?