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Published: September 18th 2005
Salut tout le monde!
Well this is one tired and stressed out girl. This is a HARD program. This week has been a mix of work and play that was really tough. Monday I had an exam in my language class, which felt fine but took a bunch of time to prep for because it was on all the little things (there are so many little things!!!!). Tuesday I had a paper and then Wednesday I had to read 60 some odd pages by Foucault on Nietzsche, Freud, and Marx. Fun? We had a seminar on the Foucault packet, which was amazing and was the beginning of one of my classes The Theory and Method of Critical Studies. We are meeting in this seminar weekly until courses actually begin the second week of October.
I was struck when I realized I could be in any big city, as I haven’t taken advantage of anything Parisian in days!!! Time for a change, I’ll remember the paintings and the places not the studying right?
This weekend was great because we took a group trip to Reims to see the cathedral there and also go to a champagne tasting. The cathedral was stunning. I
the view from my bench
had studied it many times before in Art History courses so it was amazing to stand in front of it and experience it first hand. I was struck by the portal statues, which I could faintly recall certain facts about. What a joy to use my knowledge! It was really overwhelming inside too as the detail inside was astounding, how did this get done without the tools we have today? And Reims was in such a volatile location during the wars why is it still standing? It is really funny to see the saints that line the portals all decapitated; I am surprised more didn’t happen to the church in the Revolution!!!
The champagne tasting was quite a treat. Our tour was in French and I certainly don’t have that vocabulary base, so all I know is that the champagne tastes great and is less sweet than American varieties.
Sunday I hiked up to Montmartre to sit with a friend at a café drinking mugs/bowls of hot chocolate and watching Parisian families for a while before we hit the books.
School mainly swallowed up this week, but I did squeeze in a dinner with a woman I am connected to
through many degrees of separation. She is 29 and moved to Paris between high school and college, then studied in Rome in college, moved to Florence after college, traveled South America, and then moved to Paris two years ago to try things out with her then French-Italian boyfriend, now fiancé! AH! She is wonderful and helpful with many ideas as to what to do. She assured me that she didn’t feel herself improving until December and didn’t become fluent until January-phew.
Wednesday I was given my id card that identifies me as an Art History student which means I get into the Louvre and Centre Pompidou for FREE all year! I am told it works at Musée d’Orsay but I haven’t tested it yet. So that night off I went with a friend to the Louvre. It was open until 10:30 pm and there were only a few people so we were almost alone in the Louvre! Weeee! I had trouble containing myself. We only did a few hours and stayed in one section, which made it all the more amazing to really study the progression of the era.
This weekend is Journées Européennes du Patrimoine so everything from
Jacque Chirac’s house to the museums is free! This means that Paris is going to be packed and everything of interest is going to be free but swamped with people! Exciting and overwhelming.
This weekend I am going to work at getting in more playing and less working. No more wasted days in this place.
Two of the photos are of my weekend trip where I used mainly my film camera for the cathedral so these are just quick random shots that I snapped as we headed to the bus so that you all could see part of the church, not very high quality and also not very telling about the building, sorry! You'll just have to look at my photo album at the end of all this.
The other set of phots is the park by my school where it is wonderful to meet for a picnic and people-watching-the French are DIFFERENT and it is great fun to watch them in this context.
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