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Published: September 22nd 2005
The work of Master Rodin
What a day!
I woke up early to arrive at the Rodin Museum when it opened and made my way with everything running as planned. The museum was very intense. It is quite a romantic local! The gardens are full of benches and nooks to sit and appreciate the sculptures. There was a huge white and gold tent set up for an event tonight, which added to my feeling that I had just walked into the party scene of “The Great Gatsby.” There are many pieces that I have never seen before and I was stuck by one or two in particular. It was interesting to watch people walking around with their cameras snapping photos of the sculptures. I had mine too and somehow it struck me as odd, why are we taking photos of this? To prove that we were here? Because my taking a picture of his masterpiece doesn’t make my photo art, does it? Maybe if I manipulate the photo…I have to say that I was thinking all this over as I sat on a bench and looked up to the next nook and saw “The Thinker” and had to laugh. I wonder how many people think that everyday sitting on one of these benches? Thinking under “The Thinker”…..lame or really great art and a well-placed bench? hehe
Then off to another museum! Musée Jacquemart-André, which is literally two doors down from my school, was my next destination. They had this HUGE sign out advertising a Jacque Louis David exhibit and since I am doing an oral report on that next week I thought I’d better check it out *This is mistake one of my day, READ THE FINE PRINT KATIE!* I paid my 6,50 Euro (the woman didn’t think my card worked there….suspicious) and then wandered about a bit in this wonderful museum looking for a room full of David but to no avail. Finally, I asked for directions. The exhibit I wanted doesn’t open until October 4th. Bummer. Thankfully I was with my dear friend Winnie who just smiled and said lets slow down and look around us at what is here. That is just what we did.
Class was interesting enough today, I wish I could say I was making leaps and bounds in my language. I can’t really feel it yet. There are moments of light but often it is me being tongue-tied and claming up out of frustration. Though my frustration is getting less as I am learning to cope and I keep reminding myself that the only way to get better is to use my language. We then discussed Sartre in a seminar, I loved what I was able to take from the hour, but a good chunk of it was too much for me.
Then I hopped onto the metro to head home for some rest. *Error number two comes now* I have this Carte Orange, which is a month pass for the metro and is a really great deal. I asked for this the first of September and the nice man gave me this little orange ticket, which I have been using ever since. I was making my change at a station and came up into a bunch of people in green who asked for everyone’s ticket. Ug. I got mine out feeling rushed, gave it to the lady, and this woman looked at me like I was CRAZY. So off came my headphones and she asks for my Carte Orange. I look at her like she was crazy and said that’s what she was holding. Turns out the nice man who gave me my ticket should have given me this card thing and made me take a picture, this is a 35 Euro mistake. I spent five minute pleading my case, at first in my best French, then I realized I should just play the dumb American like my director told me to, and tried that for a while. She took my money. I was mad for a while but have gotten it out of my system now. It is all so silly; these things are inevitable and not such huge problems. I guess that just balances out all the museums I have been seeing for free, it all comes out in the wash?
The weekend was great. I went out and about on Saturday to see some of the free buildings but we got terribly lost, out leader confused two addresses, which was really a good thing and lead us to a market. It was great for people watching. Sadly, I missed the free buildings, but still the day was wonderful.
Sunday I ventured out into the suburbs! It was great. Ms. Montgomery and her family were supposed to come into the city but couldn’t so I got to take the RER out to see them all! (Background: she was my AP Euro teacher in high school, I can’t get enough of her, she let me watch her twin girls who are now in 7th grade (fantastic people), she and her husband decided to spend this year here outside of Paris-she is teaching at a really cool school and I think he is looking into work with environmental consulting…. don’t quote me on that! And the two girls are going to the school she is teaching in, so cool!) The day couldn’t have been more beautiful so that added to my enjoyment. The RER takes about 50 min. from my house so I zoomed out there for the afternoon. We ate at an incredible créperie, walked through a market there, and strolled around this GREAT park overlooking Paris and a beautiful château. The day was refreshing in many ways and put me in a better state of mind. It was nice to have so much green space and familiar conversation. Their town is welcoming and full of families. I am super fortunate that they are so close!!!
Monday we went as a group to the Sorbonne to see the campus and get a sense of what courses are offered. All in all the day was pointless and didn’t apply to the kids in my program but it was a taste of French bureaucracy and inefficiency. Always something to be aware of! It was fun to be in that environment though and may be really fun.
Beyond all of this I have been wandering about the city snapping photos or just laying on the grass in parks. I found the time to do some knitting the other day, which was a great release and super satisfying. September is coming to an end and my first fall with no Halloween or Thanksgiving is beginning. Strange. I just got a package from a friend with peanut butter in it and am now the envy of the whole program, that stuff is like gold here!
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