It’s called school. And it’s, um, the reason I’m over here. Allegedly. Here’s the thing: I’m incredibly lucky and spoiled, and I just don’t do it that much. Don’t worry Mom and Dad, I always, without fail, go to my classes. I just lucked out and ended up with a schedule that gives me every single Monday and Friday off. Yup, four day weekends, every weekend. Also, I live in Paris. LIFE IS GOOD, friends.
But anyway, I thought you all might be interested in what classes I’m taking and what I’m doing that gives me license to galavant around Europe like I own the place for the next few months.
So, one month after school started, I give you: MY SCHEDULE
French II, 4:45-7:15.
Pretty self-explanatory. Except I was really lazy and talked my way out of the Advanced French class they placed me in in favor of taking Intermediate French. My credits for this class weren’t going to transfer to Tulane no matter what, so I figured I might as well take advantage and use the semester for a sort of refresher course. Plus, I’m pretty sure it was a mistake to put me in French III. I struggle with this language, people.
World Religions, 11:15-1:45
LOVE this class! I took an Eastern Religions class in high school that I was absolutely nuts about, so it’s fun to re-learn all the fun facts about Hinduism and Buddhism and Jainism and such. I’m very intrigued by Eastern Religions. (I know, I know, I’m a walking cliché…http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2008/01/18/2-religions-that-their-parents-dont-belong-to/) (By the way, I have a theory that the creators studied my life to make this website; there are maybe two or three things I disagree with on the whole freaking thing. And they have an uncanny knack for knowing all my very favorite things.) Anyway, one thing I really love about this class is that literally every other time we meet, we take a field trip. So, say we take notes on Hinduism one day. The next week, we go to a Hindu temple. SO COOL. I love when classes are interactive like that.
Social Sculpture & Public Art, 2:00-4:30
This class is really amazing because it’s taught by an actual sculptor (who has participated in and created lots of public art). It’s been really interesting for me because she focuses a lot on the process of installing public art and how artists can be chosen for these projects and such (there are a lot of art students in my class), so I get to see a completely new-to-me side of the art world. It’s very different from what I’m used to, but it’s been really special to get this firsthand look at how art ends up in the public domain. Plus, we take lots of field trips for this class, too! Last week, for example, we went to the UNESCO gardens, which were AMAZING. Maybe I’m just ignorant, but I didn’t really know what UNESCO was, so in case anyone else is in the same boat, it’s the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. The idea of the gardens was that each country would contribute a piece of art, so it’s incredible to walk through. Sadly, I didn’t bring my camera. I’m mad at myself now, but to be totally honest, I had sprained my ankle the day before (yup, fell again, don’t want to talk about it, embarrassing), so it was all I could do to concentrate on gingerly putting one foot in front of the other while gimping around the gorgeous grounds. I was probably too irritable with myself for having fallen to actually take any quality pictures. (Seriously, me unable to work out is not a me you want to be around. Last fall, I did something to my hamstring and was out of commission for three excruciatingly long weeks, during which time I, at some point, sobbed to my roommate “I just feel like my identity’s been taken away from me”…true story. I’ll never live that one down. Ever.) Anyway, I think my favorite was the Japanese zen garden. I was tickled to see that the US contribution (an Alexander Calder mobile, the highest in Europe) was prominently positioned in front of the VIP entrance and had to bite my tongue when a Canadian student said the US could have done better. Because I never pass up a chance to poke fun at the Canadians (it’s all in good fun, I swear, there are so many Canadians I know and love), I’ll just point out that their contribution was a bench made out of a log, and was hidden in back in between the Japanese garden and the building itself. HA.
So anyway…back to my schedule.
On Wednesday evening I have Paris Through Photography’s Lens (Does that class name make sense to you? Photography’s lens? What?) from 4:45-7:15.
This is probably my most traditional art history class, but it’s extra special because I’m actually in Paris getting to take it! So of course, there are lots of field trips. (I feel like I’m in elementary school again talking about field trips; I’m sure there’s something more sophisticated I could call them…erm, planned excursions?) I’m particularly excited to see one collection of old photographs (I’ve actually heard about it in other art history classes at Tulane) that aren’t shown to the general public anymore because the light is too damaging. My inner art dork was turning cartwheels at that news.
History of Fashion, 2:00-4:30
My knowledge of fashion basically extends to how J.Crew has altered their v-neck sweater from year to year and…well, let’s be honest, that’s about it. I can tell you everything in J.Crew’s fall collection. I don’t even know how to properly pronounce Yves Saint Laurent. So, throw me in a class of fashion students and try to teach me about fashion history, and something interesting is bound to come of it. I’ve really loved it so far though, and I wouldn’t get a chance to take a class like this at Tulane, so I couldn’t pass it up. Like my other classes, this also includes
field trips planned excursions. We’re also going to have guest lectures from various people in the fashion industry, and even I, the girl who would happily shop at only J.Crew for the rest of her life and doesn’t at all get the majority of high fashion, can appreciate how cool that is.
What’s that? You’re wondering if I like J.Crew? Should I mention it one more time? Does anyone want to buy me these boots?
(Before you say anything, they SO do not look like every other pair of boots I own. They’re different. They’re special. I would have them forever.)
So, that’s about it! I know, I don’t go to real school. It’s okay. I’m in Europe for the semester…I think I can give myself a little break from the 22 credit load I’ve burdened myself with for the past year and a half. 🙂 Anyway, I’m really enjoying all of my classes. I love how we get to visit so many places for all of them and that so many of the teachers have lots of first-hand experience in their subjects. I love Tulane and have been very happy with my classes there, but it’s nice to do something new and different for a semester. It’s also interesting taking two and a half hour classes that only meet once a week. Surprising, they don’t seem to got by as slowly as I thought they would. We do get a fifteen minute break halfway through each one. (My artsy fellow classmates call this a “smoke break”, I call it a “run to the closest boulangerie and grab a pastry break”. Tomato, tomato. Oh wait, that doesn’t work when you type it!) I don’t know if I like only meeting once a week, though…I feel like we don’t really get to cover that much, and every time I’m back in class, it feels like I’m coming back from a break. But like I said, it’s really nice to do something different!
Sorry for the lack of pictures in this post. Here’s a typical Paris shot to make up for it.
And here’s a preview of my next post!
Home sweet Versailles. Love those solo shots.