Monthly Archives: March 2011

I’m on a Radioactive Cloud high

If you didn’t already know, today the radioactive cloud from Japan passed over Paris, so if I come back to the states with a third eye or something, it’s not just because I’m not obsessed with Keith Haring.

This week I’ve been trying to start doing tours at my stage. This means I would take a group of kids around the museum teaching them about Keith Haring, explaining the art work, and doing little games with them. However, my directrice was a little reluctant to let me start plus things have been insane because it’s still the beginning of the expo. So, today there was finally a group which worked for everybody, and I got to do my first tour! 😀 It was a little tricky because I need to figure out how everything flows, but that’s normal for a tour, I’ve been through the same thing before doing tours for Goucher. It was also not the most normal of tours because there was a camera crew finishing up in the same room. Guess what! Musée en herbe’s gonna be on TV, in May. If anything goes up on youtube I’ll be sure to share. 😉 But anyway, so it’s hard for a five-year old to focus when there’s me talking, a video next to me (which is always there), a giant light next to me (which the camera crew left glaring down on everyone), and ten billion people passing by. But, I think we did alright. I admit to stumbling during one part, but one of the other stagiaires saved me. I just honestly forgot how to pronounce a word, and with everything else going on I got thrown off.

Later that day I was lucky enough to do another tour with an 11-year-old girl and her father. It was amazing because it reminded me how much I love doing individual tours at Goucher. To really cater to what people want and pay attention to their needs, instead of just spitting out info to the masses. (I may be exaggerating a tad.) They were really nice and I feel confident that after some practice I’ll have this tour thing down. It’s just like at Goucher, if your surrounded by something you love, it’s easy to talk about it. I just need to keep myself surrounded by Keith Haring, keep reading about his work and learning more and more about him.

After my tour finished, I ended up talking with some other stagiaires about European and American educational systems. And, we came, more or less, to this conclusion America is ridiculously expensive, but Liberal Arts Education is really nice because I can mix things up and I have a really good general knowledge to back up my major. However, France is nice because you have a path, you know where you’re going, more or less.

So, that was today, pretty awesome in general, even if my writing sucks because I’m tired so I can’t really express it. Here’s one of my favorite works of Keith Haring to wrap it all up.

And then there was Glee

Yesterday, I spent most of my day at the Salon du Livre (Book). It’s essentially a huge book fair, with authors signing books and discussions. We spent a couple hours wandering around, just looking at how many options there were. The great thing was, there were very few big book companies, it was almost all small publishers organized by region. They also had editors from all over the world, which I took full advantage of for discovering which Swedish writers I should read. I didn’t buy anything because unlike in the US, a book is not priced based on it’s size, but on it’s popularity. So, all the little paperbacks I wanted were around 20 euros, no can do. At the end I listened to a discussion on Translation and Translators. It was interesting to see how important this industry is in France and how much debate is involved.

After that I headed to St. Michel to meet an American friend who was visiting for spring break. (Here’s her blog from when she was here a year ago). We got couscous and then split up because half the group had to wake up early, and half the group wanted to go out for a drink. It ended up being me and four boys heading to an Irish bar, which sounds awkward but it wasn’t, I just felt like I was back in Southington with Brian and his friends. And it was actually pretty interesting to listen to a Frenchie, Chinois, and Lebanese discuss hitting on girls, which is apparently a lot more classy over here.

When I got home that night, I gave in to my new addiction, Glee. It’s a horrible horrible habit to watch american shows while I should be enjoying France or at least watching something in French. But, I’ve reached the point where I just feel like I live here, it’s no longer PARIS, just, Paris. It’s still amazing, I love it, but I need to get the spark back so I keep going to museums every weekend and don’t spend all my time watching Glee. If only it wasn’t so good…

Capucine

Cutest little French girl ever, and it’s translated. Enjoy.

Merci à Colleen for finding this for me. 🙂

Folle!

Post number 100! Whoohoo!

100 posts in 6 months, I’m pretty impressed with myself since all my childhood journals had the same entry, “Maybe this time I’ll actually keep writing….”

Keeping the blog going has been easier than I thought it would. Partly because I’m so happy here and I know I’ll forget things if I don’t write them down, it’s just how my brain works. And partly because I know my mom (Salut mommy!) and some other relatives read the blog, and I love being able to keep in touch with them, even if it’s in our funky 21st century way. Whether any future study abroaders have looked at the blog (another reason I thought of starting it), I have no clue, but you never know.

This week has been insane, and it’s not slowing down. Monday I had mon stage in the morning, where we continued to clean and clean for the inauguration, and carry lots of supplies all over the building, almost ran out of space. After that I had my class at IFE where we learned about Greece and the EU during a presentation and I believe the institutions… I’ve discovered I’ve had enough of the EU and need to find some way to keep myself interested in this class, we’ll see how that goes.

Tuesday went by fast. In the morning we cleaned all the paint stains of the floor in the exposition. After that we went over the exposition a bit as a group, got dressed in our Keith Haring gear, and got to work. I spent my night surveilling the artwork (Ne touchez pas s’il vous plait, c’est les vrais oeuvres, tres fragile, merci) and cleaning wine glasses, I believe we went through 40 sum odd bottles. All in all, opening night was a great success and I was exhausted by the time I got home.

Today, I woke up and headed up north to the Prefecture de la Police to renew my visa, which thanks to slowpoke bureaucracy and forms is expired (btws, legal to stay in france with an expired visa for 2 months). I got there a half hour early, went though security, and got my number. Everything moved pretty fast, the lady was nice, everything was well until, dun dun dun, I didn’t have my numero d’agreement! What is that? No clue! And whatever it is, IFE doesn’t have it. So, I get to go back on friday and give them a very pretty letter from IFE explaining that we don’t have said numero but here is all the information you could possibly need. I was just a tad bit frustrated after going up north, missing work for the morning, and not getting what I needed, so I grabbed some MacDo and headed to the museum. There I got to observe one of the visits while guarding the artwork, a new task now that there’s real art work at stake. It was interesting to watch since we really are in the process of figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Keeping the kids from touching the work was a whole other story. They understand that paintings are not to be touched, that’s easy basic knowledge. However, there’s a kids size yellow race car which just calls to them. You can see it in their eyes, every kid who passes wants to touch it, heck I want to, it’s freaking cool. It’s really tricky to figure out which kid will just be tempted and which kid will actually act on it. I’m hoping we put up some actual barriers, because it sucks to keep a kid at a distance and have to act like the security guard with everybody who comes in. After work, I attempted to do some shopping because during the beautiful 18 degree C weather we had today, I realize that jeans and a pea-coat aren’t going to be comfortable for long on the metro. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any luck, but hopefully more skirts will be out before the real heat waves. Tonight, one of our Goucher friends came for a visit, so Zipeng cooked us all a big dinner. It was nice to catch up, and just not eat cantine food.

Post 100, fini, je doit dormir. But I’ll leave you with a very important video for learning French.

or alternatively, because I am a vrai connecticutian

Just around the corner.

This morning, I went rock climbing with the foyer. The closest gym was actually right outside of Paris, in Villejuif which is on the border in south Paris. The gym was really nice, with plenty of options for boldering as well as a belay area, but no automatic ropes.

After that, I went back home and decided go to the library and search for a new metro book. It turns out there is a very good library 15 minutes from my foyer, maybe less, or I can take the bus straight to it. All this time, I’ve been going far away for the library because the local one isn’t that good, and it turns out there’s a great modern one right down the street.

Today was actually a very full day, but I’m so exhausted and there were so many little things and fun conversations, that it’s hard to sum up. But those were the two big events. Bon weekend tout le monde!

Oh Keith.

Today was pretty normal. I spent the morning bumming around preparing to paint, while waiting for the paint to show up, and then finally being able to paint. Afternoon was spent finishing painting the bathroom and trying to make a computer work. Nothing too crazy for me, but the actual workers had plenty to do. Now that we have all the artwork, they were busy installing and figuring out where to put everything. The exhibit really looks amazing, I can’t wait to see it all done on Monday.

After work, I wandered around a bit wasting time before my meeting. I went to the fnac to try to buy a new metro book, but discovered that as soon as a book wins a prize or is generally considered good, its price jumps from 7 euros to 17 euros, way to much for a little paperback. So, instead I wrote down some good books to search for at the library, the good ol cheap student way. After that I discovered a store by chatelet called Christina which appears very cheap for good clothing, but I didn’t have any money so I didn’t critique too much.

After that I met up with my tutor for my final paper to discuss my topic. By the end of my program I have to write a 30 page research paper, about something in relation to my stage. It was a good meeting, because I realized that all my ideas revolve around the same idea. My tutor seemed to think I’ll be able to easily find a specific topic to write about, but wants me to explore the topic further, all sides of it, and then decide what interests me the most. All I know is I want to tie in the Museum and Keith Haring, because they are both such an important part of my life right now. I’ll let you know what the topic is when I figure out what I’m going to right about specifically, but for now I want to keep it to myself. I’m really happy with my tutor because he seems generally knowledgeable and interested in what I’m doing. He’s also just really nice. 🙂 (My meeting was actually at the café where this photo was taken. Small world affect meets internet, I wasn’t even searching for it and I found the picture.)

Once I finished, I realized there must be a bus stop nearby and decided to find it since I didn’t feel like cramming into the metro on a friday night. Which turned out to be a wonderful choice, because as I walked back towards the louvre, I managed to find the beginning of my bus line, hence an empty bus! It also just felt great figuring out how to get to the louvre without looking at a map and succeeding, and paris looked very pretty tonight, life just felt good. 🙂

Keith Haring, le petit prince de la rue

This morning all the stagiaires watch a documentary on Keith Haring. It was all in English with subtitles, so not only did I learn about an amazing artist but I also got to be all nostalgic and laugh at the fun accents. Here’s some clips if you’d like a petit edumacation on Keith Haring.

After watching the film, it was time for the artwork to be delivered. First came this car:

Then all the paintings were delivered. I ended up “guarding’ the truck so that the important people could actually make sure everything was put in it’s proper place. It was so nice to be outside in the sun for a while, and the workers were fun to talk to. One had spent a month in Texas as a jockey, you never know who’ll you’ll meet.

Other than that we just took lenses out of glasses which the kids will wear to be like Keith during their visit and I translated an e-mail.

Time to head to bed and get ready for our last day of painting tomorrow. Bonne nuit!