Tag Archives: stage

Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun

I have been horrible at updating for a bit, but there’s a good explanation to go with it.

1st, I’ve been stressing out over my stage, trying to start doing visits with the kids and figuring out how that all works and the best way to do everything. So, while everything’s been good, I didn’t want to just blog about work frustrations because a) that’s not what this blogs about and b) this blog isn’t exactly private and I love my stage too much to risk creating conflict over the internet.

2nd, I’ve been dealing with some money issues. The short version is that while I was hanging out with friends in the common room, I left my purse on the chair and must have left the room for a sec but figured it was ok because friends we there, and somebody made copies of all my credit cards. Everything’s been blocked, all the money taken has been put back, and new cards are on the way. No worries, but for any future study abroaders or people in general, never ever leave your purse out in the open, even with friends around, you never know when people are going to be distracted and a stranger walks in and takes advantage. Like I said, everything’s fine now but I didn’t exactly have anything interesting to post throughout all that.

3rd, life is just crazy. I don’t think I’ll be posting a whole lot this semester. I’m having a hard time balancing stage, memoire, and friends. I’ve been moving too slow with my memoire, and working on the weekend never happens here, so I think I’m just going to stop having a life, go to the library after work, and shut myself out a bit until I know what I’m doing. Also, I’ve gotten into a kind of routine here in Paris, so it’s no longer useful to post what I do every day because it’s mostly the same. Even the weekend tends to be, woke up late, ate late, did nothing, ate late, stayed up late. Nothing too special.

But, here’s some fun updates.

I’ve started doing visits at my stage, and while it’s tricky, I learn something from every one, and feel more comfortable every time. Friday I had this huge group of kids that didn’t listen at all, and felt so annoyed during it, but now I know what to do next time and feel confident enough to do big groups.

Today, it’s 24 degrees C outside, aka in the 70s! So, we all went to Bois de Vincennes and sat in the park soaking up the sun. I just laid around and let the stress fall away, it was wonderful. We had ourselves a little picnic, so I brought PB&J for my contribution and I found a non-American who likes it! Go Philippe!

Hope everyone in the states is having a wonderful weekend, the sun will come your way soon!



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.


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

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!


Today was a really good but really sad day at the same time.

On one side, I feel almost completely and utterly comfortable and at ease at my stage. Today we had pretty much nothing to do, and so we just got really silly. Also, we went to the mayor’s office for the 1st arrondissement to do an atelier for some kids to celebrate Woman’s day. We were put in the Salle de Marriage, which is this Beautiful room with 3 fresques (which I’m pretty sure depict despair, peace, and work, so I’m wondering at what point in history they were painted), a decorated ceiling, conference area complete with Sarko’s picture, and a beautiful view of the Louvre. It was one of those “oh my god, is this my life? This is so freaking cool!” moments. I was doing arts in crafts with kids in this fancy shmancy room right across from the Louvre!

I don’t mean to brag, I’m just so amazed by today. Thank you IFE for giving me such an amazing stage in such an awesome arrondissment! (This is also a good lesson for why you always have to go with the flow and try out new things in Paris. I didn’t sign up to do this at first, because I wasn’t really sure what it was, but then I figured it out and asked my director if I could still go. Imagine what I would have missed if I had stayed at the museum!)

The atelier was also really cool because I got a tiny peek at some kids who live in central Paris. Aka, even if the Mayor picked the poorest kids in the area, they’re still pretty well of and go to some really good schools. One kid drew this amazing picture of the world, and he knew where all the countries go. He also put a little icon to represent the major ones, like the great wall of China and the Eiffel tower, and some things I’d never heard of for places I don’t even know.

After dinner, we all decided to hang out chez un ami because tonight was one of my morrocan friend’s last night. It was great to hang out and just be silly, but it just reminds me how much I’m gonna miss him, and how it’s never going to be the same again. People are constantly coming and going here. And, even say he moves to France in a year and I finish college and move to France too, we’re never going to be in the same foyer with the same people staying up late going Salsa dancing. At least facebook exists.

Anyway, that was a very quick summary of an awesome/triste day that had many more aspects and little notes to it, but I need to sleep. I should be getting some pictures of the Mayors office from a friend tomorrow, so I’ll be sure to post them. 🙂 Bonne nuit.

Mes pauvres pieds

In Paris, there’s no choice but to walk everywhere: you’ve got to walk to get food, walk to class, walk to work, walk to say hi to a friend, there’s no other way. So, when you’ve been running around town all week, walking to the metro and then work and then standing all day at work, you’re feet aren’t exactly the happiest they’ve ever been. And going dancing last night probably wasn’t the best idea after all that. My feet are officially at the point where no shoe makes them happy, they want to lie in bed for a weekend, maybe more, with fuzzy socks and Advil. Unfortunately, I’m in a bit of a pickle because I still have to eat and do my homework, which includes walking, and if I want to buy new comfy shoes and make my feet happy, that implies lots and lots of walking. So, if anybody knows some magical foot remedies, please let me know, until then, excuse my limping.

On another note, yesterday was good. At mon stage, we just prepared for the workshops that are happening this weekend, lots of cutting and counting. Then we had a meeting about the workshops and the new exhibition. It was really cool to see everything that’s going on, but also showed me that even though I’m there just as long as the others, I still don’t completely know what’s going on. Not sure if it’s the language barrier or just me missing things though.

After work, I ran over to Oberkampf to hand in my birth certificate to get it translated. The company was kind enough to let me in even though it was way past office hours. So far I have a feeling I’m going to want to give them a huge recommendation by the end of all this. I waited until the last-minute to get this done, but they’ve been nothing but helpful so far.

Last night, we decided to go all out, do our makeup, dress up, the whole nine yards. So, facebookers, keep your eye out for some pretty awesome photos soon. We went to an Irish Bar at Bastille, which was free and has great music, I ended up paying only 2 euros for the vestiaire.

Sorry if my writing is getting worse, whenever I’m tired I can see my tiny bit of writing ability go right out the window. But anyway, bonne journée!