The First Time, The Last Time… (DEUX)

Sheila didn’t have any class today, it was just me up at the crack of dawn… unfortunately without much sleep again. I got ready for my final class of the semester, had my breakfast (I waited until Madame was pretty much out of the kitchen, I didn’t feel like having breakfast with her today), then I headed out. I was so sleepy, I was half falling asleep on the metro… it was pathetic! Professor Clavier was asking the rest of the students in the class about participating in the showcase for all of the classes, and he skipped over me since he already knew I wasn’t going to be in the country. He even said “Parce qu’elle part.” (Because she’s leaving.) This was news to about half of my group, so when we broke into our little sections after our warmup of a variation of musical chairs, they all chatted with me about it. Jeremy has family in America, and I made Maud, Mathilde, and Jeremy all promise to hit me up if (and when) they were ever in California. Ruxandra hadn’t heard that I was leaving yet, so she was surprised, and she was very sad to see me go. I gave her and Mathilde (Mathilde will pass on the address to Maud and Jeremy) business cards with my Facebook address so they could add me as a friend and I could keep in contact with them to continue to practice my French.

I was nervous about doing the Trois Soeurs piece since I still wasn’t off book after all this time, and I was worried Ruxandra was going to be upset with me. She wasn’t! We spent the better part of our class time (which was shortened by a little over an hour) working on the Andrei/Féraponte scene that I have with Mathilde, and we made it hilarious. I was practically off book by the time we got to show it to the class and Professor Clavier. He said I played the character very well, so I was happy. I think I’ve finally been able to prove to him that not only am I a halfway-decent French speaker, but I’m a pretty good actor too. Similarly to how I did in my theatre class on Monday, it took me all semester, but I finally succeeded! Professor Clavier mentioned that he received that silly emailed that Professor Bruhnes did that said no one should get above a 14/20 in the class, and he said he rarely gives under a 15/20, so I think I’m safe, especially now. When it came time to leave the class, Maud gave me a bise and a smile, and I assured her that Mathilde would give her my Facebook address, then Mathilde gave me an actual bisou on the cheek and a hug, and Ruxandra and Jeremy wished me happy travels, and told me they’d stay in touch with me through Facebook and hoped they’d see me again soon. I assured them they would. I left the class beaming, I really loved all of my group mates. The friends I made in my Paris III classes are part of what really made my study abroad experience. On my way to the metro, I heard someone yelling my name loudly. It was Professor Clavier. “CLAIRE! GOOD BYE!” He came up to me, gave me a strong high-five, and held my hand for a second. “Au revoir, Monsieur Clavier! Si vouz retournerez aux États-Unis, envoyez-moi un mail!” (Goodbye, Mr. Clavier! If you go back to America, send me an email!) The professors made my study abroad experience too…

I met up with Joan near Gare de l’Est so we could go over to Saint Michel, then over to Notre Dame to visit a café she’d been to before so I could have my first plate of escargot! She’d been a little sick recently, but she was feeling better, even more so by the time we got to the small cafe. Le Tambour d’Arcole (5 rue d’Arcole 75004) is literally right down the street from Notre Dame. My plate of snails (12 of them!) was only 9,90 euro, which was an absolute steal for how delicious they were. I asked the waiter what kind of wine would be good with snails, and he said a Chardonnay would be a good option, so I trusted him. It was a great wine, of course… but at 6,40 euro a glass… considering I saw the price and immediately thought “that’s two bottles of Carrefour Beaujolais,” I think you understand where my head was. That single glass of wine had me pretty well buzzed, which I am incredibly embarrassed about. I am such a lightweight… The escargot were served in a sauce of butter, garlic, and parsley. Honestly, if you like that kind of a sauce, you’ll probably like escargot. I didn’t notice much of an odd texture at all, I just considered the tiny morsels of snail inside the shells as chewy vessels to carry that delicious sauce into my mouth. It was a crying shame I couldn’t use the bread to soak up what sauce was left…

After stopping by the nearby Kilo Shop to try to find Joan some ski pants for her upcoming trip to Switzerland (no luck, for the record), we went to Sweet Briar so I could try to get my photos to print today, and to print the new copy of my paper. The photos took FOREVER to print (the printer at Sweet Briar takes a while to read photos) and I managed to back up everyone else’s projects, but it worked! I stapled my project together, made photocopies of my notes for tomorrow’s theatre final (since I can’t use my entire notebook), and ran home to switch into a smaller bag to head over to Centre Pompidou to meet up with Sharon, and my Students Gone Global blogger friend, Alissa. I saw a didgeridoo player, and a guy that was levitating near the entrance of the building before I saw either of them… Oddly enough, I didn’t think either of those things were out of place in front of a contemporary art museum with a very modern structural set-up…
Sharon specifically wanted to see the Dali exhibit at Pompidou, which cost 10 euro (the museum itself was free since we were students), so we all paid, got our tickets, and went in. On our way up, we snapped some pictures of the view. The Eiffel Tower started “going off” while were up on the seventh floor…
Dali was a crazy guy… He was definitely brilliant, but he was so, so crazy… That’s really all I have to say. The exhibit was very interesting. They had videos you could watch, and they had interviews he’d done playing throughout the rooms, so you could hear that voice while you were looking at all of his work. I liked the way they set up the exhibit, it was very clear what you could and couldn’t take photos of. The paintings and sculptures would have a plaque next to them with the name of the piece, and the date it was done. If you couldn’t take a picture of it, it would have a camera with a dash through it. If that symbol wasn’t there, it was assumed that you COULD photograph it. I snapped a photo of Autoportrait (1972), which was at the end of the exhibit.
Sharon bought some stuff at the Dali-related gift shop, and as hungry as she was, and as much as my back hurt, I figured it’d be good to at least look at the actual museum since we were already there. We shopped on the actual museum floor (the fourth floor), and took a look at some of the contemporary art (from 1960 to present day). We came upon this… room that you could go inside. I think it was called “The Winter Garden” or something to that effect. Either way, it was a sculpted room of black and white, so we took a lot of pictures inside it.
Me and Alissa: The Students Gone Global Bloggers!
By the way, check out Alissa’s blogs here, and here! After we walked through that floor of the museum a bit more (and I annoyed the crap out of Sharon and Alissa with my incessant picture taking of the same work of art… since I was using color-selection like crazy), we went down to the rez-de-chaussée to look at the gift shop, then we parted ways and went home.
Madame was home when I came back around seven, so I greeted her, then went to my room. She’d brought our suitcases up! Thank goodness! I got a chance to Skype my boyfriend and catch up with him on all of his police explorer escapades while I was rolling up my clothes to prep everything to pack a little later on. That’s the easy part. My main worry is going through the two giant file-folders I have that are filled with a plethora of paperwork that I need to figure out what’s worth keeping, and what needs to be tossed. After all, how many metro tickets do I really need to glue to a canvas block to hang on my wall anyway? Madame called us out to dinner, and we had the lemon-dressed carrots, a green salad, and galettes du sarrasin for dinner. As much as I thought I was going to be sick of the galettes, I didn’t mind this one so much. There wasn’t anything different about it (it was the usual egg, cheese and lardon kind), but I didn’t feel as sick as I normally do when I eat them (the kind of sick you feel when you eat something a little too rich). We all talked a lot about cooking, about packing, and about long flights. Madame said it’s apparently common for students (like us) to stay out all night before our flights so we sleep on the plane. I know that’s the plan for tomorrow night, but because I’m so much of a grandma, there’s no way I’m going to be able to make it all night. I’ll plan on taking the metro home before two in the morning since I’ll need SOME sleep.
I headed back into my room to do some packing. I’m hoping to get the larger suitcase full of gifts and lightweight (but soft and bulky) sweaters. To ease my way through security, I’m not going to put any liquids in my carry on, and any sort of liquids I’ll need at my hotel in Washington Dulles I’ll put in the smaller suitcase so those are the only pieces of luggage I’m messing with. I was hoping to have a plan hashed out for my composition for the theatre paper tomorrow, but I don’t have the time. I’ve always found it more helpful to get a good night’s sleep than it is to stay up all night working and cramming, so I’ve made the decision to fly by the seat of my pants for this one. I’m going to read through all of my notes for the theatre terminology portion of the exam, then I’ll read through the small notes from the director in the program from the show, and I know what my “thesis” is going to be for the paper, so I think I should be able to pull something out of my rear end. Because I’m an International Baccalaureate student, and I earned the diploma in high school, I joke that I already have a degree in B.S., so I might as well put it to use. My dossier is going to fetch me a very pretty grade anyway, so I’m not too worried.
La femme est naturelle, c’est-à-dire abominable. -Baudelaire. Journaux intimes

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