Saturday, June 13, 2009

halfway point

I think we're nearing the official halfway point. It's been a long two weeks, but so totally awesome. Everyday we're experiencing SOMETHING, and it just blows my mind! I love how much history Paris has to offer. I wish it was like this back home.

Yesterday, we went to the Musee Armee. Here's a commemorative photo:

Our Parisian adventures are unfortunately nearing the end. I'm excited to see some more buildings that appeal to antiquity in the next couple of days as well as doing some modern-day Parisian shopping.

Totally awesome.

- Lain
I finally got around to the blog! Every day I find something new to post and every night I find no time or energy, or both, or maybe it's because days like these can't be summed up in a few words... What can I say? I enjoy the museums, the touristy spots, the noisy neighborhoods and the quiet, unnoticeable ones; whenever I have a free minute I keep wanting to explore new areas, but keep coming back to the old familiar ones, like Place St. Michel or the Ile St. Louis (Honoré Daumier, one of the people I researched, lived there for most of his life; the house totally blends in with the rest ecxept for the plaque with his name; it's a really cozy spot, I can see why he chose it); I love the simple things, the ones that make you blend in to the routine of everyone around, like our daily walks to the bakery, or walking through the Parc Montsouris across the steet from the dorms; the coolest thing so far has been being mistaken for a french person! (Sometimes leaves you speechless...) I just realized this, but this kind of routine doesn't involve using cellphones, or labtops or watching tv; and somehow it is so much better! The view outside is entertaining enough, and you never get tired of museums, especieally the d'Orsay, that seems to be everybody's favorite. Speaking of musums, I think I set the record today: three in one day (I guess walking through the courtyard of the Invalides doesn't count). It was the Armory in the morning, then the Rodin house, then on the way to Luxemourg I decided to take a detour to the Medieval arts museum; sketched a while at the park, then had to leave because they were closing (I keep forgetting about that); and that's pretty much how our days go. Oh, and I'll be sure to post any cool photos I might have skipped later on. A bientôt for now!

-Kira

I bought her a white rose.
Her grave was surrounding by several big graves, so it took a while for me to find.
I don't know why i did that....
but i just felt that i should go to see her grave before i gave my presentation.

Yung-Han
Well... I finally recieved the invite to the blog. I was telling some of the others that lately I feel like the last kid to be picked for dodgeball in gym class. It's fine, because honestly I have been so overwhelmed with stimuli here in Paris that when I think of what words I can use to describe everything, I draw a blank. There aren't words. Maybe magical? But that makes it sound like I'm five and I just bumped into Cinderella at Disneyland. It's a really good feeling anyway... Yesterday was possibly one of my favorite days here so far. In the morning I had my presentation about Sergei Diaghilev, the founder of the Ballet Russes, and Henri Matisse. I had a brave volunteer (CLam) help me act out a little bit of the drama that went on with the ballet, which was hilarious!! Hehe... I will leave it at that and not embarass anyone. And I truly surprised myself with my public speaking. It is one of my few fears, which I have been trying to overcome my whole life. But the funny thing is John gave me a little advice that I think has helped me more than any communications teacher. Just a new way of thinking about it. After it was over I felt amazing and could then look forward to the rest of the trip with a little less stress. Not only that, but we were eating at Dans Le Noir. I have been looking forward to this day- something new to experience- something to put me on edge. I loved it!! We were lead into a pitch black room and served dinner and dessert by the blind. All the other senses were inhanced but mostly what made an impression on me was the relationship I had to have with the people in close proximity to me. We had to work together to figure out our surroundings. At one point I just barely tipped a glass over and it shattered. I felt really bad, but can you blame me? It was pitch black. I wonder if that happens all the time. Well... we have the next two days off so I better get of the computer and soak up all I can

-Kim A

Friday, June 12, 2009

PASSED THE HALF WAY

yep. its past the halfway point. I have a presentation coming up tomorrow so i have to review material tonight which could be more fun... but i am stoked for Normandy beach on Tuesday and finding the roman catacombs on Sunday.

today we went to dinner at a restaurant where the waiters are blind and you eat in perfect darkness. so dark you cannot see a centimeter on front of you. pretty interesting stuff trying to figure out what your eating without your eyes.
Nikita got some really good pictures of the inside. this is what it looked like for all of our curious viewers out there:


those are some good memories.

more to come,
-- corwin

Day.. all becoming a Blur ( part Deux)

Sleeping in till 10 keeps your mind refreshed and able to make coherent sentences. and lets continue with just a taste of the may photos I have taken on this trip.



After leaving Monet gardens we got back to the Vernon station a little early and we had time to walk around a bit in the village, I felt it was a perfect opportunity to mess around like this.


On our way back to the train station we saw this french gentleman riding around in a nice set of wheels I envy the man greatly.


A bunch of us decided to go a night on the town and visited the Eiffel Tower at night, every hour on the hour for 2 mins the Eiffel Tower lights up like a thousands twinkling stars for the enjoyment of the viewers.


A closer look.



Messing with the camera.



and even more.

As the night came to a close we had our first day off technically. I had fun exploring the nook and crannies of the Latin Quarter of Paris ( pictures eventually will come) but we had one thing to do that night.


this photo is a random fluke because I was taking a shot of Gus and lain right as Kim was taking a picture with her flash on. and the results is this magical photo.



After a nice little symphonic concert, John took us to a really cool jazz cafe/resteraunt in the Bastille district. It was a nice relax way to end the day.


The next day john takes us to a really Awesome DEATH MUSEUM! I mean, a museum of paleontology full of just BONES. and here is just a taste of the awesome.


puts it in perspective.




Not exactly what Michelangelo had in mind but hey this is the 21st century.

Our leader at work


Our leader explains le squint.


Our leader... satisfied


Corwin, Clam, and myself bought some dinosaurs at the museum and John got this funny idea to see how the pidgeons reacted to the dinosaurs with food next to them.








And thats it for now, See ya later.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Day.... I dunno its just becoming a Blur now

its 1:06 in the morning we are all drawing but I gotta get some pictures up spanning the last few days. I have roughly 12 gigs of photos and videos to go through when I get home but these are just some of the highlights from the last few days.



It wouldn't be a trip to somewhere if Nikita didn't start sleeping through the journey.



Arriving at the Vernon station on our way to our location.



Cool little french village a bit on the stormy side as well.



The beautiful Monet Garden is our location of the day, the lily pond is a sight to be seen.


Well it seems this wireless internet does not want to work with me here so I'll update the rest tomorrow morning.

St. Chappelle & D'Histoire Naturelle

Yesterday was one of a kind. In midst of pouring rain and those danger puddle zones, everyone is dressed formally to see a concert at St. Chapelle. Despite the weather, the concert was so worth it...I mean, a string quartet in a magnificent Gothic chapel!! How classy is that?! Ahhhhhh... classical music is remedy indeed :) ♥ St. Chappelle really does have the most beautiful stain glasses ever, and here's a mini overview of the place with my voice. The second video is an excerpt of the concert.
video
video

Then today (in which the weather decided to be nice), we visited the Museum National D'Histoire Naturelle, a museum specialized in anthropogenic collections like extinct animal bones! Really a fascinating site. According to John, the place looks practically just like it was 100 years ago. Gus and I mix-matched heads and bodies in our sketchbooks, and the results were so silly :) Wow, we're down to 10 more days of class...

June 9th and 10th

Wow, we've gone to some neat places the past few days. On Tuesday, we took a train over to Giverny to visit Monet's garden. As expected, it was BEAUTIFUL and I think we were all pretty excited to be there.














This photo represents Yung-Han's excitement. Here's some photos from the garden itself.























































































































Then, the next night we went to go see a concert at St. Chappelle, which is literally RIGHT NEXT to Notre Dame. The architecture and stained glass were beautiful and so was the music. Here's a small bit of the show.

video

That's it for today. Most of us are getting pretty sick right now. Who knows if it's the weather or allergies or what, but it's starting to hit us all one by one. Sleep seems to be the only thing that makes the sickness feel better, so I am going to succumb to peer pressure and join in on the nap fest.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Life au Paris

So, I haven't posted in a while, but luckily my colleagues have been making an abundance of posts. Which are all fun to read. Since my last entry, there have been a lot of exciting and fun adventures. In fact so much that I just end up going to sleep as soon as we get back to the dorms. One of the things that have changed is that the bottom of my feet are so callused that I can't feel them with my fingers. They are that of a leather jacket. Pretty neat I think.

Anyway, we've done a bunch of exercises over the week. My favorite one so far was the Hot Potato assignment. You were permitted to take anyone's sketchbook at anytime and draw in a designated spread in it. We all got some really interesting spreads I think and hopefully can get some pictures up on the blog.

Aside from all our cool visits to museums and exploration of Paris, I thought I'd share our living conditions (most of our living conditions). Let me give you the grand tour.




When you enter our tiny room you immediately see almost all of it. I know school dorms are small in the states, but this takes the cake. Gus, my roommate, and me are actually lucky. We don't have much ceiling but we do have our room a bit more spread out compared to others.
Thats Gus's bed and the table where I make these posts on his computer.

Theres the desk and above it is our only window. Its actually quite nice and I can see this girl in the building across from ours. We have a distant relationships and I only see her at night when she is working or chatting on her laptop in front of her window. Sadly we only communicate through my thoughts, but its the thought that counts, right? Anyway, moving on towards the rest of this luxiorious mansion.


Yes, our ceiling is at slant as Mark demonstrates. I feel like giant walking around because I'm always leaning over to avoid head trauma. That little object on the right side in the corner is my domain. Come, come, let me show you the best part of the room. My part.

Welcome to all that is myself in Paris. That is where I sleep and work on assignments, read a little bit now and then. Mainly sleep though. The bed isn't amazing or anything, but after exploring Paris for 10 hours, I'll sleep on a rock. I've actually grown close to my bed and would be sad if anything ever happened to it. Yes, I did hand pick those covers. Brings a little color into my life. On the table are some supplies, the only money I brought with me and my guide book to the city which has saved me on numerous occasions.


Anyway, back to the window to show you readers my view. Its not super amazing, but its pretty nice.


Not bad, right? The clouds sometimes do cool things because the weather here is insane. Like california, but more extreme. Just missing the snow. The right middle window is where my neighbor lives. One day we'll meet in person. Some of the other students are blessed with a much more extravigant view, which we'll need to post. But I enjoy this bit of Paris.



The one complaint I have is our bathroom. Its incerdibly small. I can literally wash myhands, go to the bathroom and shower all at the same time. I think I've collided with the walls everytime I shower. You have to EXPERIENCE it to sit down after and ask, what the hell? Why.. is it so small? I feel like godzilla attacking Tokyo everytime I go into there. There you have it. Sink, left, toilet, middle, shower, right.



Yeah, its crowded. Group showers are optional.

There you have it. Thats our stay for the next 3 weeks left of this trip. I'm actually enjoying it a lot because its made me realize how much I appreciate the biggness of living in the states. Things here are just different enough to the point where its not over the top, but its just not the same. However, its not a bad thing. Its a really cool experience and I plan to enjoy my bed that is actually smaller than me for the rest of the 3 weeks. Thats all folks.

-Nikita

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Obama has his Shrunkenheadman Moment!

President Obama has apparently followed the Shrunkenheadmen to Paris!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090607/ap_on_go_pr_wh/eu_the_obamas_in_paris

John

Week 1

What a week this has been, time has flown by so fast. Six museums in seven days! And finally a moment to sit back, reflect on the weeks events and soak it all in. All the museums have inspired me, but there was one in particular that surprised me and that was the Picasso Musee. I must admit I wasn't a big fan beforehand but now I think I am (I don't know if I get it but I like it!) Seeing his work in person vs. seeing it from a book makes a world of difference. It evoked an emotion I didn't know I could feel towards his work. It was an awesome experience!

Well, that's all for now. More to follow soon :-D
At the D'Orsay




Day 7 (continued)

Never used one of these blog sorta things, but as a member of this fantastic group of super students its my duty to spill my beans insight on this trip. I am one of the many students who brought a camera along this trip and photography is sort of a hobby of mine. I would like to share with you two photos of the same subject but showing how just adding a little thought into the composition can make a world of a difference.

Here is the first photo:

I call this a tourist photo, it looks like the photographer was walking by the artwork and decided to take a snapshot of it as he cruised on by. With that mind set the picture captures the sculptor and you get to see Pan and his bears. but it lacks something, the image is dull and has no life and people will skip over this image in an instant.

now here is the second photo:



Here we are close up to the subject matter and we have ourselves a story. We can see the cheerful expression on Pan's face and the wary eye of the beast starring back. This is a much better photo and I believe gives the viewer a much more interesting perspective on this artwork. It does take a little more effort on the photographers part to make this photo ( had to be on one knee when I took this shot) but the end results gives you a completely different photograph.

And so ends my first blog post on the interwebs and I will continually enter more pictures and videos as the weeks go by.

Peace.

A few snapshots

Here are a few pictures from the class so far. Hope you enjoy them.
String orchestra performing in one of the Metro stations, trying to sell their cds.


John talking art in the Musee d'Orsay


Clam rubbing his belly at the thought of Paris squab.


Some crazy people in the Louvre.



The Sennelier Art supplies store.