Saturday, November 16, 2013

Paris, 1994

Pont Alexander III, Paris, 1994
When I was finishing college, I decided I wanted to go to Europe for a year. Not having any money, I thought I would Au pair.  My French professor told me about a teaching exchange program (teaching American culture and American pronunciation in a French high school) that he thought would be better. And boy was it!  I had only finished a French 204 class, so it's not like my French language skills were great, and the application had to be written in French.  I wrote my application long hand, and my French professor typed it up and submitted it for me. Maybe he improved my grammar along the way? I don't know.

My French professor was also leading a trip for a French immersion one month study in August in La Rochelle, France. I decided to sign up for that, and if the teaching exchange fell through, at least I would get to go to Europe anyway. Sometime that summer, I moved in with my parents on Long Island. Two weeks before I was to leave for the French immersion class, I was notified I was accepted into the teaching exchange program. It was a good thing I was on Long Island, so I could go to NYC to apply and get my French Visa so quickly (it took two trips, the French love their paperwork).  Things really worked out well.

I had my immersion class in August, and my teaching position started in October. For the month of September, I rented a dorm room from a school in Paris (the details are vague after so many years). I didn't really have much money, but I would wander around Paris, going to museums and taking photos (and eating French pastries). My teaching position was in the suburbs of Paris, and I would go to Paris at least a couple days a week to play tourist. I would travel to other towns in Europe during school holidays, and traveled for a month after the school year was over.

For college graduation, my parents had gotten me a really nice 35mm camera. My Dad swore I would lose it or it would get stolen while I was in Europe, but that was not the case. I came home with 80+ rolls of film when I got back. I did shoot some in black and white, like this photo.

This weekend, I have strep and I am brain-dead, tired, and completely unmotivated to work on art. I thought I would share a photo from my trip all those years ago and will probably share more every now and then. If anyone is interested in hearing more about my trip to Europe or seeing photos, let me know and I can post more.

(By the way, when I got back, my Mom recommended I develop 10 rolls of film a week and to put the good ones in photo albums. I must say that was fantastic advice. Not only do I have four large photo albums, I was also smart enough to write on the back where it was and who the people are. I am horrible with names so a lot of them would have been forgotten if not for this).

No comments:

Post a Comment