About Me

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be. Shel Silverstein

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

réflexions sur la beauté...

To me, a Texas girl, I think Angers is a beautiful, albeit small and simple, European town. To the French students who grew up knowing nothing but the beauty of Europe find it to be less than attractive. It's as if to experience the true beauty of something, you have to experience it for the first time and it has to be an experience outside of your own personal norm. I find the mix of ancient, medieval, modern, and all the time periods in between to be a beautiful eclectic mess, yet if I grew up seeing this everywhere.. I might prefer a city made up of buildings built after 1800. This... phenomena lends itself to subjectivity based upon the individual and his/her own experiences. Something that is beautiful, ugly, awe-inspiring, boring, overwhelming, etc.. is based only upon what I know and don't know. Nothing has one inherent universal characteristic. 

Another example is Paris. This weekend, all of the American students will be taking a trip to Paris, all of which are excited. There is so much history and beauty bursting from the seams, yet to the French students who either lived there or have been there more times than they can count are apathetic to all that we, that I, am anxious to experience. This makes me wonder if I have taken advantage of experiences that others would be overwhelmed to  have simply because it wasn't outside the little bubble that I know. Why do thrilling experiences have to happen outside our bubble? Does broadening our horizons force us to look back inward and appreciate what we have always known? Does it help us to better understand what we have been blind to, whether positive or negative? 


over and out.

Travel Excitement

Yesterday, our professor took all of us to the train station to teach us the in's and out's of train travel throughout France and Europe. It finally made traveling a reality and led to a lot of excitement! Although, buying the right train pass has been a little confusing, I think I finally figured it out :)

Also, this past weekend was extremely fun! There are 9 students from St. Edward's in Austin and about 12 French students also in our group. We all live on the same floor at our apartment and are intermixed in the same classes. It has been so fun to be able to bridge the language barrier and have the Americans and the French bond and form such good friendships for such a short period of time.

There was a festival in Angers this past weekend, so after spending Friday in Brittany kayaking on the Atlantic, we all went out to experience the festival. Saturday we found a free electronic concert which was probably my favorite part of the weekend.

One thing the whole group seems to be learning is a good balance of study time, sleep time, and fun time. Our first week, we all went out almost every night. It is so tempting to do so whenever you meet a large group of new people who happen to all live merely a couple of feet from your door. The first week, we had very little homework so it was okay, but now most of us are having the homework pile on and are tired thanks to our thrown off sleep schedule. The value of using my time wisely has never been so... necessary! And I am glad to be learning how to manage my time.

over and out

Thursday, September 8, 2011

un euro pour mes pensées

While walking my 30 minutes home from class this morning, I had really good quality thinking time. So far, the most important thing that living in France has taught me is how to live sans excess. I brought one lump sum of money with me and have no job, so wasting precious funds on a 8 euro cheeseburger has become absolutely absurd to me. Why spend 30 euros on a particular brand of makeup, whenever I could wear none and use that money on a train ticket to an adventure? Why buy bottled water whenever the tap water, albeit doesn't taste awesome, but it's perfectly safe to drink? I spent a good 10 minutes deciding between 4 euro fresh brie and 1 euro pre-packaged brie in MonoPrix yesterday. I bet all the french people around me were thinking "I have never seen a girl stare at cheese for this long" (except they would be thinking it in french). The strangest thing about all of this, is that in a matter of a couple of days stuck in another country, I have gone from someone who spent her money randomly and undoubtedly haphazardly, to a girl who has her priorities set on experience rather than material and a firm grasp on how wasteful excess truly is.

I apologize for a such an all over the place post as my first blog from France... but... what I am learning is more important than my living environment and what classes I am taking (although I will post about those soon!)

over and out.

P.S. It's cold here!