Sunday, May 18, 2008

Odds 'n Ends

I spent yesterday and Friday in Paris, as promised. It isn't that I don't like my little town, but there's only so much you can do in it by yourself. Paris is overflowing with things you can do by yourself. Since I'm inscribed to two Carte Jeune museum programs - at the Louvre and at the Lusée du Quai Branly - I spent my days at those two museums, plus a little walking around and some shopping. Unfortunately I'm pretty sure that between this weekend and London I've now blown through all the extra money I had from going home in April and I'm going to try to be more careful with my spending the next few months so that I can have a really great final travel at the end of my contract.

If you haven't been to Quai Branly, GO. It's the newest and perhaps most controversial museum in Paris, dedicated to art from non-Western cultures, or as I like to describe it "stuff we stole from our colonies." Not all of it was stolen, and some of it was actually modern art produced by the indigenous cultures, like some awesome paintings by Aboriginal artists. It's a really amazing collection. The art is so different from what you usually get to see, and I certainly never learned about it. It's also art that is completely integrated into their culture, rather than the "art for art's sake" kind of thing, which is also fascinating. I've only been through the Oceana/Anzac and New World parts, leaving Asia and Africa still to go. They have concerts and talks and things, so hopefully I'll get to take advantage of those before I go. I wasn't always thrilled with the written descriptions so next time I might invest in an audio guide. Also I caught a geographical error on a map (incorrect labelling of the Great Lakes!) and because of that made friends with some guard/watcher guys, who I'm apparently going to give English lessons to.

All the seven month assistants have left now, leaving only a handful of nine-monthers left here. It doesn't really change much for me, since I'm usually by myself anyway, but it is weird that the other American who lived here at the lycée with me is gone now. It was nice to have someone to exchang a few words in English with, and to complain about the terrible way this lycée is run with. I'll be leaving soon too, which is so hard to believe. Only six weeks of school left.

I am pretty doubtful that I'll get renewed for next year. A lot more Americans applied for the assistant program than usual, so a lot of people got turned down and a lot are on the waiting list, which leads me to think that I won't get renewed because there won't be a spot for me. I also still don't know if I would take it if I did get renewed. I feel like I should, if only because once I go back to the US and go back to school I won't have an opportunity like this again. I also don't know if I can do this for another year - being alone all the time and dealing with my asshole doctor being the two main problems, and also feeling so cut off from my friends and family in the US. But there are some things that are so great about it. I really like my kiddies, I love being able to travel, I love being able to go to Paris all the time, and I love speaking French everyday. In the past couple of days I have suddenly felt very comfortable with French. Obviously I still have a tiny vocabulary and conjugation problems, but I feel totally able to deal with any situation in French. I love that, it gives me such a sense of accomplishment. Decisions, decisions...

4 comments:

Andromeda said...

that museum sounds great! i loved the non western coures i took in college, and it all fits in with linguistic stuff too, its so cool! i'll be in paris on the first sunday i hope i'll get a chance to check it out.

Leah said...

Keep us posted, whatever it is you decide to do!

Monique said...

yeah it's so hard trying to decide where in life you should land next.... good luck with it!

And P.S. I didn't realize lycee assistants could stay 9 months, I thought it was only in ecole primaire... news to me!

Au Soleil Levant said...

Monique, I am a primary assistant, I was just provided housing my my academie in a lycée. Thank goodness I don't have to teach the kids who go to school here!