So there have been no classes at Sciences Po all week long. We didn’t originally have a break scheduled for this week. Most students had a week and a half break around Toussaint (we only had November 1st off), but because we started school midway through October, it didn’t make sense to have two weeks off after three weeks of school.
As it is, I feel like I’ve done nothing so far in school this year. I’ve had three sessions of every class and what feels like more breaks than actual work. I have some work to do, but I sometimes feel like I’m just sitting around in France doing nothing. There’s no such thing as a midterm here, and we are never assigned papers to write. Instead I have about five days spread over the semester when I actually have things due, and between those days I have a lot of nothing.
There are things I could be doing with my time off, like preparing this week for future work, but instead I’ve done nothing. Well nothing school-related anyway. I spent a couple of days just getting chores done, like cleaning, grocery shopping, doing laundry, etc. I spent a couple days doing nothing but lazing around and watching movies. On Wednesday I went to buy my Pompidou Centre pass, which for 22 euro for a year is a really good deal.
The Pompidou Centre is a center for modern art in the city (which happens to have a surprisingly amazing view from its top floor), so in addition to the modern art museum, they have tons of movie screenings, dance performances and other things going on there. With the pass, I get in free to most things, and if not free, at a severely discounted price. If only they were somehow connected to the Théatre Mogador, so I could afford a ticket to see Swan Lake…all I need is one – I’m not even going to bother trying to convince someone else to fork out 60 euro for a ticket to the ballet.
After buying my pass I went upstairs to check out the Yves Klein exhibit (yeah, that guy). I still think the whole “developed a new color” thing is baloney, but after seeing the whole exhibit, I have a new respect for the guy. He’s pretty much nuts, but at the same time really cool. All of the paintings in the exhibit were completely monochromatic and either International Klein Blue (IKB), rose or gold – like with actual gold leaf. There are all these crazy quotes from him written on the walls, like (paraphrased due to poor memory) “Monochrome is the only way to paint truth,” and other such decrees.
This week I also had a date with a French boy – he’s from Sciences Po and smart and nice and perfect. The date was kind of perfect too – we walked along the Seine for two hours and waited in front of the Eiffel Tower at 23h to see it sparkling, and he gave me a rose and we spoke in French the whole time. After we parted ways though, and I was walking back across the river, I started crying. I just realized that I really miss home – especially the people at home, and I am in no way ready to start dating French boys.
Luckily, I didn’t feel homesick for long – as I was crossing rue Saint-Honoré, I inexplicably bumped into two middle-aged men in costume. One was dressed as an elf, in green tights, elfin boots and a hat. The other was a polar bear. They weren’t talking to each other or laughing or anything – just silently, seriously strolling up Pyramides in front of me. Needless to say, that put me in a much better mood.
Now I just need to figure out a way to communicate (in French) that I need to take a few steps back from both the boy who’s supposed to be coming over later tonight with a bottle of wine, and the other boy who wants to cook me a romantic French dinner tomorrow night. Maybe I’ll just tell them that I already have a man in my life – his name is Georges, he loves me, and he’d totally fight them if I needed him to. He’s a little outmatched for height, but he can deliver a mean bite to the thigh.