Hello, everyone! I would first like to apologize for taking so long to write a new post. This past week was my first week with any actual assignments to present, and the preparations for this week took up almost all my time. Because of that, I also did not really go anywhere until after my last class Wednesday, so I really did not have much to write about, anyway. (That is my excuse, anyway...)
To begin with school, this past Monday was my first exposé. Exposés are oral presentations that are an integral part of smaller classes at Sciences Po. Although the preparation for my first exposé was rather stressful due to the fact that the entire Sciences Po library just happened to be closed the week before my presentation (typically French, I'd say... : )), I think the presentation itself went rather well. I will not know for sure until I receive my grade in a few weeks (my first grade in France--yikes!), but it certainly feels like I have accomplished something simply by surviving my first exposé. Only three more to go this semester...
After classes this past week, I was able to take a little time to do some more sightseeing. Friday, I saw the outside of the Opéra Garnier, the opera house that appears in The Phantom of the Opera. It was gorgeous, and I cannot wait to see the inside! After that, I continued to the nearby Galeries LaFayette, a large, rather famous French department store. I did not stay there long due to the huge number of people in the store, but I may return a little later when there are no big sales going on. After that, I made a quick venture to H&M (quickly becoming my favorite store), then I finished my evening adventures at the Louvre. This week I decided to begin my thorough tour of the Louvre. I plan to see one small part of one floor for an hour each week until I have see the entire museum. This week's section was only about the history of the Louvre, so I did not see any grand masterpieces. I did get to see the remains of the medieval castle that was originally the Louvre, though. There is a contrast between the rich, elegant halls of the modern Louvre and the primitive, rough stone of the original fortress that used to be the Louvre!
Finally, I went out Saturday evening for Nuit Blanche. Nuit Blanche is an event that occurs once a year in Paris. For this event, many places in Paris are open until the wee hours of the morning, and there are many modern art displays and presentations throughout the city. Although I am not a big fan of modern art, I nevertheless ventured into Paris to take advantage of the free admission to the Musée de l'Orangerie, where most of Monet's waterlily paintings are on display. Before returning to Bures, I was able to see Notre Dame (which was beautiful with the front rose window lit up!) then drink a café with some Italians who were in Paris visiting a friend of a friend of mine. All in all, it was a very enjoyable evening!
I guess that is about all for now. I have really started to buckle down with my studying and school work, but I am still trying to make a point of exploring a new section of Paris every week. Who knows where I will go next? : )