WORD OF THE DAY: nostalgie (f.)- nostalgia
I’ve had such a pleasant past two weeks. Last week was our spring break, and I went to visit my friend Rachel, who is studying abroad in Seville, a town in southern Spain.
It was absolutely gorgeous there! The weather was beautiful, the buildings and the people were so colorful, and everything smelt like oranges because of all the orange trees (duh!). We visited the Alcazar, the University, the Torre del Oro, and enjoyed eating lots of orange-based products and wandering around the colorful, sunny little city. I loved Seville so much that I was absolutely dreading going back to cloudy Paris.
But honestly, I had a really great week this week in Paris. After getting back to Paris at about midnight on Monday, I had to return to school the next day at 9am. I had a relatively easy week at school; no more exams or anything, and had a wonderful weekend exploring Paris. This Friday, I spent the afternoon wandering around the Louvre on my own. I had a marvelous time taking advantage of my student ID to take in the artwork of the largest museum in the world for free. My favorite painting in the Louvre is of Marat, a prominent french politician during the Revolution. He ratted a lot of people out in his paper as being against the Revolution, and he wrote all of these articles from his bathtub (he was a bit of a germaphobe). The painting is of Marat just after he’s been assassinated in the tub. The Louvre is so large though that I wandered around for 2 hours without finding it. Ah well, that’s just ample reason for me to return before I leave.
I’ve been feeling such a strong sense of nostalgia all week though. Not for Skidmore, but for Brown in Bologna. I won’t say that I prefer one program over the other, though I do have enough experience now with Skidmore in Paris to make that decision. Each program has its faults and its strengths. We always complained last semester that we had far too much independence in Bologna, something that, as Americans, we weren’t used too. Here in Paris, I feel that we have far less independence. Skidmore in Paris does a great job of providing opportunities for cultural experiences in Paris, while Brown in Bologna had us taking all of our classes at the university.
Last week, in Seville I met a man at my hostel who was from Bologna. In speaking with this man, I had the realization that my Italian is more or less falling to pieces. What two months ago would have been a very easy conversation to have, took far more brain power than I thought it would to execute, and left me with a killer headache. I had the same problem last semester when I came here to Paris; the level smarts it took just to find the way out of the airport was honestly higher than I’m proud to admit.
I do miss speaking Italian. I miss the friends I made last semester. I wonder all the time about what they’re doing now that most of them have returned to their respective schools in the US. I wonder if they’re feeling nostalgic too.
I quite enjoy the sense of nostalgia; it means the memories I made were so strong and positive that I’m reminiscing about them, right? When the day finally arrives that I return to the US for a more permanent amount of time, I hope to wax nostalgically to anyone who has the patience to listen to me about my time here in France.
(I’m sorry that’s so large)
PS: don’t forget to follow @globalskidmore on instagram to see my instagram takeover this week!