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Taking advantage of Paris culture and art scene

The last six months I’ve been studying in Paris, France with the Sarah Lawrence College program. As an art major it’s been great. Instead of taking normal art classes, the way I would in the U.S., here I have the opportunity to work freely in a couple of different art studios for about 16 hours a week doing printmaking and painting.

New Year’s went by in a sparkle of lights and perhaps a little too much champagne. I stood with some at the base of the Eiffel Tower until midnight, when the lights on the tower began to flash and fireworks went up all around.

Reading week has just ended in my program, and after turning in the big paper I’ve been working on all week I feel free as a little bird to once again go out and explore this wonderful city. for a little while; second semester starts on Monday. Most French universities prefer to make their students work and worry during the Christmas break and then put them through exams as soon as they get back. Then the second semester starts before the first one really seems to end.

To celebrate, last night I went with a couple of friends from Sarah Lawrence to a jazz club called the Caveau de la Huchette. A swing band from Milan played, and the dance floor was crowded with dancing couples. Some of them were excellent dancers and fun to watch. There weren’t many people our age, but we went out there anyway and had loads of fun. I have no idea how they all got home, since the metro stops running at 1a.m., and the party was still going strong when we left.

Right now Paris is grey and dreary. It warmed up though; last week’s snow (a rarity in Paris) finally melted and today the rain has been pouring down, cleaning the air and the sidewalks. Last weekend my program took us to the south of France, where the palm trees and sunny afternoons reminded me of dear old Oakland. We still had to wear jackets, but compared to frigid Paris it felt like summer.

– Rebecca Waterhouse, junior