June 8, 2011
beaucoup de fetes! (lots of parties)

What a wonderful day! Excuse me if I get all emotional on you! I’ve calmed myself down, but it seems to be coming in waves this evening! The end is finally starting to hit and I’m not taking it as well as I thought I would. Tears have started today..not a good sign seeing as how I don’t fly out until Sunday. I don’t want to know what I’m going to be like then! 

I had a nice, relaxing morning/afternoon to myself. I went on a great run this morning, nice breakfast, practiced my presentation for today, and started studying for my final that is tomorrow. Then we had to give our art history presentations from 2-5, which was a great review session! Armando and I kicked butt! But my head was overfilling with art history facts afterwards, so I was looking forward to my relaxing evening.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, our political science professor/director of the program invited all 20 of us over to his apartment for an early dinner. Our art history professor and Bob, or “Le Bob” as we refer to him, who works for DePaul but also lives in Paris for most of the year (somehow..I need to ask him how he manages that) was there. Bob gave us an awesome walking tour of the city our very first weekend here..feels like years ago! The Mezey’s served us wine (and lots of it!), cheese, bread, quiche, olives, and fruit tarts. It was all so amazing!! They nailed the traditional French foods well. Every one of us in the program came and it was just a really nice time. Our last time all together, besides when we take our last final tomorrow, but that won’t be any fun! It’s incredible to look back to our first orientation on campus this winter..how quiet the room was and everyone was so nervous. Looking at us tonight, you would never think it was the same group of kids. Everyone was talking over the other person, laughing, and enjoying each other’s company. Mezey gave a nice little speech and talked about how well this group works together. Sure, a group of 20 is going to naturally break off into smaller sections, but I wouldn’t define ours as “cliques”. Everyone gets along really well and no two people hate each other. It’s really quite amazing! We’ve been so blessed to have such an amazing group of people here to enjoy this experience with. I think that really made it what it was. I was able to get a group picture before I had to leave and I’m so glad I did. It’s a great picture of everyone and definitely going in a frame as soon as I get home! 

Love those people. “Le Bob” is taking the picture, so unfortunately you’ll have to use your imagination for him! 

After a respectable time at the Mezey’s, me and my six friends headed off to my place for my smaller farewell party with Gersende and Alex. My friends, like good French guests, bought an amazing chocolate cake and bottles of wine to bring Gersende as a thank you. Gersende made amazing food as usual! We all ate too much at Mezey’s and then had to find space for round two, but we did it! Thankfully, both places made light meals so that made it easier. Gersende served us toasted goat cheese on bread (she knows it’s my favorite!), a cold pasta salad with lots of deliciousness in it, and a mango crumble cake for dessert! We were good kids and spoke mostly French to Gersende and Alex, which made me feel good. We would get going in English to each other, but I think we did a very good job of throwing in French as well. I would’ve felt really rude speaking English with them when we all know French well! I also made a little slideshow of our time here to show, which I think was appreciated! I like little things like that. It really makes you realize just how much you’ve done and experienced, and how much fun you’ve had along the way! 

(left to right) Sarah, Armando, Joe, George, Hannah, me, Brittany (lower), and Gersende

The smoking window!

Conversation flowed easily and everyone got along really well. Gersende told me I had very nice friends and I completely agree!! After everyone left, I got all emotional. The realization that it is actually ending hit me. Gersende and Alex were out having a drink, so that helped the tears come easier, knowing I was alone. But of course, when they came back Gersende could tell..my face doesn’t hide anything very well! She’s lived in a lot of different places and understands that it is hard to say goodbye, so she understood. I was fine for a while, but then I was saying goodnight to Gersende and thanking her again for the evening. She told me she would miss me and we had a nice little exchange. And I lost it again! I need to get a hold of myself..it’s only Wednesday! I don’t want to know what I’m going to be like Sunday morning if this keeps up! 

But I suppose I should be so happy that this experience has meant so much to me that I’m crying four days before I leave. In the words of my mother, “Paris, Gersende, and all my new friends will hold a very special place in my heart”. And this couldn’t be more true. Can’t wait for tomorrow in this amazing city. While I don’t want tomorrow to be over, I wouldn’t mind fast-forwarding to after my exam. That would be nice! 

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