Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I'm too young to start having senior moments

I lost track of time today while making lunch and ended up leaving a little later than I usually do for my medieval lit class. By the time I got to the metro station I had about 7 minutes left to make the usually 20-minute walk. I ran, giving myself a pretty bad blister on my heel from the newish flats I was wearing (I swear, anything but athletic shoes make my feet bleed in half an hour tops…all this time I thought I was just resisting fashion because I was lazy and feminist, but maybe it’s because they do serious damage!)

When I arrived at my classroom door almost ten minutes late, I paused to listen for the teacher’s voice. I didn’t hear anything. Oh no! I panicked; today must be an in-class writing day, and I’ve already missed a third of it! Preparing an apology in French, I opened the door to—

An empty room.

Because, oh yeah, it’s Toussaint (French fall break). Clearly after four weeks of classes you need a whole week off—it’s the French way. Most of my classes are through NYU and aren’t affected, but I forgot about about this one, meaning that I inflicted pain and an hour and a half round trip on myself…for nothing. Well, okay, for a smoothie from the chic hippie fruit bar, because I have found that the best way to make a bad day good is to buy myself a treat.

In order to further validate my presence and to take advantage of the nice day, I decided to snap a few pics of the "campus." Being in the 13th, Paris VII (all the Parisian universities are numbered) is far removed from the Haussmannian world of six story, iron-balconied apartments that you picture when you think of Paris. There are a lot of modern high-rises and big companies, and the wide sidewalks and streets give the area a more “American” feel. The university itself is fairly institutional, as all Parisian public unis are, but in general it’s a much nicer facility than I was expecting after my experiences at the rundown, grafittied, toilet-paper deficient Fac in Nice. It also has much nicer public spaces: one with benches, trees and a sidewalk typically dominated by skateboarders (who you can hear throughout our class...) and a separate park area, spanned by a foot bridge. Here are pics of both, as well as a tough local scooter gang.

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