I wish I could reflect a bit right now on my semester in Paris, but my flight leaves tomorrow and my last few days have been lots of fun but also incredibly stressful. I squeezed in a visit to the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris yesterday for an exhibit I had really wanted to see, I’ve gone with my friends to our favorite bars, and we had a wonderful goodbye dinner that concluded with the best chocolate mousse I’ve ever eaten.
But a lot of my last week in Paris has been rather bureaucratic. I closed my bank account, dropped off a DVD at school, went to the post office to ship my books home (and discovered that there are special burgundy-colored boxes specifically for shipping wine bottles). Tuesday night I spent five hours in the emergency room with a friend who needed antibiotics; we got home at 3 AM and I took a final the next afternoon. And now I am completely preoccupied with packing, with fitting everything in and trying to keep at least one of my suitcases under the weight limit. It’s not a very elegant or thoughtful end to my semester in Paris, but I guess that’s how it goes : I think an idea I and some of the other people in Paris kept coming back to is the balance between the elegance and fascination of the city with the banality of real life
The NYU in Paris program is, for the most part, very well organized, and the classes are interesting and challenging. I did want to take a class at a French university, though, which NYU really encourages people to do; I had a very hard time trying to navigate the Sorbonne class schedules (the one posted on the wall during the NYU tour, the one the Sorbonne office gave us, the one posted on their website), and when I finally found a course that interested me and fit with my schedule, I realized that I would be taking too many credits this semester (with this class and our two-credit preliminary course) to take a four-credit class outside of NYU as well (by this point, our regular classes had started). This was frustrating but, in hindsight, maybe not such a bad thing—I’ve had a lot of free time to explore Paris. And I’m glad I’ve had this class to encourage me to reflect, as a record of my expectations and experiences and changing perspectives during my time in Paris.