Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Rambling Around Paris

The weather in Paris has gone from cold to hot. For most of the day, it was just perfect. But from time to time, it was just too hot. It should be hot and sunny for the rest of our visit (at least that is the forecast.) Hot and sunny is better than cold and rainy.

Today was a great example of the way the trip works. In the morning, the students visited the Musee d’ l’Orangerie, which has a huge collection of Claude Monet’s Water Lilies. Tomorrow we travel to Giverny to see the pond on which the water lily paintings are based. At least we hope that is what we will be able to do. Real life has intruded on the trip as there will be a general strike in Paris protesting raising the retirement age in France to 62 (from 60), one of the actions taken by the current government in response to the European debt crisis. Railroad officials assured us there would only be minor delays on the trains, so we hope the trip to and from Giverny will be uneventful.

The rest of the day consisted of going to Napoleon’s Tomb and the Museum of the Army. The students then went on their own to the Rodin Museum and the Pantheon. We had Italian food for dinner.

Everybody is getting along well and I just heard that Shioban Prior, who graduated a couple of years ago and is now playing women’s basketball professionally, may visit with us on Friday, which will be fun.

Oh, and one more thought. Being in Europe, we are following the World Cup soccer tournament pretty closely. It has been a disaster for France—one newspaper’s headline called it “the end of the world”—but USA won a thriller today.
If you squint real hard you can see Dr. King talking to the students on the steps of Napoleon's tomb. For this course, Paris is definitely our classroom.

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