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Parker: Uncertainty

January 2, 2011

Fingerprint DirectionsI just returned from my visit to the French Consulate in Chicago where I had to make a personal appearance in order to procure my long-term visa, a requirement for students studying for more than 90 days in France. Since having my Spock-style fingerprints taken (see at right), I can’t stop thinking about my next semester of school.

First of all, I must express how excited I am. To have the opportunity to spend five months in Paris is unbelievable-I feel like the luckiest kid (yes technically I am an adult, but I haven’t quite made my foray into the real world) in the world. To qualify this statement, just look at one of the courses I might be taking (emphasis on might, I’ll get back to that thought later): 19th Century Impressionism and Post-Impressionism Art. It sounds like any other art history course. The only difference? Well, you can see the art you study in real life during field studies at the Louvre or Musee d’Orsay. These are two of the greatest museums in the world, and in Paris you can just go there for a class trip. The accessibility of tidbits of monumental history in Paris is simply mind-blowing.

But what I have come to realize since watching the elevator doors close on the scene of the 36th floor office of Le Consulat Général de France à Chicago is that as calm and excited as I may seem on the exterior about this journey on which I am about to embark, inside I am a mess of emotions. There is happiness, sadness, and even fear. Especially fear. However this fear is different; it is not a fear of what is to come, but a fear of uncertainty. What scares me the most is the things I don’t even know are coming, and right now that is a lot of things. There are so many factors that will shape the direction of my time in France, and right now I have absolutely no grip on what to expect.

My plan is to go at things with a thirst for knowledge, a craving for new experiences, and an overwhelming desire to fit in as a Parisian. I will take Paris head-on, camera snapping pictures at an alarming rate, mind constantly searching for tidbits of my life to share with anyone who cares to listen. This blog will hopefully take a direction that is different from most other students. I plan on taking a much more multimedia-based route, sharing thoughts, pictures, videos, news, music, and anything else that I think people might actually find interesting.

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