A Modern Impression

A Modern Impression

In the morning, we explored Angers in small groups via a scavenger hunt. We were tasked with finding six historical sites throughout the city–and to feed ourselves while we were at it. And we had to ask someone on the street (in French, of course) to take our picture in front of said monument. Furthermore, Google Maps was outlawed! Barbaric! 🙂

Though it was a bit difficult to find each site as well as to ask total strangers to take our picture, it was really fun just to explore the city. I wandered off on my own at one point to find some food and I found a little comic shop that was total nerd heaven. It was awesome. I was totally going to by a comic but it was some 20-odd Euro and I needed lunch money. I will come back to you, comic store.

After our city wandering, we headed to the Musée des Beaux-Arts, the local art museum in Angers. It’s possibly one of my favorite museums of all time, and here’s why: It’s small, but not too small, so you don’t get bored with too little art or too much. More importantly, it has art from the very first known paintings to modern art from the 1980’s (which reminds me of New Order album covers, but that’s besides the point). It’s seriously cool. I am probably going to practically live in that museum because my Humanities project is centered around art and art history.

I included pictures of my favorite art above. The tall one is from the early 1900s, I believe, of a woman in all black against a stunning blue background. The black is accented by a single gold bracelet on the woman’s wrist, which I thought was a nice contrast. The other paintings are much more modern. The top right is called “Tutti Frutti” (yes, like the New Order song. See why I made the connection?). Anyway, I thought it was pretty. Also, it was apparently inspired by the Rolling Stones. Very cool. The last painting I like solely for the title. It is….drum roll please…GéoméTREE! Yes, like Geometry but GeomeTREE! I love puns so much. I thought it was hilarious, I don’t know about anyone else.

Well, I better sign off. Other trees to climb; other things to do.

See you in the next shortened dead tree (Post, get it. Actually, that was horrible),

Elle

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Faire du Théâtre

Faire du Théâtre

We didn’t do much today, but it was a fun day nonetheless. In the morning, we worked on a theater project that we’re doing with one of the classes at Mounier. After that, we worked a bit on our personal projects. Then it was noon and time for lunch with our host students. Most of their days ended at noon, but my host student takes an extra English class for one hour after lunch, from 1:30-2:30. So I grabbed lunch with her and went to English class after that.

After her last English class, we hung out with one of her friends until around 4:30, when we took the bus back home. It was really funny actually because we got off at our stop and started walking to her house, but then the bus driver pulled up besides us and gave us a ride the rest of the way. Thanks bus driver!

I don’t have much else to say for today, but I think we’re going back into town tomorrow to explore a bit more. Angers awaits.

See you in the next post,

Elle

The Opera Pit

The Opera Pit

Today we did many things–beaucoup de chose. Instead of going to school with our host families, we explored Angers. We first went to a 45 million dollar building called Le Quai, which loosely translates to “waterfront.” It’s a modern building, despite being built in 2007. Le Quai houses concerts, art exhibitions, plays, comedy acts, dance performances, and even circuses. Right now, there’s this giant inflatable cube thing with bouncy cords in it that goes up at night. I totally want to go in it at some point.

We received a tour of Le Quai’s stages, inside and out. Pictured above is the greenroom of sorts which the public never usually gets to see (!). We also got to go underneath the biggest stage, into the belly of the beast, so to speak. We first explored the true underbelly, where there wasn’t much but supports for the stage above. After that, we moved on to the opera pit, which is also where the mechanic schematics for the stage lived. Mechanics? What do you mean? Why would a stage need crazy machines? Well, part of the audience, from about row 6 to row 1, can be moved underneath and replaced with more stage, for artists who wish to interact with the crowd. The stage can be totally transformed–the guide told us there had even been A POOL onstage at one point. A POOL!

After Le Quai, we grabbed a snack at a little boulangerie (bakery). I had a kougin-amman, a roll pastry made of croissant dough and covered in sticky caramel. It’s seriously delicious. Our stomachs satisfied, we headed to the other side of the river to visit the big cathedral in the center of town.

Unfortunately, I only got to see a bit of the cathedral because I had to go to Orange, the local phone plan provider. I needed to get a French SIM card and data plan for my phone, which should have been relatively simple. It was not. I went to Orange with one of the teachers, only to be told she needed her passport for identification. So we went all the way back to the group, where luckily one of the other teachers had her passport. Then we went alllll the way back to Orange, where we finally purchased a plan. Ugh. Then we only had ten minutes for lunch!

But it’s all sorted out now, and we went to the Chateau d’Angers after anyway. The Chateau was magnificent, and our hard work walking all around it was rewarded with granitas (think slushy) and ice cream.

We also visited the gallery where the work of sculptor David d’Angers is. It was pretty cool but the building was crazy hot.

Overall, a successful day in Angers.

See you in the next post,

Elle

Un Portrait d’un Petit Chat

Un Portrait d’un Petit Chat

skippy editToday was my first day at the Lycée Emmanuel Mounier. I took the bus with my host student, Justine, to the school where the group attended a brief presentation from one of the teachers. We then went on to classes with our respective host students (or correspondants en Français).

My first class was interrupted by the school’s headmaster, who bore news of the unfortunate passing of a beloved history teacher, who had been ill. My condolences with the students of Mounier.

The rest of the day was a bit odd due to the circumstances, with teachers being more relaxed than usual. Nonetheless, I attended an English class and ended up volunteering to read (in English!) at the provocation of Justine. I felt as if I was being rather unfair, reading English in my perfect English accent and pronunciation–it’s like if a French student started speaking French in a beginning French class.

Otherwise, I enjoyed my first day in Angers. I had a great time meeting Justine’s friends and getting to know the  Lycée. I’m excited for tomorrow, and the exploration of Angers it brings. I think we’re going to the Chateau d’Angers as well as some other touristy spots. Sounds like a fun time to me!

See you in the next post,

Elle