My last entry ended at Paris, so that’s where I’ll pick up. The City of Love’s weather, having lived up to its name, was freezing or raining the whole time. Often exhausted from the group, I spent a lot of time wandering around the city on my own, doing my best impression of probably-not-an-american-on-a-school-trip. The locals seemed to restrain the attitude that way; even if they were just appreciating the attempt. Times with the group were nice n’ weird too though. A handful of us with a larger artistic-attention-span got emotionally wrecked at the Louvre. A few of my friends and I met the some locals who deemed us worthy to invite to an exclusive techno club. We even experienced a Disney-themed bar where drinks were served exclusively out of baby bottles while outdated board games were brought to our table for entertainment.
School also exists here, as I failed to make clear in previous entries. The other week, P&G, needing new package designs for the feminine care products, came to our students to host a design challenge. Being one of two guys in the house, I was naturally thrilled too learn so much about periods that weekend. Art History class essentially morphed into a circus of students jousting for the last word in their half-informed philosophical debates. The majority of my work time, however, was robbed by my volunteering to illustrate an entire book my Art Direction 2 class.
The quarter ended with an open studio exhibition where all the students had the chance to display and sell our work to residents of neighboring cities whom we (SO awkwardly) invited during our market trips. Very few of us walked away with substantial profit, but it was an appropriately sentimental way too close out our time here (so was the massive party in a nearby rock quarry that proceeded it).
So here I am, sitting in the Marseille airport—a dusty field of grey carpet with enough glass and ceiling space to make you feel vaguely underwater— in disbelief that I fly out in a few hours. If it didn't translate through my writing’s innate pessimism, I can sincerely say that this has been one of the happiest times of my life. I made the best of friends I could have asked for (and a lot that I simply didn’t ask for), saw all ends of a beautiful country, and managed not to make any real enemies after having lived with the same 17 people for two months. Studying abroad has been sick, but it’ll be nice to be home too. Thanks, France, for everything.