26 01 2013

My French Quest

 

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In May of 2006, during a vacation in Paris, I saw Université de Paris, La Sorbonne for the first time. This 13th century, prestigious center of intelligence and culture is known all over the world and I was anxious to visit. There was only one problem. The guard at the door would not allow my friend or I to enter; only students are allowed.  I explained that I just wanted to look around and buy a T-shirt at the bookstore.  No, only students are allowed he repeated.  I told my friend that one day I would be back as a student and would THEN be allowed inside those hallowed doors!

Six years later and countless hours of studying French, I was awarded a graduate Internship by University of Texas, El Paso, to study at La Sorbonne in Paris.  As part of their Cours de Civilisation Francaise, I was…

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21 01 2013

My French Quest

One of the places that I was the most excited about visiting when I returned to Paris in 2012 was the Musée d’Orsay.  It was there that I first realized how much I loved the works of Auguste Renoir; his rich blues and reds, the way he captured shadows and sunlight reflecting through the trees, the sweet expressions on children’s faces, the way he arranged flowers in a simple vase to light up the room.  The d’Orsay collection introduced me to The Swing, Bal au Moulin de la Galette, and Country Dance, City Dance.   However, much to my disappointment, during the renovations over the past two years, the d’Orsay changed out much of their Renoir collection.

Of course, this is what museums are supposed to do!  They have thousands of paintings and sculptures but not much space to display them.  In addition, the last time they changed their Renoir collection…

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15 01 2013

My French Quest

In 1982 I married my best friend, the greatest guy I had ever met and the love of my life.  We met at Baylor our freshman year, dated nearly four years and married one month after we graduated.

During our courtship, we were inseparable.  After class, we would spend most of our weekdays studying in the library, taking breaks playing racquetball or fielding baseballs and serving in BSM ministries.  David had already been called into the ministry at that point so our courtship involved serving together in a local church with his Youth group on the weekends.

The hardest part of our courtship was being separated during the summer months as we went to our separate homes to work. Now, after thirty years of marriage, we have found ourselves separated again for the past six months as I have been studying in Paris for my graduate internship. You think we…

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15 01 2013

My French Quest

In 1882, Pierre-Auguste Renoir began a series of « dance » paintings. He had just returned from traveling across Europe visiting England, Algeria, Madrid, and Italy.  During his travels, he saw the masterpieces of Diego Veláquez, Titian, Raphael and other Renaissance paintings.

After returning to Paris, he lived and worked in Montmartre where he met Suzanne Valadon who would become one of his models.  Renoir began work on two large paintings that were to be exhibited together as a pair, “Dance in the City” and “Dance in the Country”. According to the Musée d’Orsay who owns the two paintings, “the elegant restraint of the city dancers and the cool ballroom around them contrasts with the gaiety of the country dance in the open air”. There are even contrasts in the cool colors for the city dance with the warmer colors he used in the country dance. However, they are similar in…

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