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So we finally finished our building! I am amazed at myself; not only have I finally traveled to France but I have literally changed Aix (not alone of course). I was telling Paul (the one swinging the french hammer) that just a year ago I was sitting in the gym of my high school listening to the 600 some names being called by my principal, graduating from high school. While sitting there I imagined my life was about to change, but I never imagined celebrating a finished structure that I helped build in Aix en Provence, France in just two weeks. Unfortunately our time is at an end. We came, we saw, we constructed! I have met so many inspirational people here and made some great friends and memories. I cannot wait to return, because I am coming back you know, you cannot get rid of me so easily. I could never picture myself living in Monroe, NY or Buffalo, NY or perhaps anywhere that I have ever been... until I came to Aix. So goodbye for now, I am sure I will see all of my friends again, when we are all famous architects of course, and when I return I will be staying for good! 

 
 
"I feel most comfortable outside of my comfort zone" -Anonymous IAU student
I would like to edit the quote above and say: "I feel most comfortable outside." Outside is an extremely vague preposition, and in this case it is difficult to narrow down because it is dependent upon the person. For me, (since this is my blog) it means outside the pressures that shape my life at home, at school, anywhere familiar where there are people, other than myself, who make me who I am. Alan Roberts, director of the Marchutz school was correct in saying that studying abroad in Aix allows for you to have time to learn about yourself. I am not saying to forget about the people at home, I would be the first one to admit that I have felt mal du pays since arriving. What I am saying is it is easy to let their opinions go and focus only on yourself when you are away. Allow yourself to be and do what you want. I have discovered here that I am extremely shy at first, I put a lot of emphasis on how "cool" people appear, I do not need to have an agenda carved in stone and that I am not a party animal. I have always called myself independent but I do not believe that I was truly independent until now. Even my trip here was a constant battle against many people who would say "take Spanish no French," "study abroad next year," "you can't travel alone," "never cut your hair"! All of these people telling me what I can and cannot do, but here in Aix  their voices are silenced and I can truly find myself. I know this all sounds cliche, I was skeptical at first as well, but this is an eye opening experience to the world and into myself. I have changed inside and out
 
 
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Bonjour! It is day five in Aix en Provence and I know for sure this is one of the most amazing experiences I will ever have. I have started my class in sketching and drawing. In the past few days I have done new things that I never dreamed of: drawing from a real live nude model, drawing her better with my left hand, exploring the streets of Aix with some of my new friends, and exploring them alone, not feeling rushed ever, sitting in the streets of Aix to just observe, buying a delicious crepe to go for 1,80 euros, and saying hello to everyone I pass (just to name a few). I highly recommend Crepe a gogo, a secret underground (literally) crepe shop, they have at least 80 different flavors! Today I tried sucre et beurre (sugar and butter); il etait delicieux! One thing you can't do in NYC: sit on the sidewalk and just observe everything around you. Today I bought a scarf, sunglasses and earings from a cute little shop, il n'est pas chere. This weekend will truly be an adventure: a trip to a beautiful monastery to view ancient architecture and to Marseille for Tranhumance! I cannot wait for what life has in store for me next!! 

 

My Room

06/02/2013

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After my long and tiresome journey, I finally made it to Madame Creisson's maison. She was very welcoming! Her apartment is very quaint and cute. I love my room! I have my own small patio as well as a beautiful wardrobe and a comfortable bed. For dinner she made me soup, pasta, eggs and bread with cheese. For dessert she made a delicious flan with a strawberry on top. (All of the fruit here are normal sizes and taste 10x better). While I do love my home here, I cannot wait until Monday, to get out into the town and explore, go shopping ;), and start school! 

p.s. I meant to post the two posts I made yesterday May 31st, but I was unfamiliar with how to post at the time and made them drafts instead. whoops!

 
 
I am anxiously awaiting for the clock to strike three at which time I will be loading up the car to go to JFK airport and take my first international flight to France!!! I am so excited, I have almost no idea what to expect, I have never been on a different continent before. I spent this morning frantically shopping for a pair of sturdy boots with my easy to overwhelm mom: we found half a pair of sturdy shoes in my size but otherwise no luck. Fortunately a pair of boots arrived in the mail that we had ordered online, phew! Otherwise I am all set, with my major worry being losing my luggage or sitting next to someone smelly. It is now three-o-clock and I am ready to go. I'll write again after I have arrived safe and sound across the Atlantic in Aix en Provence, France, Europe!
 
 
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Before picture with my best friend Julia!