This course was an honors seminar with a study tour component taught by Dr. Kathryn Lorenz encompassing everything she could possibly teach about Paris in one semester. We learned about history from Paris's humble beginnings from the nomadic Celtic tribes and the Parisii through the Romans and the Medicis, past Napoleon and Charles de Gaulle, all the way up to the present day. We talked about how Paris has changed in structure and size since those times, with the construction of various walls surrounding the city and their eventual dismantling, and Baron Haussman's visionary and extreme renovations of Paris's streets. There was really nothing this course didn't at least touch on. For Spring Break, we went as a class to actually see Paris. We spent seven days running around the city, seeing just about everything you can possibly see in a week in Paris, from museums to monuments, to all-English bookstores, and everything in between. And once we returned, we finished up the semester talking about urban issues and Parisian culture, comparing Cincinnati to Paris (very similar to my Urbanism course).
This photo was taken (and tweeted!) from the top of the Eiffel Tower (fun fact: you can find WiFi literally anywhere in Paris, including the Eiffel Tower). I think it represents this class well because the friendships we made were the best part of the whole experience. We really bonded as a class. I met all sorts of people from all kinds of backgrounds and we had a great time. I'm used to traveling all over Europe, so going to Paris in a way was nothing new, even though I had never been there specifically. I feel comfortable navigating the airport and using the subway. For some people in my class, I know that the whole experience of traveling abroad was what made the most impact for them, but for me it wasn't. The friendships really are what I'm going to take away from this trip.
While we were in Paris, our professor asked us to keep a journal so that we would have a way to look back at our memories. Click here to view my journal as a blog.
For our final project, we could do anything we wanted, so long as it allowed us to reflect on our ideas of Paris. I chose to do a Paris badge system, based on the idea of LifeScouts created by Alex Day.
Click here to view my full reflections for each badge.
Below is the Prezi I used to present my final project to the class. Alex Day's video introducing his LifeScouts idea is embedded in the presentation.