This week, we had the vernissage at the gallery. The theme was life on mars, and it was literally the most incredible thing. I was given the responsibility to stand at the back door and to welcome the guests. A simple task in English, but adding that level of “i am not from here” make it a bit more challenging. I suspect that my boss realized that because she gave me wine halfway through the night.

The vernissage was not only the opening of our summer exposition, but it was also the opening night of LA SLOW AGENCE. Lamia, my boss, not only owns an art gallery, but she also acts as an agency, representing 11 artists. Talk about GIRL POWER.

This morning there was a huge fire .2 miles away from where I work. It was a pretty huge deal here in Paris, and it was pretty scary. I am however glad that the gallery I work in is A – O – K.

Last night I went out with one of my customers who I met at the vernissage for La Fete de la Musique and it was so incredible. It’s definitely different that people here party until the sun rises, but in the spirit of being in Paris, I did the same. I had such an amazing time dancing and listening to music. Also, last night so many people told me that I don’t even have an accent in french when I speak which I consider to be major progress. I can’t believe I got so lucky with my host family and my internship and that I am able to improve my french level the way I am.

On another note, I really have been pretending that I am not halfway done with my trip because it is going to break my heart to return to the states. I miss my family, but I will miss Paris as well.

I think that my Pitt experience has prepared me for my time in Paris because going away to college is such a huge adjustment, in the same way Paris is. Coming from Virginia Beach, Virginia and moving my entire life to the north was a huge adjustment for me. You have to make new friends and create a new routine. Although it was significantly easier from a language and culture perspective to go from VB to PGH; however, assimilation is assimilation, and that is exactly what I am going through in Paris. On the other hand, I think one area that did not benefit me here is the language component. I have only taken 5 credits of french at Pitt, so I will say I wish that I could’ve put more emphasis on french in my collegiate career; however, this experience here is pretty much the crash course I needed. To address that gap, I have been making deliberate efforts to talk as much french as possible. I babysit french kids, I speak only french at work, I speak only french at home, and I have been trying to go out with as many french people as possible.

I know I say this every blog post, but life is so so good in Paris, and I want nothing else. Paris has really woken me up to my dream in life and it feels so good to know for certain where I want to take my life. My Pitt experience, coupled with this study abroad program, has ultimately made me realize that I want to work at the intersection of Industrial Engineering, French and Art. And honestly, working at an Art Gallery in Paris implementing industrial engineering concepts to optimize their inventory process is literally insane. It’s a dream and I can’t get enough of it. Pictured below is a cheesy picture of me because I am happy. Until next week.