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Grad School

We moved to Washington D.C. in August for Andrew to attend Law School and are just barely finding time to start exploring.  With school taking up all of Andrew’s waking hours, work and the gym for me, and adulting (don’t even ask how many hours we spent at the DMV in the past two months to get everything switched over….), we haven’t had a whole ton of time to explore our new home for at least the next three years (barring possible summer internships elsewhere).

We’ve been stealing moments here and there to explore our neighborhood (Glover Park), the hill, and all the beautiful places outside D.C.  One of our first Sunday’s here we took an afternoon walk to the National Cathedral – we had consistently been passing it on our way to other places and I kept on commenting on how it made me homesick for Paris to see a cathedral, and that we needed to explore!  We happened to catch the gardens in full bloom, and I’ve been aching to go back since that first trip.

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Washington National Cathedral

Washington National Cathedral

Washington National Cathedral

Washington National Cathedral

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One of the greatest parts of having finished my Masters and waiting around Paris till The Husband finishes his is having lots of free time!  While I am teaching private French lessons so we have a steady income, with our visas as Non-EU citizens we are only allowed to work 20 hours a week.  Meaning now that I don’t have classes and homework and a thesis hanging over my head, I get to truly enjoy living here again and try to get to see everything on my list before we leave (which is coming up sooner than either of us would like to acknowledge….).

It had been almost a year since I had last been to Père Lachaise, one of my favorite spots in the city, so I met up with a friend who is here from New York for a few months and her two children to do some exploring.  It was nice to show one of my favorite spots to someone who had never seen it and recapture some of the original magic that makes me love Père Lachaise so much.  Bonus: this time there didn’t happen to be a stoned man hanging out on Jim Morrison’s grave, so thats always a plus!

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I love street art — I think it comes from my love of contemporary France, breaking from the traditional, proper France that I learned about all through junior high and high school.

I often make The Husband walk around random parts of town with me in an attempt to find cool art — something that we’ve both grown to love as a great bonding time for us, and is sadly growing less common with the onset of winter….

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In other words, I defended my thesis this week and officially passed with flying colors, making me Master Katherine (Mistress sounds too much like I’m doing something covert between the covers with someone else’s husband…).  Best. Day. Ever.

All I wanted to do for my birthday this year was to see the Tour Paris 13.

For those of you not up on your Parisian pop culture, the Tour Paris 13 was an amazing art project that was sponsored for the month of October and then promptly demolished.  An old building in the 13e was turned over to 80+ graffiti artists, transforming the old space into something entirely new and different for Paris.  The exhibition was only open for 30 days, following which the building was destroyed to make way for construction.

Because of our schedules earlier on in the month (read: me having to finish my thesis) we were only able to go to the Tour on the last Saturday that it was open.  Bad. Idea.  Although I was able to get some great shots of the building from the outside, I was unable to enter!  Why, you ask?  It may have had something to do with the lines for the exhibition being on average 12 hours long for the last 2 weeks of the exhibition….

While I think this will forever be one of those things that I kick myself over, I’m glad I at least got to see this amazing building from the outside.  It’s not often that something this “new” makes its way to Paris, so it was a welcome sight for me in the fact that it definitely reminded me of some of the street art back home.  Not to mention the front of the building, which you’ll have to check out for yourself!

Although I didn’t get to enter the building, the outside view made this a birthday to remember!

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I’ve been overwhelmed lately, as has everyone it seems.  Sometimes life just gets the best of us and things like journaling (thats what this blog is for me) get put by the wayside.  But, in my absence I was successfully able to do another full read-through of my thesis, edit the whole thing (again), make some final changes, and turn that baby in once and for all!  I now only have my defense left before I emerge a true Master!  We also had two birthdays last week in our tiny studio, as well as me reading my first book for fun since starting grad school one year ago.  I may have spent all weekend in bed reading after turning in my thesis and successfully finished 2.5 books.  So kill me.  It was amazing.

Anyways, a few weeks ago we had the awesome opportunity to go to our second Nuit Blanche here in Paris.  This is always one of my favorite nights of the year and I spend way too much time reading the huge city guide that the Mairie puts out so I can try to catch everything I want to see.  Alas, rather than seeing all the approximately 150 exhibits I wanted to see, The Husband, me, and our recently married friends the Baguettes hung out at Pizza Hut for most of the night.  Mr. Baguette was hungry, and just had to choose the sit down pizza joint.  Good company and great conversation made the non-artsy part of the evening my favorite.  We did see three things though, and three is better than none!  I count this as a win!

The Husband and I started off our evening with a picnic on the Seine and a walk around the quartier before meeting up with the Baguettes.

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Stay tuned for the actual artsy part of the evening!

I’ve been absent lately, but not without good reason.  Over the past month, I have written over 100 pages of my thesis in order to finish it, and am now in the process of editing — down to my last 15 pages.  All this so in preparation for vacation time, starting tomorrow in England!  So, it’s not that I don’t have plenty to blog about, because trust me, I do (including the Tour de France that we went to over a month ago!), its just that I have been far too busy with every waking moment of my life working on a thesis as well as visa problems.  Lucky for you, my brain is mush and I needed a 5 minute break so I decided to share this video that The Husband put together of how we’ve been getting around Paris this past month.  Lucky us, our friends went out of town for a month and left their Vespa with us!  Unfortunately we had to return it this morning after I went to get my new titre de séjour, but we’ll always have the memories!

 

Stay tuned for a lot of catching up and our trip to England as soon as I finish up these last 15 pages!

It’s been raining pretty non-stop here in Paris for the past month and a half, so when we saw that the day of my graduation was supposed to be sunny and semi-warm, I immediately knew that I wanted to do a picnic under the Eiffel Tower for my graduation meal rather than going out somewhere fancy.  Granted, we did buy a 30 euro pastry cake to eat as celebration (okay…  so maybe we could have gone out to eat…), but this was an experience that one can only have while living here, and I wanted to do something memorable and strictly Parisian.

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The food was incredible, the scenery breathtaking, and the company the best I could ask for.  I can’t think of any other way that would be better to celebrate my fake graduation!

Last week I walked in my graduation ceremony.  I say walked because they made it more than clear that I was not actually graduating, as I still have my thesis left to write (due September 1st).  If you’ve known me for any length of time, you know of my burning hatred for graduation cap and gowns.  The funny part is that they look even sillier when worn en masse here in France, as French people don’t do graduation ceremonies or have the whole cap and gown thing.  Woe is me.  Now, check out how amazingly unflattering these things are!

Also, please ignore the woman in the first photo.  This wasn’t actually supposed to go up, as it was just a photo to test out the iso, but I wanted to give you guys an idea of how amazing the venue was!  Théâtre du Châtelet — I can’t wait to go there and see a play someday now!

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I’m a fake Master now!

 

Lately life has been the teensiest crazy with school, work, home life, and exploration.  Finals week is {finally} over — now I just have this tiny thing called a thesis left to write….  I’ve been working extra long hours this week to prepare for my family coming in on Thursday morning, hence the no excursions anywhere ever — luckily we have tourists coming into town so we’ll be doing tons of fun things in the upcoming week!

Until then, heres some comings and goings that have happened recently (okay, so the first two are from Germany, but all the rest are from the past three days!).  Now I have to get back to slightly freaking out over the fact that all the work that I’ve done over the last three weeks on my thesis is now corrupted and inaccessible because of my computer.  So much for those first 20 pages I had written…  Anyone good with computers and know how to help a girl out?

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The new Daft Punk album?  Soundtrack of my life at the moment.  I may have already listened to it three times today to make work more exciting!

 

I thought I would share some photos of one of my final projects with you guys today — check them out!

The assignment was to put up street art in Paris, making a statement while contributing to the long history that Paris has regarding art/posters on the streets as a way of communication.  Hard to believe I’m doing a Masters that has absolutely nothing to do with art, huh?

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Just to be sure I looked innocuous, I put these up on my way to church this morning — in my pencil skirt, red lipstick, fancy shoes and everything.

 

The Husband and I definitely have the bug now, this was so much fun!  Heres hoping we are creative enough to actually think up something cool and glue it up over the summer!

 

Any suggestions?