It is a new year which entails a whopping birth to a fantastic new European Art Classroom! Although there were some scares with baggage at the airport, we eventually arrived safe and sound to our new home for the winter trimester. Adjusting to a new country with a new language seemed intimidating at first, but as we continue to take French classes, we slowly are becoming more comfortable exploring nearby towns on our own.
This program gives the students the opportunity to chase after any creative interests we never had the chance to follow. During our free time, Ian tends to jam on the guitar while Caitlyn learns new songs on the Ukulele and Matilda and Sydney play beautiful songs on the piano making the house hum with catchy tunes. We all agreed that by the end of the term we will all have one collaborative song that we will all have created.
The academics on the first week have yet to disappoint us. Although our Art History class has taken us through many art periods is a short amount of time, Dave has done a great job to keep us engaged with all the material. Art history so far has been an easy class to enjoy because most of the art we learn about, we will have the chance to see in person later in the program! For Literature, Jen takes us to a cafe in town where we enjoy chocolat chaud and cafe viennois while we discuss reading from the previous nights. After class, we put the skills that Jen taught us in French class to use as we have a few hours of free time in our town - Aix en Provence.
An important aspect of Euro is cooking dinners with Dave. Each night, Dave and two student sous chefs take to the kitchen to create an elaborate meal which sometimes pushes our comfort zones but are always enjoyed. We are ten days into the program and Dave has already taught me so many nifty tricks in the kitchen that I can now use on my own. Many of us have found that we actually enjoy some foods that we thought we never would. For example, Patrick came to France hating olives but with an open mind and a powerful spirit, he found he really enjoys green tapenade (pretty much the guacamole of olives).
Finally, the art aspect of the program has gotten all of us excited about what is to come. Many of us have had a bit of a sabbatical from art. Personally, I have not done any painting since my sophomore studio art class but have already dove right back into the groove with this first week of painting an olive branch, a quaint village, and “The Têt” (a mountain peak right outside our house).
What a great first week it has been! We still have another whole week of painting, picnics, and pictures before we head to Paris next week!