By Holly Harestad
This weekend, I had the opportunity to travel to Paris, France. Going into this excursion you could say I was a little more than hesitant to make the trip. (If you know me at all I am thee biggest worrier just about everything and due to recent traumatic events in Paris, this was added to the list.)
However, not only did I feel one thousand percent protected and not at all in harm’s way, but I also had the time of my life. I have never fallen in love with a city more than I did this weekend with Paris, everything about it was beyond perfect. My friend Brooke and I stayed in the beautiful, Hotel Westminster (right beside a Cartier, might I add) and from there continued to bask in our tourist-y ways for the rest of the weekend. We spent all of Saturday exploring the city, taking a ferris wheel that showed us all of Paris, discovering all of the best cafes, and ended the day eating our crepes under the sparkling eiffel tower, it was magical. Sunday, consisted of our *attempt* to wake up early, and then head over to the Louvre (even though closed down due to the tremendous flooding that has happened there over the past couple of days) and to the infamous lock bridge (that has been completely taken down due to the tremendous weight, but there was a mock bridge so we were still pleased lol)! All in all, I recommend to whoever is reading this currently to stop, pack their bags, and move to Paris, ASAP. 😉
Today was our first day back in the classroom! Which, after my Paris post may not seem like the most exciting but, guys, I’m still in London. Having the time of my life by the way, DON’T YOU WORRY. But, this is our second time inside an actual classroom AND it turned out to be an extremely interesting day! Our first speaker was a political cartoonist who was very passionate about the kind of work he does, which, after hearing about the criticism he constantly receives, passion, is something you need a lot of.
Cartoons in politics, is one of the most advertised forms of politics in the media today, one of the most important too. As our speaker relayed time and time again today, it is his job to make light of very extreme and serious situations happening with politicians today. As humans, we tend to laugh at things such as death, trauma, politics, and hard subjects, just to keep us sane. Political cartoons do just that, while a majority of the time sending important messages along with them.
Our second speaker we were told was going to be a woman whose profession title was “expert storyteller”. Before she came in the room, I could not have even guessed how her time with us was going to go. Walking into the room, she made an impression right off the bat, lightening the mood with questions regarding what telling a story meant to us. Throughout her time with us, we were engaged in multiple activities that ranged from blowing bubbles, to doing a kind of “Simon Says” exercise.
I think the most interesting activity that she had us do today was tell any story of our choosing, and share it with one person. That person then went to tell the second person, the second told the third, and by the end, the fourth person was relaying back to me my own story. What was intriguing to me was that my own story was about the same when told back to me however it was not how, or as detailed or as truthful, as when I first relayed it. I think that this was the point that she was trying to get across, was communication with others relies a lot on how you listen to a story.
Although her presentation at times seemed almost child like, I believe she did that in order to put the point across that at the end of the day, no matter what profession, age, amount of money you have, it is important to respect and engage with other people in order to have good communication. And when you have good communication, good things will come because people respond well to that.
To end the day, my three friends and I decided to finally hop on the very anticipated, London Eye. Thank goodness we chose a Monday, we visited last Saturday and to get through the line would have taken at least a couple of hours. But today, we bought our tickets and hopped right on to what would be by far the coolest ferris wheel I have ever been on. The view was stunning and being on it with the best people just made it that much better!