Before I had even stepped onto the PA campus for new student orientation and classes this fall, I had already encountered Piette. During the summer before this year, I would scour the Andover website in anticipation of my new school. In my Internet surfing, I glimpsed the “off-campus programs” page. I have a rather large case of wanderlust and so the link piqued my interest. I clicked the page, wanting to see if Andover would satiate my love of travel. A quick scroll down the page not only assured me that Andover could do so but also that there was an upcoming trip to France. At the time, the trip was a faint possibility but I am now sitting in the International Terminal of Logan Airport awaiting our (delayed) flight to Paris.
I was initially attracted to the Piette program for many reasons: I’ve been taking French for the past five years and wanted to practice my skills; I took the full-year art history course at Andover and the interdisciplinary aspect of Piette included this subject; I took AP European history at my old school and the trip would provide real-world exposure to what I studied in the classroom. My Piette project is going to incorporate my interest in art as I will be reimagining an exhibit at either the Louvre or the Musée d’Orsay with a gendered perspective. I also hope that I can explore how museums as an institution are affected by gender through interviews with staff at some of the other museums we are visiting. Maybe the interviews can test my French skills!!
I’m most excited to visit the art museums in Paris and the 16th, 14th, and 12th centuries villages and castles. And while the last portion of our trip, where we spend four days looking for fossils at a real archaeological site, does not completely excite me (I’m not a big dirt person), I am looking forward to the new experience.