Writing about one of my reasons for applying and ensuing excitement also requires an admission of guilt: I am a news junkie. I don’t leave my dorm or house (whichever is season-appropriate) until I’ve checked each news app on my phone, followed by the latest edition of the Phillipian. This year marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day, and I have watched with piqued interest as various dignitaries have flooded the cemeteries of Normandy to honor the much-respected troops (although I’m reminded that the word “troop” is a placeholder and somewhat of a euphemism for “human being; person”) who lost their lives in France. This leads me to my second admission: I am also an enthusiastic fan of any Matt Damon or Tom Hanks movie, so I will openly state that the only thing that drove me to keep watching the heart-wrenching D-Day scene from Saving Private Ryan was the idea of Matt Damon on the other side. Even the opening scene from the ever-dramatic Steven Spielberg was somewhat horrifying—I’ve never seen so many graves before. I’m looking forward to seeing Normandy, but the excitement is also mixed with trepidation.
I’ve been to Paris twice before, and we just went to Courchevel over spring break. Still, these are relatively isolated areas of France and I’ve never traveled outside the United States without my family. I’m a regular traveler, but I’m usually surrounded by at least my mother and my sister. I was nervous about speaking French before spring break, but I managed to buy a pair of shoes and talk to a saleslady while I was in Courchevel. It may not seem like much, but since a major reason why I applied for the Piette Program was to work on my French, it made me a lot more confident that I could succeed.
Archaeology seemed like a new and exciting thing to try, and not something that I would stumble upon outside Andover. However, while archaeology was a reason for me applying to the Piette Program, it’s also an area of concern. The rocks that Professor Lacombe showed us were tiny, and I’m desperately hoping that I’m not the one that trips and displaces the artifacts that look, for all their importance, like small pebbles.
Right now, my idea for my project is a series of fictionalized journal entries about the trip based around useful French phrases or phrases that fit with the theme of the entry. While this is a creative writing project, I’m also waiting to see what happens on the trip to inspire the individual journal entries—so watch out!