Paris to Tours! – Day 3

Wednesday, March 25, 2016

Shhhhh ... we are planning to take students on the ferris wheel, after dusk for a beautiful show .... secrets

Wouldn’t it be great to ride that ferris wheel, at dusk, see the city of lights fully lit and alive … ?

So far, we haven’t lost anyone (chaperones included). There have been some lost watches, water bottles, probably some other items I haven’t heard about yet. The items we’ve found, now that’s an interesting, much longer list… here are a few :

This morning, by the time I dropped down into the hotel breakfast, immediately when it “opened” at 7:15am, I found a half dozen students, croissant in each hand.  They were filling themselves, rightly so, with yogurt, jam, butter, bread, hot chocolate – all of which are made with such a high quality… I can’t wait until tomorrow.  Suffice it to say everything is yummy.

While yesterday, we couldn’t motivate the group to walk half a block to spy Notre Dame, today, we walked a brisk mile and a half from St. Michel to le Musée d’Orsay. And where I found fatigue yesterday, I only found endless enthusiasm, chatter, community, today. I know that word, community, is a charged word at the Bush School.  For good reason. Students are mingling, supportive, kind, flexible, curious. They understand moving as a group is more than just a cakewalk, especially with such a charged schedule.  They know that sometimes you have to change rooms, share rooms, hold doors, hold conversations for another time.   They find moments to help, to ask, to follow, to lead.

So yeah, this morning, after more than twelve hours of rest and sleep at the hotel, students were up and ready to hit the streets of Paris.  First we swung by a grocery store for picnic supplies, then walk forty-five minutes without a single complaint  (<— unreal! ).

Everything has been absolutely wonderful.  We’ve found a level of learning and excitement that sometimes, somehow, seems to peter out once “at school” or “inside a classroom” – even at such a fun and engaging school as Bush.  Some students volunteered to navigate us through the subway back to the hotel… although we turned twice we headed the wrong direction, we made it in no time at all.  With confidence I would say, they could navigate us without help the next time around.  (I’ll let you know next week!)  Navigate Paris 101, check, meets expectations.

And, we’ve found courage.  Courage to head off, to sleep, eat, play with kids and families that we’ve only known through brief contact, written messages, and photos. And courage for us adults on the sidelines to let go, let my students have their moments of complete incomprehension or total “coup de foudre” for everything French, France, and the Loire Valley.  Find some smiles below –>

So that’s it.  Currently, students are off with their host families.  We will hear from each of them in the next twenty-four hours; we will dig for information from them, but (most likely) all they will want to is hang up and get back to all the fun.  When the moment comes, we find that these students really can do anything they set their minds to.  So proud.  A little quotation to help us, less flexible, adults manage in times like these :

“Students should not play life or study it merely, but earnestly live it from beginning to end.  How could youths better learn to live then by at once trying the experiment of living?” – Henry David Thoreau 

This life thing is pretty good.

by jillian nicks