Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Le début

A few months ago, Cornell welcomed Frank Warren of PostSecret to campus to give a presentation. If you’ve never seen it before, the site is a collaboration of postcards revealing secrets anonymously submitted by readers worldwide.  Somewhat of an art project, a creative and emotional outlet, the blog is enormously popular and the Cornell event was sold-out. The site is updated each Sunday with a new set of a dozen or so secrets. I frequently find myself crawling out of bed Sunday morning, only to return right back to bed, laptop in hand, groggily checking for the new post. Having followed the blog for a few years now, I was psyched when Frank came to talk at Cornell. After the presentation Frank sent a message to all of the attendees, linking them to an archive of postcard secrets, previously unpublished elsewhere. In the midst of this archive, I found the following “secret.” I read the words on the card, stared at the map in the background and found that someone else’s secret was the same as my very own. “I have no clue where my life is going…but I can’t wait!”
A secret scribbled on a map of Paris
While I have no clue where my life is going, I do know where I am going next: Paris. Soon I will be off to Paris, spending my Spring semester studying at the Cours de Civilisation Française de la Sorbonne through a program with SUNY Oswego. I was drawn to Paris by its richness of culture, good food and a chance to improve my French. I looked at programs in other countries and found myself scanning maps of Europe determining how far each city was from Paris, which would definitely be on my list of places to visit. At the stroke of the P key in the google maps’ search field, Paris would automatically fill-in due to frequency and repetition of searches. I had the realization that instead of merely visiting the city as a tourist I could, in fact, live and study there for the semester! And so off I will go to Paris, the city of love and lights. 

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