La Fin du Semestre

Last Wednesday, IAU had its Talent Show. A British guy I’d invited over asked me if all Americans were this obnoxious. People played guitar, sang, read poetry, and performed Gangnam Style. There was free alcohol (provided by the school), which ensured the evening’s success. There was video taken of the show, which I hope does not find its way into the annals of the internet, otherwise I’ll have some weird questions to answer some day; “Daddy, why is there a video of you doing the horsey dance..?” I also tried playing the song Accidentally in Love on guitar (just because I learned it when I was 13) while accompanied by three girls who supposedly knew the words. I forgot some of the chords, so I had to improvise a little as my singers forgot the words (having the lyrics in front of us didn’t help too much).

On Saturday night Marchutz had its art exhibition. Each of the full Marchutz students had a selection of their work displayed, while others had 1-3 on the walls. Lots of snacks, free wine, and awards presented to 2 students who had done particularly good paintings. I was the only one not dressed up, as I was wearing a T-shirt. I guess I missed the memo…

Then Monday commenced the finals. I had my French oral exam, in which I spoke about food in France for 10 minutes. I handed in creative writing work, and then the next day was the French written final. DR MRS VANDERTRAMP <If you’ve ever had French class you’ll know what that means.

Then came the final, final exam, at the Marchutz studio. The professors had set it up so that around the room were masterworks done by various artists in various styles. On either side of each of these reproductions were two 21st century paintings, done by us. Each of the 8 of us had at least 2 paintings on the wall. The idea was to pick a set of artworks (we couldn’t choose our own) and write first about how the two 21st century paintings used drawing, color, value, volume, etc. to unify content and form or failed to do so. Second, we were to compare the 2 paintings to the earlier masterpiece in the middle. Someone with exceptional taste chose to write about mine. I still find it odd that my best painting leaves so much uncovered (you can even still see the pencil marks on it). The paintings I chose were two double portraits and the masterwork was a sculpture whose 2 figures are meant to signify the transfer of the old testament into the new, using the harvesting of the grain as a symbol for Christ. We took between 2.5-4 hours to finish our exam, depending on how fast you write. I have never been blessed with the power to answer test questions quickly. I had some sugar (with some coffee to go with it) which helped me pick up the pace. At the end, we drank some champagne, a poem was read, our paintings were carried out of the studio, and we took one last affectionate glance at the building before walking back.

And now I’m home.


2 thoughts on “La Fin du Semestre

  1. Now you’re home the beginning!
    Good to have you back. Looking forward to hearing the back story of your semester abroad.

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