class trip to Paris

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by severian, Aug 7, 2006.

  1. severian

    severian Member

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    Im just now reporting on my spring break class trip to Paris. It took months to plan this trip and every year I say that next year I'm not going to do it but every year I do it again. This year I managed to coerce 33 students to pay $1020.00 for five days in Paris. They pissed and moaned about the price but it seems like a bargain to me. I had to constantly be on their back to get the money to the travel agent and this caused a lot of stress. My indicator for stress is my degree of alopecia. When I'm stressed out I get bald spots and I got a good one this year. Right above the right ear, got to be the size of a quarter. Had this my whole life so I can somewhat ignore it, i eventually grows back. When takeoff day finally arrived we found ourselves at Houston Bush (41) Airport . Bush 43 has not yet earned his own airport. One of the best things about these trips is watching the students at the airport. The tension is palpable and the adrenaline levels are off the charts. I know they want to go around and just yell at anyone, "I'm going to Paris, dude." Some of these people have never been on an airplane. On these trips it is the little things that will drive you nuts. I told them a million times to have some Euros when they get to Paris. Naturally many did not and they were lining up at the money booth while I had to locate the very impatient bus driver. "Cinq minute, Cinq minute" I'm telling him but he was not amused. Our hotel was supposed to be in the Opera district and I was a bit disappointed with this because I had been to Paris twice before and wanted a hotel in a little bit funkier area. As it turned out we were actually more Monmartre than Opera. Right at the bottom of the hill that goes up to Sacre Couer. Great spot. Good hotel. On the first morning I agreed to give a guided tour to anyone that wanted to go. About 25 showed up and we were off. Down Hausseman to Place d'Condorde, through the Tuillerie garden to the Louvre. It was really cold. By the time we got to the Louvre I had 8 people left. The rest had baled out and claimed they were going on "bus tours". Wussies!!
    They spent the next 4 days photographing to their hearts content. That is when they were'nt at the absynthe store or the erotica museum. One student traced the steps of Atget. She got about 10 images in virtually the same spots that Atget photographed, other projects were things like "Paris street fashion", etc. I managed to take everything including ,comlete 8x10 rig including tripod with me on carryon. I'm inordanantly proud of this!
    Paris was a great trip. D'ONT MISS PARIS! Next spring break we are going to Rome and I've never been there. What I need from y'all is guidance. Advice. Where is the best pizza in Rome? The best spaghetti carbonara? The best Gelato. Where is the best place to people watch and photograph? Where is all the best stuff that is not in the guidebooks?
    Thanks for listening and giving advice( these trips are open to anyone, you do not have to be a student to go

    Jack
     
  2. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Jack,

    Hearty congratulations on a successful and apparently enjoyable trip. As a qualified secondary school teacher (11-18) I have a faint idea of the magnitude of your achievement, though I've not taught in well over 20 years and have absolutely no doubt that it's a LOT harder now.

    If you go to Paris again, let me know. IF we can afford it and IF we're in the country and IF you want, we'll lend a hand free. It's about 200 miles/300 km NE of where we live.

    Can't help on Rome except to say that Italians are the worst drivers on earth, bar none that I have encountered (Mexico, India, Greece, Malta, China...)

    Cheers,

    R (www.rogerandfrances.com)
     
  3. Petzi

    Petzi Member

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    I thought everybody in the USA used airplanes like we use buses. I was mistaken.
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Congrats. I teach, and being responsible for a group of students abroad is just one of those things that seems potentially nightmarish to me.
     
  5. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    1) Congratulations!! 2) You are insane!!

    Been there...done that...took the medication. :wink: Actually, though, traveling with moderately responsible adolescents can be quite rewarding, and I'm glad it has been for you. It's amazing how, in the end, all the frustrations of fund raising, preparation (performing group), supervision (students smuggling alcohol is the worst) and logistics fade when the really wonderful moments occur and become the legacy of the trip. Good for you! Hope your hair grows back soon!
     
  6. Zen

    Zen Member

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    First of all congratulations! Paris is one of my favourite cities for photography. And secondly, agreeing with jovo, it surely must be very rewarding when you return knowing the students have had a great time in a new country with new sights, good memories, and hopefully some great pictures!
     
  7. childers-jk

    childers-jk Member

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    Jack,

    I am by no means an authority, but my wife and I were just there last year in May 2005. I don't know about the best pizza in Rome, but the Gelato has to be the little place in the Piazza Navona at the North end of the Piazza off of the Via Agonale. This was my first taste of Gelato, and by far the one that sticks in my mind. As far as sites, the usual suspects, but the wife and took off toward the Villa Borghese. This is a great place to people watch and just enjoy the quiet. Of course, the Spanish Steps were one of my favorites, and the one shot I wish I had was one of St. Peters at night. We went twice, but there was too much going on.

    I wish to go again, and see some of the stuff we missed. Good luck, and I hope you have fun.
     
  8. severian

    severian Member

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    hair is back

    Jovo,
    Thanks, and my hair has come back.
    Jack