Tuesday, July 31, 2012

2ND PLACE WINNER: "IN THE HEART OF PARIS, SHE HELD PARIS IN HER HEART"

The Illinois International Photo Contest invites students to submit a photo and accompanying essay of their studies abroad. Recent MAEUS graduate Lauren Turk was awarded 2nd place in the Personal Connection category for her essay and photo of the Louvre in Paris.  Lauren's essay originally appeared in the Study Abroad July newsletter.

by Lauren Turk

Paris is an overwhelmingly enchanting city; the buildings adorning the streets exude beauty and brilliance, while the contents within these buildings hold endless art, history, and intrigue. On Wednesday evenings the Louvre is open late. One of my favorite pastimes was to go to the Louvre, alone, on those Wednesday evenings, to explore and contemplate the endless artifacts of history. I began feeling a personal connection with the museum and with my favorite artists. As I learned more about them through their artwork and masterfully conveyed messages, I also learned about myself. Many might never believe it to be possible to find yourself alone in front of the Mona Lisa, or the majestically grand rooms throughout the Louvre—but it is. Roaming the Louvre solitarily is fantastic; for I wasn’t alone at all! Millions of emotions, expressions and pieces of history were staring at me in the eye. The city of Paris taught me more about art, love and emotion than I had ever imagined. This particular Wednesday evening was my last in Paris; as I looked out upon the city from within one of the most historic buildings in the world, I knew that my love for the city would never fade, for that which we love we never truly leave—it becomes a part of us.

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