Sites visited: Eiffel Tower, Hôtel de Ville, Pompidou Centre, Musée Rodin, Pantheon, Montmarte
The first place we visited was the Eiffel Tower, which was a great introduction to this beautiful city. We could see all of Paris spread out around us. We saw the Rodin Museum – my favorite! Auguste Rodin’s sculptures are so lifelike that I almost expected their hands to start moving! We started meeting deaf people: we went to an LSF (French sign language) amateur variety show and another day we talked with people near the Eiffel Tower.
Sites visited: Paris Sewers, Champs-Élysées (Concorde and Arc de Triomphe), Saint-Roch Church, Institut National de Jeunes Sourds (St. Jacques), Musée d'Orsay,
The highlight of the week was our day visiting historic deaf education sites, including the location where the Abbé de l'Epée lived and first taught deaf children; Saint-Roch Church, where he is entombed; and St. Jacques, or INJS, the old school where Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet went to learn about deaf education and met Laurent Clerc. We met more French deaf people at a lecture, a deaf social meet up, and a play with deaf actors.
Sites visited: Château de Versailles, International Visual Theatre (IVT),Catacombs, Notre Dame Cathedral, La Conciergerie, Les Invalides, Arènes de Lutèce, Père Lachaise Cemetery, Le Marais area of Paris
We visited the Château de Versailles, the site of the royal court from the late seventeenth century until the beginning of the French Revolution. We had an LSF guided tour of the palace and then walked around the gardens.
I enjoyed visiting the IVT, a deaf theatre company that also does LSF instruction. The French Deaf actress Emmanuelle Laborit, whose autobiography we had read during the spring semester, had been a member of the IVT.
The damp, dark, winding tunnels of the Catacombs were creepy but solemn. This huge underground ossuary is filled with stacks of bones and skulls. We cheered up afterwards by meeting with a group of students, most from Rochester, NY, also studying in Paris.
Sites visited: Groupe Scolaire des Deux Parcs (suburban school bilingual program), Musée du Louvre, Cluny Museum of the Middle Ages
We visited a bilingual deaf classroom in a suburban school. We showed the students on a map the location of Gallaudet and all of our home states. Then they asked us questions and told us about themselves. It was lots of fun and I was sad to leave!
The Louvre was huge; we had an LSF tour of the highlights, but some of us went back later that week for more. The famous Mona Lisa painting was smaller than I expected, but there was still a huge crowd around it! At the end of the week we went out for a good-bye dinner with our professors and some French deaf friends to say Merci for an incredible four weeks studying in Paris.