Last week’s “jaunt” to Provence, marked our final big school trip. The conglomeration of sights we visited represented how far we’d come since our preliminary forays into calverts and our first church exploration way back on the first trip around la Bretagne.
This time around, we experienced a bit of a flashback with our program. In addition to the customary set of churches and cathedrals, including a striking and intricate black one, we toured our last château fort of the year. Mixed in with this art history review was some traces of our recent studies on Impressionism and modern art. We visited not only the new Van Gogh foundation in St. Remy de Provence but also the cloître that used to house Van Gogh and his fellow insane artist peers following his manic ear cutting incident. Additionally, we had the opportunity to visit the Vasarely foundation in Aix to get a glimpse of his avant-garde “Op Art.” Throughout the week, I was amazed at the ease with which my classmates and I can comment on art (both old and new), recognize the parts of a medieval castle or identify the style of an ancient cathedral.
At our last cathedral on the route back to Rennes, we stumbled upon a Catholic Sunday mass being conducted in Portguese by an Angolese priest. It was frankly kind of magical to be in that moment, all of us captivated by the music and the streaming light of the airy nave.
Upon our return, Mr. Brochu surprised us with a “reverse pont“. While some people take Fridays off when they have a long weekend, he granted us an extra day between the official vacation and our AP French exam. During this sort of buffer day, I realized how weird it felt to be without all of my classmates. I have gotten so used to being constantly around these 65-70 other people and I don’t know how I’m going to manage going home to not seeing these faces every day. Even my teachers and their children have become part of this weird extended sort of family. I remember remarking even in the beginning that I felt oddly close with this group (or at least certain members) almost immediately. These past 8 going on 9 months and especially the past two school trips have solidified these relationships. We’ve been through so much together and despite whether or not we all see each other again, I’m eager to make the utmost of the little remaining time (almost exactly two weeks) we have left as this incredible SYA France class of 2014.