by Danielle Acconzo
Photo 1: On the morning that we arrived, we headed to Notre Dame. The moment that I saw Notre Dame from the famous love lock bridge, tears streamed down my face in disbelief that I had arrived in Paris for this experience. When I walked in the breathtaking landmark of literature, I became immediately inspired that I was a part of something much bigger than I ever anticipated. The tears lasted through the entire cathedral as I became connected in a different way with each step and looked at life with different point of view.
Photo 2: This literary experience was the first time that I would travel with others that I did not know personally. Dr. Rader was a professor of mine, but the other five students, I only met once before traveling to another country with. Ernest Hemingway gave the wise advice, “Never go on trips with anyone that you do not love.” It was a first time for me to go on a trip, more of a journey, with people that I did not love, and Hemingway’s advice made me feel anxious. We visited Hemingway’s residence from 1921-1925, pictured here, and I fell in love. I fell in love with the experience, the journey, the landmarks, and the people. I admire every word that has come out of his mouth, but I disagree with this quote. On this trip, I found a journey with much to love.
Photo 3: On the streets of Paris, I found out a lot about myself and the type of person that I am and desire to become.
Photo 4: Dr. Rader was a professor of mine for the first time in 2008. Since then, she has become a mentor of mine in regards to our shared passion towards literature and careers in education. The literary experience of a lifetime was executed perfectly through her knowledge, affection, and inspiration of the literary backgrounds of Paris. No tour guide could have ever taken us on the journey that Dr. Rader took us on. I am forever appreciative that I was blessed with this opportunity.
Photo 5: Every literature lover needs to allow Paris to inspire their heart and their minds. The street vendors are filled with words and phrases that will impact your life.
Photo 6: “America is my country and Paris is my hometown,” stated Gertrude Stein. Paris is not my hometown like it was and is for Stein who rests at Pere Lachaise Cemetery. However, I had a connection to Paris that felt like the comfort of my home. Now, at home, I have a piece of this experience that will inspire my mind and resonate in my heart forever.