Last night after a very turbulent day, we took the Metro to Tour Eiffel and saw it in its lit up and sparkly essence. It was an amazing experience. I never really expected to see the Eiffel Tower in person. I must say I’m a smidge jealous of Europeans because they get educational experiences that they can take for granted. I would love to just randomly know history facts and jog around the Eiffel Tower as if it’s the MLK Center or something. The historical monuments are the absolute best–the architecture is AMAZING and so symmetrical here, and it’s normal for them. It’s normal for people to know more than 1 or 2 or maybe even 3 languages. I wish philosophy and the classics were more included in our education. Even when I was watching The Great Debaters, I was wishing some of those concepts were still “normal” parts of our education. What’s going on with America? We’re okay with not having common knowledge about stuff? We’re okay with letting people stop at Algebra II in their education. We’re okay with people only knowing “American history,” if ou can call the rendition we get in high school accurate. We’re okay with people not being exposed to ideas of thought. If I weren’t inquisitive on my own, even with 3.5 degrees, I’d be even more behind than I feel I am.
Yesterday, I bought two books, and I can’t wait to read them. Both were published by UNESCO. One examines poverty as a human rights issue and the other examines the transition from slavery to general bondage. UNESCO was an amazing place to me, as was the U.S. Mission to the EU and the European Parliament and the European Commission. The way the EU works is so interesting to me because although it works similarly to the US way of doing things, it’s so different all at the same time. It’s very unique how these countries who have been at war off and on forever and ever work together for peace, even sometimes taking national economic hits to make it work. On the EU councils and even at the European Central Bank, the powers that be are prevented from serving their national interests but are charged to make decisions for the good of the entire union. They realize that long term gains come from taking short term risks and even losses. It’s so amazing. There are so many parties here, and there are 3 huge ones. I’m going to research those three when I get back. It’s crazy to me that they can get stuff done even though at least 5 languages may be spoken at a meeting so there’s a lag in communication at times. But they make it happen. I’m very very intrigued, if you can’t tell. I’m unfortunately missing the lecture today, which is about how France views the EU. But hopefully, one of my professors will fill me in. Maybe I’ll go check out Notre Dame though. Tomorrow I’m hoping to either visit the Louvre or Versailles. 4 more days and I’ll be hoooooome. I’m actually ready to get home. Honestly, my patience is wearing thin with these strangers. But overall, I must say this trip was definitely worthwhile. I thank God for the opportunity. Ok, I’m out for now.