Paris: An Interview with My Professor

Emma Lofthus is a student at Luther College and an ISA Featured Blogger. Emma is currently studying abroad with ISA in Paris, France.

I had that chance to speak with with my Cinema professor, Irène Savarit-Ghebreyal, and ask her about Paris. Irène was born in NYC to French parents and moved back to Paris at a young age. She has now been living in Paris for 40 years. Living in the 9th arrondissement, she is now married to an Egyptian man, her life consisting of 3 different cultures. I asked for her opinions on Paris and France. Here are her responses to my questions, which I’ve translated from French.

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Rodin museum, 7th arrondissement – one of my fave places in Paris too

EL: When you’re not at the Catholic University of Paris teaching, what do you do? Do you have favorite activities or parts of the city?

IS-G: I like to walk in the Vincennes Woods, in the Tuileries Gardens and in the Montmartre neighborhood (close to where I live). I’ll also go to the terrace of a café on l’Avenue de Trudaine, when it’s nice out. I go shopping in the boutiques and nice shops on the bigger boulevards of the city.

Regularly, I go to see art and history exhibits and to the theater. My favorite museum is the Rodin [famous French sculptor] Museum and my favorite theater is l’Atelier on the Charles Dullin plaza. It’s a marvelous little theater! When it’s finally really nice out, I go buy ice cream on the île Saint-Louis (middle of the Seine river) with my family for dessert.

EL: Is there one thing about Parisians or the French that makes you laugh?

IS-G: Sometimes what makes me laugh is how French people take themselves very seriously.

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Cheeseburger at Breakfast in America (BIA) – an American diner in Paris.

EL: What opinion do Parisians have of Americans?

IS-G: It’s paradoxical. On one hand, they look negatively upon and critique the US. On the other hand, there’s always this fascination with it. That’s not consistent but humans aren’t always consistent.

Author: emmalofthus

Bonjour! I’m Emma, a Junior French major and Music minor at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. I’ve lived in the Twin Cities, Minnesota for all my life, which is where I started learning French in Kindergarten, and my passion for all things French has never died! I’ve done quite a bit of world travel before but I want to truly live in a European city and learn all about it. I chose Paris because ISA’s spring semester there looks like so much cultural education and fun – exactly what I want! I hope to immerse myself in French language, history, art/architecture, gastronomy, and the amazing classes at the Catholic University. I love nearly everything I know about Europe, and I can’t wait to show you how a 20-year-old Minnesotan does Paris!

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