“Our team needs a student who is studying each study and can provide advice and suggestion to harmonize each department.” It was the request which came in front of me. ‘Providing advice and suggestion? Will I?’ My French speaking was still primary grade, to say nothing of my knowledge of law. Indeed, I was immature in every direction. All I could do and all I had were only ‘my best.’
Becoming Turtle As soon as we entered Palais de Justice, the Supreme Court in France, a great sculpture welcomed our team, The statue, Forum et Jus, shows a scene of judgment which is under the command of Berryer. There are three people, and under the feet of a woman, there is a turtle. It was a metaphor. The sculptor hid satire under the feet of the woman. He designed it to say that law is always slow like a turtle. As I saw it, the early stage when we just prepared this exploration came to mind. “To make a plan we should take contents. And we must emphasize why the law is important to understanding Europe.” “No, I think we’d better appeal why France is the most influential country in the EU.” As each purpose, intention and interest was various. So we couldn’t help but debate each other on and on. To tune and reflect on every members’ interest- as it is called, we made consensus. It seemed to be time-consuming. However, as a result, no one was ignored during this exploration from A to Z. The satire, described as a turtle, is a natural, expected result to make no one estranged.
Culture + Administration
As I entered the National Assembly, I thought if I misunderstand the day’s schedule. ‘I knew that we’re going to visit the Assembly but did we arrange to visit the Museum or Exhibition?’ From the entrance, pictures, and paintings stood in a line. It was paintings which won the second prize from the Ministry of Culture in France and its theme consists of historical days about democracy in France, such as establishment of the French Assembly, the acquisition of the franchise, and abolition of slavery. Everyone who enters the Assembly can be together with
the soul of the democracy through the art. As I entered the place where the party was to be held, I was shocked still more. The Palace - the Assembly building was a palace, Palais de Bourdon, past time - keeps its figure. Under the very palace which contains the nation’s history, congressmen are legislating. ‘Whoever discusses nation’s opinion under this palace, they can’t help but feel pride and responsibility.’ Not only in the Assembly, but most public institutions are the same. They are located in historical places leaving their shapes. In France, its present considers the future under the history and culture.
The Essence of Laughing
To study the French language more actively, I decided to find out my own text at a bookstore. In front of the bookstore, I imagined the ideal text. ‘It must be easy and funny to make me amused. Then I can study French joyfully, moreover, I can understand the French code about laughter. It must serve a double purpose.’ For a while, I explored the bookstore, I got something remarkable. The Essence of Laughing, it was small and thin book and I picked it up. After I returned to the hotel, I opened it and read it. “‘The wise never laugh,’ written by Charles Pierre Baudelaire.” The great French poet tells me who I am in French.
Just like Madame Bovary, Manon Lescaut and Margritte; the heroine of the French novel, why French women in classic novels abandoned themselves to pleasure and luxury? After they became fatigued with daily life, they became addicted to luxury-seeking pleasure and finally they were ruined. Now I understand. It is just retributive justice. In the law field, French women have a higher proportion than that of French men. “How did they lock in the kitchen these energetic women? The tragedies in French novels were the natural results! Like Marianne, The Goddess of People Leading Revolution by Delacroix, these women are acting as spokesmen of each person, who had different values, interests and perspectives.
I didn’t feel such a burden when I departed from Seoul. ‘It might be enough to describe what I felt,’ I believed that. However, after I achieved my exploration, I returned to Seoul. The responsibility was driven into me. Before I visited France, up to the moment, if it was a course to identify who I am, while the exploration in France, I had a chance to see my vision and future. Meeting alumnae who are studying at Dauphine University, visiting institutions, interviewing experts, and walking around totally strange places, every moment inspired me. I planted the inspiration in my mind. This trip, I got a detailed direction and determination just only for myself. So I don’t know how these details gain sympathy of whole Sookmyungians. However, I can tell you the difference between ‘before’ and ‘after.’ Before I got the inspiration, I didn’t know both what to do, and why I had to do it. But after I
planted it in my heart, now I know why I had to do at least. I’m not sure the concrete route to accomplish my vision. What I am doing might not be the right way, because I am still immature. However, just like me at the first stage who dreamed the exploration, all I can do is my best. And the way to realize it is only to practice by acting. If there are Sookmyungians who are wandering to find out their decisive moment, concrete vision, passion, I’d like to tell them. “Practice by prACTice.”