Sunday, September 19, 2010

What a Slacker...

To all those who have been following my adventures abroad, i'm truly sorry that i have been slacking. it was a combination of lack of internet, lack of time, and laziness. a lot has happened over the past couple weeks. i'll give you the highlights....

uno: todi
as you know, i got to my residence without incident. the pizza party on the night of our arrival officially kicked off welcome week. we had orientation, got to meet some teachers, and had a couple day trips. one was to the medieval hill village of todi. todi is in the region of umbria. it was about an hour ride from rome, through some of the most beautiful landscapes italy has to offer. the day trip had two parts -- a couple hours in todi and a extravagant four hour lunch in a castle not too far away. todi was amazing! the views were breathtaking and the town was full of adorable shops and gorgeous churches. my friends and i walked around for a couple hours and all decided that a single afternoon was not nearly enough.

although, i must admit that i was not saddened to move on to the huge lunch we had been promised. the castle was about forty minutes from todi. to get there, our skilled bus driver had to wind back and forth up a mountain. every couple minutes, we would think we'd arrived, only to be disappointed. but, trust me, it was worth the wait. when we got to the charming castle, we were given an array of pizzettas. these alone were enough to fill me up, but once we got inside, we were served course after course of amazing food. there was sliced prosciutto, a cheese pastry, risotto, venison, pasta topped with wild boar, chicken or lamb, salad, tiramisu,and biscotti,all with wine on the side of course. it was the most amazing meal i have ever experienced. many students around me were pacing themselves and eating in moderation. but i couldn't help myself -- i ate everything that was put in front of me. thank you, temple rome!

due: roomies

when i originally got to the residence, i was assigned to room 62, which i told you all about. it was great and i really liked all of my roommates, but we all soon realized that i mostly hung out with the girls downstairs. meanwhile, one of the girls downstairs mostly hung out with my roommates in 62. well, that doesn't really make we switched. i moved in with beth, laura, and jess. it's actually really perfect because the four of us are together most of the time anyway.

(my former roomie lori, me, jess, and laura)

tre: classes
this semester is the first time that i did some major schedule reconstruction after classes began. i originally had five classes, then i dropped down to four before switching out one for another. so now i'm taking italian, italian cinema, sociology, and art history. its really exciting because half of my classes are really different from what i usually take. i have never taken art history or sociology. so far, my favorite class is italian cinema. we're watching tons of awesome movies and talking about how they reflect the culture. basically, it's perfect. art history is a close second. it's fascinating! i love learning the stories behind the paintings, and how to recognize the work of different artists. at this point, we have learned about caravaggio and annibale carracci.

(left-- caravaggio...right--carracci)

quattro: la sapienza
la sapienza is the university of rome. last friday, gianni, temple rome student adviser and la sapienza alumnus, took us there and showed us around. when you arrive, the first thing you realize is that the campus is really really ugly. it was built during facism and looks like it. all the buildings look like stone boxes. in america, it might not be so bad, but in rome, were embellishment is the norm, its horrible. as we walked through the campus, gianni told us all about the italian university. there are about 250,000 students at la sapienza. because there are so many, there is not enough room in the classrooms and most students to not attend class. instead, they study the material at home. they have to learn a dozen books inside and out before they can take the oral exam to pass the class. this is why it takes many students about ten years to finish completely. it's crazy! being a university student in italy is so much more difficult than being a college student in the states. by the time we left, i was thanking God that i was not enrolled at la sapienza. we went into the classics building. in the basement, there was an awesome museum filled with replicas of ancient statues. that was definitely my favorite part.

(ugly buildings.....gianni in front of the la sapienza statue)

(awesome museum)

well thats about it for now. i'll post again soon -- i promise! until then, ciao!

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