Tuesday, December 2, 2008

One down, Four to go

Ciao everyone, happy Tuesday morning to you all. I am a little inactive today, but I've already been productive, so I guess it's legitimate. I had my Italian oral final today, and I feel like it went really well. I hope I can get an A in the class; I feel like I am definitely in the top 3 or 4 of my class, and everyone comes to me for help it seems like; doesn't that mean I deserve an A? I sure hope so, it'd be nice to help out the GPA.

Anyway, the oral went well, I just talked about my trips and my adventures so far here in Europe, Asia, and Africa, and my professor asked me a few questions and complimented me a few times, which was nice. That part's over, now it's on to the more-challenging written final. Oh joy. That's not until Thursday morning, however, leaving all of today off, plus Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to study for my other finals. I have two on Monday (10-1 and 3-6) and then my last one of Tuesday, 3-6. After it's all said and done, I'll be done with all of my work, and boy that'll be nice. Only sad part there is that that is the 9th, a week from today, and I'll have two days in Rome after that. Whoa! Where'd all the time go?

I guess with all the travels I talked about today, plus living in the Eternal City. Time always passes, and here, it seems to really move along sometimes, without you even knowing it's really occurring.

I feel like Rome has this effect on you, more so than many other cities in Europe, just because everyone here seems to do things the way they've always done them; the United States is so new as a country that even the East Coast (where they consider themselves old school and old society) has been around for less time than the building all of my classes take place in. My school was built around the time of Jamestown, for heaven's sake. I mean, really.

There's so much tradition and history here that the people just do things the way they've always done them, and are not going to change anytime soon. The same people beg at the Vatican every day, the same people work the same jobs for their whole life, the same food shops exist for generations, and it's tough to really shake that foundation. When everyone does the same things for their whole life, there really is a rhythm and a cadence to life unlike anything I ever felt or saw in the states. It's something that makes every day feel like it's removed from time and just in the midst of everything else, if that makes any sense. The churches, the monuments, the streets, the walls . . . their age is shown, and yet are still here amongst the present.

Something tells me that this place is changing, and rapidly. The world is getting so much smaller so quickly, and Italy is such a prime destination to visit, the culture is turning more global every day. I really have begun to see a country, a city, and a culture stuck between these two states of being, which is simultaneously a positive thing (as people are getting the chance to see the world, etc), but also a negative thing, as part of their culture is eroding with it. We've talked a lot in my culture class about how there is a huge contrast between the old and young here in Rome, and a few generations ago, there was hardly any distinction. The young people spurn Italian for English. They don't want to live at home as every generation has done until marriage (not that I blame them, but that's the way it's always been). They want to be part of the world, not just part of Italy, and it causes friction.

I'm really lucky I've been privileged enough to see such a place in such a transition. I mean, really look at some of these pictures of my walk every day. I mean, it's just beautiful, and yet, as you walk, you can tell that amongst all this history, the times, they are a-changin'. But they'll stay the same in a way too, just like they have been for centuries upon centuries now.

I've got some finals to be done, a few things I still want to see, and who knows what else in daily life can pop up, but I know that if nothing else, I have had a fantastic time that has forever changed me as a person, and in a good way.

I'll update again soon, but Roma is getting closer to over. If you have anything you want, speak now or hold your peace for quite a while folks.

Until next time,


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