For the past couple weeks since midterms, I have been very stressed and overwhelmed, so much so that I have absolutely no desire to do anything. I have research papers and presentations to prepare for and I have graduate schools to consider, with application deadlines right around the corner. I have my last semester of undergrad coming up and graduation is just another block away. I have great life-changing decisions ahead of me and I have been finding it hard to just sit back, relax, and remind myself that the present is the present and the future does not exist. Because of how overwhelming schoolwork has been, I find it difficult to enjoy what I’m doing and thus to sit down and do it. I’ve decided that I need a break. I need a break from homework, a break from the University, a break from the apartment, a break from Rome. I do love the city and everyday it feels more and more like home, but having lived here for two months now, I’ve really come to appreciate my small home town and rural Wisconsin.
A few friends and I decided that we did not have enough time in Assisi with SAI, through no fault of their own, so we decided to go back. Luckily we were able to meet up with some of my St. Norbert friends who are part of the SAI-Florence program. It was their first time in Assisi, so my Rome friends and I took pride in showing them around. We had a great time hiking up to Rocca Maggiore, a Medieval fortress with beautiful views of the city and the valley. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Assisi is one of the greatest cities in Italy and I will never hesitate to go back.
Quite a few friends also came to Rome throughout the past couple of weeks from Florence, Spain, and even Ireland. With them I did some of the touristy things that I haven’t really had the chance to do yet. With a couple of them I visited the Baths of Caracalla, which were amazing.
While we were there we also got to witness the “great migration” of birds through Rome. It frightened us at first, since no one had ever heard of the migration patterns through the city. Just a word on the birds: they need to go away; they stink and they’re loud.
Just this past weekend a different friend (also from Florence), my roommate and I ventured into the EUR, where Mussolini’s Fascist architecture is found. We were going to the Medieval Museum, which I only recommend because it’s incredibly awful; it’s one of those places that’s so bad it has to be experienced.
To wrap it up, I think I should address once again the coffee problem that I had last month. My problem with the coffee here was never the coffee itself, but the culture surrounding the coffee. I have been growing accustomed to the way Italians do coffee, though, and I must say that I rather enjoy it. Don’t get me wrong, I still prefer the American way, but I’ve learned that I can adapt to the coffee-culture of different areas of the world. Honestly, though, I don’t know what I’m going to do next semester when I am lacking Italian cappuccino; it may be time to invest in an espresso machine.
– Zaccary, St. Norbert College