Friday, May 29, 2009

New Adventures!

Hi again everyone!! Hopefully you are still checking here because I have decided to keep posting blog updates.

This time I am back in America, but it might as well be a foreign county here in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. And this blog will remain "as the romans do" even though I am no longer technically living like a Roman because in ways I am. (I'm continuing to eat pasta at every chance I get, at least.)

For those of you who don't know, I am spending the summer here in NMB, SC on something called a Summer Project. It is through Cru, and interdenominational group on tons of campuses across the United States & in other countries. For ten weeks, us 94 students and about 30 staff members will live here & get jobs within the community (fast food, mini golf, coffee places, grocery stores, etc.) while we learn about ourselves, each other, & our personal spiritual growth.

The days are reserved for our jobs (I have not found one yet, but I'm working on it...Italian tutoring, anyone? Personal chef?) and nights are reserved for group activities.

Mondays are Bible Study nights with our housemates (I have five). Tuesdays are spent exploring the community and meeting tourists. Wednesdays are called "Date Night w/ Jesus"--pretty much we get 2.5 hours of quiet time (and for me lots of journaling). Thursdays are group meetings--worship music, speakers, etc. Fridays are our nights off. Saturdays are social activities with our group. Sundays are Impact Group nights (Women's bible study + Men's bible study = Impact (or family) group).

The other night my staff mentor and I got to talk to two women from Russia who are also living here for the summer. We talked about each of our spiritual beliefs and found out what they thought of America so far (it's loud). It was really great to talk to some of the international population here (NMB is a lot similar to the Dells or Door County in the summer) and I felt a connection to them, out on their own in a foreign country.

Besides job hunting and general orientation, I have been meeting SO MANY PEOPLE! With 94 of us, it feels like I am meeting my high school class all over again. By the end of these ten weeks I should have all the names down.

It is getting a little late so I am going to close up now just with another thank you and miss you and love you to everyone!

Sunday, May 17, 2009


We finally made it back. Our flight from Rome to Munich left late, and we thought we were going to miss our connecting flight to Chicago but when we finally got into Munich, we learned that that flight was delayed. So we hurried up to wait another two hours before our transatlantic flight left. The flight from Munich to Chicago was nice--I watched Slumdog Millionaire, part of Inkheart, and fell asleep to Radio Italia. Unfortunately because that flight was delayed, we did miss our connecting flight from Chicago to Central Wisconsin. We were so close to home but had to spend the night in Chicago and catch an early morning flight the next day.

And then after a very turbulent but brief flight, we were home. All I could think when we were flying in was how far apart everything was. So much space between the houses, huge roads, giant vehicles. The weather is a little chillier here than what I am used to in Rome but my bed is just as comfortable as I imagined. :)

I am slowly getting over my jet lag--though I am pretty sure I will be waking up early in the morning for a bit. Right now it is 2 in the afternoon but my body feels like it is 8 PM.

Yesterday I made the family come with me to see Angels and Demons, the new Ron Howard film based on the novel by Dan Brown. It is set in Rome so Dad (who chose to sit next to me) was entertained the entire time with me poking him to say, "I was just there three days ago!"

Monday, May 11, 2009

American Invasion

Visitors are here! We have no wi-fi in our apartment, but we did find this cafe with an internet connection. The week has gone well with the only catastrophe being my and Grandma's time spent stuck in an elevator. With two Italian women who decided the best way to solve our problem would be to pound on the door and shout "Aiuto!" (Help!). We did get out though (obviously!).

I took them around my neighborhood and today we spent the day at the Vatican and St. Peter's Basilica. Before the end of the week I have been told we need to find a Hard Rock Cafe and a Harley-Davidson store so that's what's coming up!

Our apartment is nice and the beds are there is a gelateria and a bar/cafe not far!

Hugs and kisses from everyone!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Finals week overview

Three finals down...two to go.

Art History was probably the hardest since it had the most memorization--all of those statues and monuments and temples and tombs. I was happy with the B+ I got on my Appian Way paper, though.

My next final was not until Tuesday at 6 so Monday and most of Tuesday I spent walking around Rome, around the apartment, trying to find something to occupy myself. This week has been the longest of my life! I am waiting for these finals to be over and for my visitors to finally's like waiting for 10 Christmas mornings, I swear.

My stats final was kind of a joke, sad to say. I got pretty angry when I saw two of my classmates blatantly sharing answers in front of me as our professor twiddled his thumbs at the front of the room. I'm already getting over 100% in that class from extra credit questions on our tests so I'm not worried about my grade. Funny considering I avoid math at all costs.

And then I had my history final this morning, another hard one with a lot to remember. This time it was most of the emperors from Augustus down to Romulus Augustus plus all the extra events--the third century crisis, Roman entertainment, Roman funerals, Mithraism. (Would you like me to elaborate? I just finished the final so it's all still fresh in my head. No, I won't bore you... :) )

Now I'm waiting around until 3, when I have my social research methods final. I already have 25% of it finished by bringing in an abstract of my thesis project and the rest won't be bad. The professor already told me he grades mine differently since I am an English major, not political science like the rest of the class.

And Italian is tomorrow morning at 9. Again, nothing to worry about since it's Italian 101 and our professor loves us. Seriously, she has tried her hardest to make Italian a breeze for us. It's sad that Italian is basically a dead language - only Italians speak it, it's not like they have any colonies like the British or French to spread their language around. I would enjoy continuing with Italian if I could find it at home, even just to speak it for myself. Sure, Spanish and Japanese and Mandarin are all useful languages to know...but they aren't beautiful like Italian!

But that's my finals it's just about time for me to start packing up! It so feels like I just got here and unpacked. The time flew. Luckily I will have a week to say goodbye to all of my favorite places while I play tour guide for Mom, Donna, Grandma, and Ruth!

Friday, May 1, 2009


I'm done with classes, as of last night at 8. All I have left is five finals--starting with Art History on Sunday. Don't ask why they started finals so early--there are ones on Saturday as well--and they go until Friday. There are only maybe 700 students here so it should be easy to fit all the finals within one week, sans weekend. I'm pretty sure most schools in America manage that. But leave it to John Cabot to stretch things out.

John Cabot isn't a bad school in itself, it's just the administration is so Italian, ie, nothing ever gets done. There is an extreme lack of organization that unfortunately hurts the students the most. It's hard to believe there are actually degree-seeking students there, people who have decided to go there all four years. I know I couldn't do it. As much as I love Rome and know I am going to miss it when I come home, I really miss SNC and having a good, solid school.

Oh yes. But I only have finals to get through, and I'm not too worried about any of them. These grades only transfer as pass or fail, meaning I need to get a "C" and then I get credit for the courses. The actual grade doesn't factor into my GPA.

But yes, John Cabot has decided to fill our last weekend with finals. Not any today since today is Labor Day in Italy--everything is closed. It's kind of funny since they close shop every Sunday anyways and now they get Friday off as well.

What to do with these Italians?