The secular meets the divine...

Yesterday, was an interesting day. Finally, our group was introduced to the Great Paolo Barucchieri. I think it is funny how he is slowly brought into the lives of the students. Throughout orientations his name is constantly dropped in various situations. "Paolo will take here." or "Paolo was responsible for setting this up." Then one day, he just shows up and takes you on an amazing tour of the city while explaining all kinds of historic facts about the area. He is still a great man with infinite wisdom.

Later, we took a trip to Arezzo where Monica (my past Italian teacher) gave us a tour of the town. I was impressed by her knowledge regarding the architeture. I always thought she was hired to teach Italian and never considered her as a historian of any sort. I also hung out with a pretty good group of students. Things are starting to shape up with them. I think a nice (but edgy) rapport is shaping with them. (Mark, if you are reading this: White pants are still great, I have seen one pair, and they were not the greatest. But... Keep hope alive.)

Last night, I hung out with my friends from UT. I think this group may appear numerous times in my various blogs. They were meeting their studio prof. at the local public park and allowed me to tag along. In addition, the students from Calpoly finally began to arrive and this was their wind down time. We ended up having a rather nice (and late) night in the park (did I mention they erected a bar there? It is called the Garden Underground- same owners as the Velvet Underground).

Today was a whole lotta nothing. I ended up not going back to Arezzo for the anitique fair. I slept in (thought not easily) until 11am. I don't think my bed could be more comfortable, but those bells are not going to cut it. After awaking I went to the "student discounted lunch" at some local pizzeria that sucked. They claimed to make italian pizza, but it seemed like they dumbed it down for Americans. It had thick edges and was tougher than the typical Italian pizza. I give them a C minus for their bad pizza and even crappier service. The waitresses did good (considering the crowd), but the owner sucked.

Later today, I constantly ran into students with billions of questions. Things are coming back to me, so that is always good. Specifically, the language is slowly creeping into the active part of my brain. I watched La Vitta Bella (Life is Beautiful) with Kara and Haley. I have seen it over twelve times and it still brings tears to my eyes. After dinner, I was torn. I wanted to go out, but the group that was going out, decided against it. So I settled back with my friends from UT. I was getting in such a relaxed mode, then all of a sudden the first group decided they really wanted to go out. So I hung out with them. It was ok, but I realized that I really need someone here that is my age.

I am in now, and none of my classmates (back in CS) are online. I know it is because they are all together... having a great time together. Oh, I miss them so.


Arrive: The "Katrina" Experience

I am here everyone! Am I the only one that finds irony in the fact that I was traveling during the one year anniversary of Hurrican Katrina? Let me paint a picture for you. Upon my arrival in Philadelphia, a storm decided to settle the region. They boarded the plane, and then let us sit for 3 hours because the airport was shutdown due to the weather. The flight attendants became our very own personal FEMA. They refused to tell us the truth about what was going on. They did not provide us with any resources (food, water or entertainment). When ever we needed them, they tended to look over us. It got so bad that one man had some sort of medical emergency while we were in the air (which in itself took forever). They called for a doctor who literally performed a bit of surgery while we were in flight.

Once I got to Italia, things began to smooth out. I was worried about meeting my group, but all turned out well. Right now, I feel a bit awkward. I suppose I am afraid that I won't fit in, or they will see me as "the guy that knows it all." Things here have changed, though not too much, I want to experience things as if it were the first time.

I have been here for a few hours and already stood up a group of potential friends. At dinner, I sat with students from UT to mix things up. They invited me to hang out tonight after dinner. I wanted to go, but sleep got the best of me. When I awoke, they had already been gone for an hour. Wait... What am I thinking? This is Italia. Its not like they are going to be in anytime soon. Well, then again... There is always tomorrow night. I better not risk seeming irresponsible. I think I will call it a night, unpack and plan on hanging tomorrow night.


Here we go...

Well everyone, the adventure starts here. Most of you may think that this post is late. In a way you are right. But after I tell you yesterday's events, you will see why.

I spent my last day in College Station running errands. At 6:50am, I woke to see if Mara and Regina wished to go to breakfast. They were already going to be up pulling tickets for the first game. They were too tired and preferred to go back to sleep after their long wait in line. I arose shortly after to go to campus. Prof. Lang wanted me to bring a number of programs with me on the plane. This, however, was not possible because of the Universities policy of software distribution.

Next, I found Georgina. I helped her find and access her studio in the Williams Building (lucky her). I thought it would work to be there since I need to meet with Dr. Johnson for my final study forms. After learning that we would meet closer to lunch, I decided to make a visit to Dr. Larke's office. It was great to see him again. He encouraged me to remain focused and myself while I was in a different environment. He then blessed me with a generous donation. I did not realize how generous until later in the day. (Thanks Dr. Larke).

I had lunch with Georgina and Mara, but before that assisted them in "pre-arranging" their studio. I had fun spending time with them for so much time. Specifically, it seems like I hadn't been able to talk to Georgina in forever, and we were able to do a lot of catching up (though it never seems like enough). After their studio was over, we all went out for a wacky evening at Cheddars.

If you notice, none of these blogs mention packing! That is because I decided to wait until the very last minute to pack. This was NOT a good idea. I started right after dinner and took a break to hang out with Georgina for awhile. I was there and got very sleepy. Schylr finally called to pick me up and brought me back home to continue packing. I just finished about 20min ago. Would you go to sleep? Hmmm...