Thursday, May 29, 2003

I want to run
I want to hide
I want to tear down the walls
that hold me inside
I wanna reach out
and touch the flame
Where the streets have no name....

Rome is a challenging city in a number of ways. The most obvious, of course, is the language. I'm slowly remembering more, but I never spoke it well to begin with. Italian has a lyrical quality about it. Kind of a sing-song rhythm which sounds like music to your ears, even if you have no idea of what's being said. Actually, that's better, because if you do, it's likely a mundane conversation.

Everyone here is getting used to being abroad. This trip is markedly different from my two trips to Europe with the MBA program. For both of those, people had managed to travel pretty extensively (except me, of course, who didn't have that kind of vacation time). By the time they arrived in Athens or Rome, they were veterans, and able to get around. Here, they're still getting used to the idea of a language and custom they've never experienced before. Not that they're all wet behind the ears. There's J, of course, who's been to Germany. And S and L, who've both lived here for extended periods of time. Not surprisingly, people have clung to them like small children to their mothers at a mall. And there's a smattering of others who've been abroad and can competently handle themselves.

But there are others who have a lot to learn. There are three divisions of students here - the law students, who stay for a month; the MBA students, who get a two week blow-through; and the undergrads, who stay all summer. Some of the undergrads have been here all year. Unfortunately, I'd like to say that the undergrads are the worst-behaved, but I can't. They're immature, sure, and loud (especially at night, when it's quiet), but there are some MBA, and, unfortunately, law students, who rival them. Rome has great food and great wine, and despite the efforts of the staff to ensure that we are all 'cultured' Americans, we lapse into stupidity almost nightly. Not the same people, but different people every night who come in drunk, make lots of noise, and wake somebody up, who'll spend the next day whining about it.

And the intrigue. Take seventy people, put them together, and watch what happens. Le Grande Grande Fratello - the Big, Big Brother. There's T who likes Gr, and J who says "nothing" is going on with H, and all the guys who are scamming on all the girls. And yes, I admit, I like someone here, too. E is her name, at least to you it is, and she's absolutely adorable. And twenty-five, outgoing, nice, intelligent......and I have absolutely no chance here. But what an enjoyable way to spend a summer.....

Right now, the scramble is on. The most popular question here is "what are you doing this weekend?" as everyone lines up their weekend trips. I'm hoping to head to Florence, Firenze here, and get the leather jacket I wanted two years ago, but didn't have the cojones to buy. Now I have the cojones, but not the dinero. I just don't know who I'm going with - the Firenze-only group, or the Firenze-Venezio(Venice) group. I've heard the canals stink to high heaven,'s Venice, how can I not go? And then there's the trip to Interlachen. And Paris. And.....oh, man, so many side trips.

There's good news, and bad news as well. The bad news first. I didn't do very well in Contracts. C-plus. Not what I'd expected, but then what did I expect, with all I'd juggled this semester. I've sent an email to the professor, requesting an accounting on my grade. We'll see when (if) she responds. The good news is Professor Civ Pro is now Professor Bus Ops. This made me very happy, as it opened up my entire morning, and made it possible for me to do some clerking work part-time. It also gave me Fridays off......

Well, it's 8:45. Dinner time here in Roma. I think I'll get the pasta.

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