Friday, June 20, 2003

Well, it's been fun, but it's time to move on. In a few minutes, we'll leave for Interlachen, then on Tuesday, we'll head up to Strasbourg for phase II, hopefully in much more temperate conditions.

I managed to get in a lot of last minute shopping yesterday, including the purchase of a blazer for our trip to the European courts in two (or is it three?) weeks. And lots of photos, which I can't share (yet) 'cause I don't have a digital camera.

See you soon....

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

It is 11:45 in the evening. The sun has long since gone to bed, and the temperature outside is now a quite comfortable seventy degrees or so. A soft breeze blows across your face. Above you, the rain clouds of this afternoon have long since gone. Behind you, traffic breezes by effortlessly, and, at times, nearly silently. Ahead of you, and to your right, a group of teenagers sits at the base of a tree, chatting. To your left, a young couple sits, arms around each other, enjoying the view. In front of you is the Arc of Constantine, but you're not looking at that. Instead, your looking at the same thing the couple is. Your head is cocked back, attempting to take it all in: the air, the traffic, the smell, the sound. Your friends are immediately to your right, engaged in a conversation you don't hear. You're in the moment. You think of a friend, someone you've traveled with before, someone you've known for fifteen years, but whom you haven't spoken with since the last day the two of you worked together, one week before you left. You have your cell phone with you, because a new friend said he might call and join you for dinner. You take it out and look at the time. It shows that the time back home is 4:48 pm. The only number you know offhand is your friend's office number, and he's probably long since left. You call anyway, and leave a message.

You tell him how beautiful the night is. You tell him what a lovely city Rome is, and how much you are enjoying being there, but how you wish he could be here too, enjoying a cocktail with you like when you both were in college, and the world was young. You describe the scene and then tell him what you are doing.

You're looking straight up at the Colusseum. And everything is all right in the world tonight.
I will remember you
will you remember me?
don't let your life pass you by
weep not for the memories

Remember the good times that we had?
I let them slip away from us when things got bad
how clearly I first saw you smilin' in the sun
wanna feel your warmth upon me, I wanna be the one

I will remember you
will you remember me?
don't let your life pass you by
weep not for the memories

I'm so tired but I can't sleep
standin' on the edge of something much too deep
it's funny how we feel so much but we cannot say a word
we are screaming inside, but we can't be heard

but I will remember you
will you remember me?
don't let your life pass you by
weep not for the memories

I'm so afraid to love you, but more afraid to lose
clinging to a past that doesn't let me choose
once there was a darkness, deep and endless night
you gave me everything you had, oh you gave me light

And I will remember you
will you remember me?
don't let your life pass you by
weep not for the memories

And I will remember you...
will you remember me?
don't let your life pass you by
weep not for the memories

I Will Remember You, Sarah McLachlin

Last night was the going-away banquet. Around the dorm, there was a general buzz of excitement in the air. The banquet did not officially start until 7:30, but people (especially the girls, but some guys) were getting ready at 5:00. The fact that our wing was down a shower didn't help, as forty men and women attempted to wash off the sweat of the afternoon for the cologne of the evening.

I was pretty unfazed by all this. After all, it was my second going-away dinner at the restaurant we were going to, and my second dinner there this past month, so I knew what to expect. I spent the afternoon writing my paper on the prosecution of rape in Italy, and finally floated upstairs around 6 or so. The showers were full, so I wandered the floor, engaging different people in conversation. Motivated by people in the lounge ironing clothes, I decided that I, too, would iron the shirt of choice for the evening (no, I did not burn the shirt or otherwise destroy it - I can iron, you know).

Lisa stopped by my room as I was shaving to tell me that she and Laura and a few others were heading to the restaurant early so that they could get a table and would I care to join them? I said sure, why not. At around 7:20, Scott, Pat and I floated down to the restaurant with a majority of our classmates, who had properly prepared for the evening with a few 'warmup' bottles of vino.

We invaded the restaurant at 7:40. Chaos soon ensued. The restaurant sits on a hill in Monte Mario, overlooking most of the highlights of Rome (only the Vatican and St. Peters - San Pietro to the Italians - is not visible). People greeted each other enthusiastically, took dozens of pictures, drank copious amounts of wine (our table of nine had seven bottles alone), and, at one point, a large group of people joined voices with Freddie Mercury and sang Bohemian Rhapsody. Loudly. We were not the only people in the restaurant, and I can't imagine with the Italians seated near us thought of all these young, boisterous, loud Americans, some extremely drunk, who continuously shouted vongole! (the Italian word for clam - use your imagination as to what they really were referring to). The batteries on my camera crapped out, of course, so I only got about four or five pictures. I'll have to scam some from those with digital cameras. Speaking of which, I now want one. Badly.

At around 11:30, Dean Jean herded us out the door. About half of us went home, the rest went to Elliott's, the local "English Pub in Italy". Theo, my roommate, had to be cajoled out of his seat in the restaurant, and I thought for sure he'd head home and pass out. Instead, he beat me to Elliott's. He wasn't alone. There's one other Greg on this excursion, and he was so intoxicated he could barely walk. Somehow, with help, he managed to make it back. At one point, I looked at Jen (the one who went with to Sorrento) and asked her how she was doing. "Greg," she answered, "I can't see straight." Chip was babbling on incoherently, and Brad was chasing after any girl who'd listen. At 1:30, we got the closing time boot, and a nice, thirty minute walk back to the Rome Center.

Near the end of the evening, my classmate Erin came up to me.

"You ok?"
"Stone cold sober. Why?"
"Someone said Greg had gotten really wasted, and I couldn't believe that you would do that."
"It was the other Greg, the one down the hall," Brad interjected.
"Oh, good, I didn't think it was you, but you never know."

No, you don't. But everyone had fun. And most of them even made it to class this morning.

Time it was, and what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence, a time of confidences
Long ago, it must be, I have a photograph
Preserve your memories, they're all that's left you

Bookends Theme, Simon & Garfunkel

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Scratching where it itches.....

In the interest of satisfying copyright law, and at the same time satisfying ev, one of my growing list of regular commenters, here's a rundown of the lyrics I've quoted recently...

June 2: Frozen, Madonna (Ray of Light); Sounds of Silence, Simon & Garfunkel
June 3: Running to Stand Still, U2 (Joshua Tree)
June 5: Killing Moon, Echo and the Bunnymen
June 9: Gold Dust Woman, Fleetwood Mac (Rumours)
June 11: American Pie, Don McLean; Empty Sky, Bruce Springsteen (The Rising); Letter to Elise, The Cure (Wish)

Those are the ones I could readily look up. For some reason, getting to my archives is not achievable right now, so I can't answer those right off, though I do know I quoted the Jayhawk's Save It For a Rainy Day (Don't look so sad Marina, there's another part to play), and of course, Norah Jones' Don't Know Why, but I did credit that one in the entry for the day (as I backhandedly did for Madonna as well). And finally, how could I forget the Clash classic London Calling.

Most of the time, the music I quote is what was on my mind at the moment, but sometimes it serves to comment on the rest of the post, or, in the case of Letter to Elise, a song I associate with a person (not that I'm madly in love with Elise, but I can't help but think of that song whenever I see her).

So there you have it. Hope that answers your question. And yes, I've been a little lax in posting, not because it's suddenly gotten boring here (it hasn't), but because the computer room here at the Rome Center is not air-conditioned and regularly is at least 10-15 degrees hotter than anywhere else. And when the outside temperature is 96 degrees, well, you can just imagine how comfortable it is to sit in front of a computer for an hour (which is how long it takes me to write the longer posts). Plus, I am supposed to be studying here, so I do occasionally have to do homework.

More later. I promise. Just as soon as I find a computer whose keys do not consistently stick.........and just as soon as I revise my paper on rape.