30 January 2012

back to school

First day of class. 9-3:30.

Late to campus, walked in wrong classroom for 10 minutes, got called out by my film teacher for being late, fell asleep watching the film but in my defense, we were watching Unforgiven, a Western film with Morgan Freeman & Clint Eastwood. We'll watch a film every Monday at 9 AM, meaning... I need to be wide awake walking into class.

It was cool getting to campus and already feeling like I knew a lot of people because of all the time we had together last week. My next class, at 12:30, was Feature Writing. We'll be writing journalistic stories that have more of a human interest angle, not just the 5W's and H. The toughest thing about the class will probably be brainstorming topics I'll find interesting enough to write about, especially with the language barrier between myself and the people I find interesting in Rome.

Then, Prapti & I went to get a cappuccino and a sandwich. FINALLY, I found a turkey sandwich, complete with mozzarella and arugula. So yummy.

Lastly, I went to Italian Language and Culture. We learned the proper ways to greet people and the present tenses of basic verbs, like 'I am' or 'io sono'. All my Spanish background makes it easier, but it's still not the same. However, I did have a nice little back & forth conversation with the man who sold me gelato tonight... and by a back and forth conversation I asked him how he was, Come sta? and then he said he was fine and asked me how I was. I replied "bene" of course, because I was about to have some chocolate chip gelato!

I came back from class and took about a two hour nap, then spent the rest of the evening researching plans for the weekend. Anyone want to submit to my travel fund? You'd think it'd be cheaper to fly in Europe. I wonder if they're all dupping us with this financial crisis in Italy. I've never seen people spent so much money on ice cream and pastries. Did I mention there's no sales tax?

Tomorrow, I'll go to my final two classes, The Mediterranean World and European Mass Media. For now, I'm off to bed.

Buena notte!

29 January 2012

if you wander, you may be a little lost.

I'm less than a week into my semester in Rome, and I already feel more comfortable with the city and hopeful about how great my experience will be for the next few months.

Yesterday was probably my favorite day so far. On Saturday, the city seems to come alive with groups of locals crowding the via del Corso. There are no siestas. It's just a bustling day and we had such a great time! Prapti & I went to the welcome lunch at the American University. Then we made the half hour trek across the river up Viale de Trastevere and up to Piazza Navona for some red wine and olives. I don't like olives in the States, all jarred and sitting in that liquid stuff, but these olives were nice and they tasted great with the merlot. Artists and street vendors were set up all over the Piazza with their beautiful oil paintings and it made for some great people watching.

Our next stop was suppose to be the Spanish Steps, but we tried to get on a bus, ended up at St. Peters Square and right back to where we started, after an hour. Which, honestly, was fine with me. There's not much of difference between the 20 euro tour buses and the transit buses, either way, you learn the city.

Getting lost around here is the best way to figure out where you are.

We got of the bus and continued to walk around the Navona area, got lost again but found some amazing little antique and vintage places. One store in particular was smaller than my parents closet, but had some beautiful vintage fashions. We got into a conversation with the owner about how closely society and fashion are intertwined. You can look at the fashion of the people from a certain area and draw assumptions about the way society worked, especially with women. So much to learn!!!

Speaking of fashion, Prapti and I finally discovered via del Corso and made our way to Zara. 4 stories tall, at least a thousand people in the store. It was nuts. I found a few great things, then got to the cash register and realized I didn't have my debit card. If you know me, go ahead and giggle because this behavior is all too typical. In classic Clare fashion, I started freaking out, jumping to the conclusion that someone probably took it out of my pocket on the street and I would now have to go home, cancel my account, have to wait for a new card blah blah blah. Calmly, Prapti suggested we go back to Navona to see if it was there and after a very anxiety driven 10 minute walk, we got to the restaurant anddddd the man had my card. But it scared me enough, I will absolutely be more careful in the future (ok, Dad?)

At this point I'm elated, and we headed to the Pantheon and met up with Rodney, Steve, Mike and Ryan. We listened to some awesome guitar, ate and amazing sandwich and finally walked to the Spanish Steps. The view from the top of the Steps was AMAZING, especially with the laser pointer Mike bought from a peddler for 15 euros. Made for some good fun.

We went to a restaurant and had some wine, potatoes, cheese and ham. So Italian, so great. We got on a bus back to their place in Monteverde and just had a great night getting to know new people.

Classes start tomorrow, it's weird not having school supplies or an idea of what these classes will be like, but I'm so excited. Today, I'll be getting groceries for the week & applying for internships for the summer. Hopefully I'll upload pictures too. Also, I've been talking to friends about letting them guest write on my blog so they don't have to make their own. It'll make it more interesting for sure.

Wish me luck on my first day!!

26 January 2012

settling in

Hello! I'm in Rome! How exciting!

I arrived Monday morning, spent Monday walking around the neighborhood with my parents and met Prapti & her dad. It's wonderful here.

We moved in on Tuesday, to an apartment just across the street from a tram line, which will take me right to the Argentina stop, about a 5 minute walk to Trevi, Piazza Navona & Campo di Fiori. We have four more roommates, from South Dakota, Minneapolis, Houston and Philly. We're going to be a good group. Our living area is beautiful, all marble floors and nice furniture. The bedroom situation is a bit difficult. It's smaller than the dorms at UGA. At least it will keep me out of the room and on to the streets of Rome. To explore.. not, ya know.. Anyway, we had orientation yesterday with our group. We have about 60 in our group from ISA, but the American University has about 500. Classes start Monday, so I'm sure I'll get to know more people then. Now, it just feels like freshman year, being awkward during the day, then pretending like you're all best friends when you see each other at the bars.

Trastevere, the area I'll be living in and going to school has windy roads and delicious restaurants. It's known as the 'hip' area of Rome, maybe like the Brooklyn to Manhattan? Prapti made that comparison. Our side of the river is a less touristy area, with windy streets and no peddlers, which is a welcomed change from the men on Via Del Corso trying to hustle me to buy a Louis.

Today is Prapti's 21st Birthday! I'm sure we'll go out and explore the city in a few hours but the day has been pretty productive so far already. We went to the department store, upim, and bought new sheets, towels, mattress pads and duvet covers for our beds. Call me a brat, but I needed pretty new sheets as opposed to the old ones they gave us with the room. I still haven't unpacked too much because honestly, there isn't enough space to unpack. I may have to put my shoes in the china cabinet in the dining room or something. 

I'll put up more pictures later, but until next time...


19 January 2012

t minus 3 days

the packing has begun. my stuff is everywhere. still can't find a suitcase i want to use for four months. i have way too many hair products. i spruced up the blog a bit, a primer of sorts for the excitement that's about to begin.

Did I mention I'm going to Rome with one of my best friends?

Julie, MEEEE, Prapti & Katie
Prapti & I (along with our 4 other roommates) will live in Trastavere, an old area of Rome (let's be honest, it's all old) known for it's restaurants and bars. I don't hate it.

07 January 2012

oh, cool. it's 2012!


I have been so bad. I love this blog, I love writing. But this winter break, I've been slapped straight over the head with something really exciting and wonderful with a boy. I leave in TWO WEEKS to go to Rome for FOUR MONTHS. Because I know my time is short, I've been doing nothing but hanging out with this kid and luckily, my friends have been so wonderful and supportive. 

Now class is starting up, everyone's falling back into old routines and I'm trying to figure out how to create a new routine, better yet, not make a routine at all. 

So get excited, two weeks from now, I'll be jetting off to the Classical City but for right now, I've never been happier.

New Years Eve with my roommate Margaret


I really need to be more creative with these titles.

This week, we packed up and headed to Nashville to go visit my sister and her family. Marion & Hal have two beautiful kids, McKinlay and Holden. They melt my heart and make me laugh. I wish we were able to see their cute little faces more, but I'll take what I can get.
My sister, Natalie & McKinlay.

Holden Ayer
They use their Mom & Dad's iPad's all the time. Watching a kid with an iPad is amazing.