Saturday, December 25, 2010


Ciao a tutti e buon natale!  Hello to all and Merry Christmas!

I am back in Maine just in time for the holidays (and I actually mean just in time thanks to a certain Human Evolution final).  Yesterday was spent throwing the contents of my bags into a giant pile on my floor before heading up to Freeport for some last minute (let's be honest: the entirety of) my Christmas shopping. All in all, great success, although I learned that one cannot find wine from the Emilia-Romagna region, of which Bologna is il capoluogo (capital city), anywhere in the Portland area.  That's what I get for being impatient, I guess.  So, Dad, I hope you will still enjoy the original intention when you drink the Chianti da Toscana I picked out instead.

Having made it through Christmas Eve, I have so far spent Christmas morning remembering that I am no longer Catholic while puzzling my way through an Episcopal mass, opening practical Christmas gifts (toothbrushes, anyone?), and drinking cup after cup of tea while listening to my dad's Christmas music.  Speaking of tea...

Too bad I'm not a Chi-O.

Several of you who may or may not be reading this have mentioned that you would like to see pictures of food.  I am presuming that you meant that to begin once I was actually in Italy, but my aunt gave me such an adorable tea set that I couldn't resist beginning now.  You are all cordially invited to share a pot with me anytime, provided that you, me, and the owls are all in the same place (this especially means you, Molly).

This Christmas downtime is also giving me a chance to finally relax again after a whirlwind last week in Saint Louis.  I am now officially moved out of the Henry Arnold and into the basement of the Cookie Tree.  Fortunately I finished all the logistics with enough time to enjoy one final dinner out on the Loop before having to face the airport.  Leaving Saint Louis was rough, as it has truly become my home over these past few years.  However, total misery was averted when I was lucky enough to find Dan Cole waiting at my gate as I arrived trying (rather unsuccessfully) to hold back tears.  After a several hour delay, we were both re-routed through Chicago and were therefore able to enjoy some lovely $9 airport sandwiches before catching our separate connections.  Anyway, the trip is over now and I made it back to Maine intact.  All that can be hoped for, really.

So, with that said, mi mancate (I miss you all) but it's now time for me to pack for Italia and get excited for my sojourn abroad in earnest.  Bologna here I come, Christmas toothbrushes in hand!


Friday, December 17, 2010

Se una notte d'inverno un viaggiatore...

As I, an about-to-be-viaggiatore (traveler), am sitting here in the Cookie Tree Mansion eating lemon poppyseed bread that Lael made and drinking tea with Molly (always a pot of Earl Grey mixed with a touch of Lapsang Souchong) on this notte d'inverno (winter's night), it is slowly beginning to dawn on me that I will actually be in Italy in less than a month.  Of course, I have known that I would be going to Italy since last December, but the happenings of this past week or so have led me to realize what this actually means:

1. Final goodbyes.  I have already said some of them, and, even worse, I haven't said others (Kimi and Katie and Lael, this means you--I miss you already!)
2. My apartment in shambles.  Packing up everything is unpleasant enough to begin with, but when you are the only one packing it is even more tragic.
3. Cleaning out the refrigerator.  Anyone up for dinner?  No?
4. Language placement tests.  According to the Università di Bologna, or at least the Brown satellite office, the best way to test someone's Italian ability is by having them respond to the following prompt in three paragraphs: "Write about a historical event of the past century."  A little too specific, in my opinion.  Couldn't they have been a bit more general?
5. I will be completely on my own next semester.  I am looking forward to the prospect of not knowing anyone and living in an apartment in the middle of the city, but these things are also slightly terrifying.  Good thing I'll have a mandatory friend to help me out.
6. I have a mandatory friend.  Apparently Brown assigns each of us a student from the Università di Bologna. and they are required to hang out with us for at least 20 hours during the first four weeks.  So it looks like Matteo Magnico and I are going to be besties!

All in all, I am very excited to be going.  I am also, of course, going to miss all my people here very much.  That's why I have decided to attempt a blog to keep track of my antics abroad.  Now you all have the option to read about my life, and I would encourage all of you to comment and to keep me updated about your own lives, be they here at Wash U or elsewhere abroad.

I would also like to take a moment to give a special shout-out to Abby Eskenazi for inspiring me.  As you can see, I am copying you in nearly every way.

So with that, I'm off to go enjoy my last six days (!) in Saint Louis until next August!

(PS--Bring it on, Genna!)