We arrived back to the Due Santi campus safely from Greece two weeks ago. The trip was absolutely amazing. The landscape of Greece is beautiful, and the history of the culture so rich. We left Athens the morning of the riots – we didn’t see any violence, but we weren’t able to visit the Archaeological Museum as we had planned.
Dr. Peter Hatlie, dean of the Rome campus, highlighted the “difficult days” that Greece is undergoing, but emphasized that its historical significance persists.
“The negative effects of the recent financial crisis were everywhere to be seen,” he said. “Yet Greece’s legendary importance as a center of culture and window into history remains. Even against today’s rather dreary backdrop, the Parthenon still looked brilliant, and the skies and seas of Greece still stirred excitement in all of us.”
We were assigned to one of three charter buses for the entire Greece trip, and we initiated a competition to prove who was on the best bus. I’d just like to say, and I know that Dr. Hatlie would agree, that Optibus Prime – “Bus 1” – was the best.
This past weekend the women had a chance to go on a silent retreat near Lake Albano, about 25 kilometers south of Rome. From the retreat center on the mountain, we could see Castel Gondolfo, where the Pope resides for part of the summer, as well as St. Peter’s dome. I found the weekend very peaceful, and I highly recommend that you go on the retreat when you come to Rome. Besides all of the spiritual graces, it’s great to have your own room!
Today, Oct. 19, some people organized a “Switch with Your Suitemate” day, where they dressed in their roommates’ clothes and acted like them. Since only 110 students live here and we’ve been together for two months, it’s easy to recognize people’s styles. It was hilarious to see a guy in a blue hoodie and assume it was Ryan Landry, then see his face and find out it was Juan Alvarez!
Dr. Griffin Nelson, our philosophy professor, said that it was funny to see how students imitated their friends’ dress style and manner of speaking. He said it showed what they thought were the important characteristics of their friends. It was “a good way for students to have good, innocent fun with their roommates,” he said.
Tomorrow we head out for 10 Day! You may have heard stories about past Romers’ experiences on this trip: It’s one of the highlights of the entire semester. We can go wherever we want for 10 days and – in fact – we must leave campus for that amount of time. I’m traveling to Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany with five other girls. It’s a UD tradition to end 10 Day with a reunion at the Hofbräuhaus brewery in Munich, Germany, and I already can’t wait to see everyone again and exchange stories there!