Claire Ballor, Contributing Writer
After weeks of demanding classes and busy travel weekends, Rome students departed for the much-anticipated Greece trip. Set halfway through the academic semester, the trip offered the Romers both a relief from the rigorous workload and a chance to really appreciate their Rome semester before the second half slips away.
Going into the trip, the Rome class expected simply another class trip with travel from site to site, followed by lecture after lecture. As the journey progressed, however, students soon agreed that the trip carried significance beyond the usual class trip, offering many the opportunity to reflect on their education at UD thus far.
For many, the stop at the Areopagus, the meeting site of the classical Greek judicial body, was the defining moment of their realization. As they sat on top of the Areopagus and overlooked the golden Mediterranean Sea and the city of Athens, many students commented that they felt they were in the very birthplace of education, the founding of what they had devoted their intellectual lives thus far to understanding.
Some described that scene as the destination of a pilgrimage that any academic would be honored to make. It was as if everything they had learned suddenly came together in a beautiful union, they commented, marveling at how seemingly separate subjects such as theology, philosophy and literary traditions come together to create a unified and well-rounded education.
Sophomore Will Chavey experienced this realization as he walked around the city and realized just how educated he was about the foreign world.
“I was constantly surprised that I knew all of the information on the things around me,” Chavey said. “It was the first time that the Core really felt relevant. It helped me understand why the university designed the curriculum the way they did.”
In Greece, students not only found affirmation for their education thus far, but they were recharged and motivated for the education that lies ahead. Although they all have different interests and different degree plans, all Rome students were able to take something very valuable away from the ten days in Greece.
Sophomore Mark Gigante found his time in Greece to be not only a boost in his dedication to studies, but also to his major.
“You hear about all of these things throughout all of your studies, but it is hard to visualize them and how they all play in together without seeing them,” Gigante said. “It was an opportunity to learn through experience, and in that way it was definitely a unifying moment in my studies as well as a validation of my decision to be a history major.”