Dec 14 2011

There Are Places I’ll Remember…

It’s been a while.

I’ve been so caught up in traveling, and living, and studying that I seem to have forgotten to update you on all of it!

The last month has flown by leaving me in a state of despair over having to fly home on Saturday. But, regret isn’t something worth having- so I’ll always cherish the good times, the friends I’ve made, and the amazing experience I’ve have the past few months.

It was weird not being home for Thanksgiving, but luckily in a city with so many American students, Thanksgiving still happens. I had the pleasure of going to The Diner with my friend Rachel and her family to enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, complete with all the trimmings. The next day, I had a field trip to Pompeii for my Archaeology class. I continue to be amazed at the ability to see things in living color for all of my classes.

Still standing.

Still standing.

I spent the next weekend in Amsterdam, enjoying the beautiful canals and touring the Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum, and Heineken Factory. It was very surreal with all the canals, which make it very difficult to get lost. I’ve grown used to using the Arno in Florence as a point of reference- while Amsterdam has countless waterways in a language I don’t quite understand.

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I took a study break last weekend and went to Venice for the day- another city famous for its canals. After seeing all the main sites, I jumped back on a train and high-tailed it for Florence. I’ve finished four of my five exams, written my last paper, bought all my gifts, and begrudgingly started packing.

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All that I have left to do is my Italian exam and say goodbye. Tomorrow, we’re having a farewell reception in Florence’s city hall (swanky, I know). I’ll part ways with professors, staff (Alessia, the student services coordinator is of course my favorite with Serena, Elena, and Rino coming in close behind), and the friends I’ve made.

It’s strange to be going home, where I can drive, go to a supermarket, have good Internet. Not eating pasta everyday or starting my morning with an espresso will be odd. Not saying “ciao” or “grazie” or “vorrei…” will take some getting used to. But in the end, I’ve enjoyed every second of my time here.

Best class of the semester- Michelangelo.

Best class of the semester- Michelangelo.

And no matter where any of us end up, or what we go on to do, or think about, we’ll always have Florence.

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Safe travels home and Happy Holidays- always with love,

Tom


Aug 23 2011

Justin.

Few college students can say they personally know who accepted them. My file was read by Justin over Thanksgiving break, as many Early Action files are by Justin. Some of you might know him from The Dock or having met him at a college fair or from working with him in the Admissions Office. I was asked to work in the office because Justin and I shared an internship. He did his while in college, while I did mine in high school. And while our experience varied, it was a foot in the door for me. And I’m glad I walked over the threshold.

Justin

Justin Bongiardo

His life is best desribed by the Lily Allen song, “22″, the Brand New song, “Jesus Christ” and Taylor Swift’s entire discography.

His door is always open.

He became a vegetarian at age twelve after watching Babe.

He likes to give people catchphrases (wowie-kazowie! is mine) and make-up nicknames you would have had in high school (Skittles).

He makes Gossip Girl-inspired PowerPoints for Student Admissions training.

He’s 28 24.

He gives out prizes.

He’s one of the kindest, most genuine people I’ve ever met. Once you get past a goofy, absurd exterior.

He fits into clothes from abercrombie. That’s right, small “a”

He’s young, rich, and flashy and he be where the cash be.

He’ll do anything for a person in need.

His blazer size is a women’s 10 petite.

His favorite movie is Fight Club.

He’s giving up the lush life of an Admissions Counselor to be a regional representative for the University. So holler at him if you’re in the Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware-area.

He likes to do Beyonce-inspired juice fasts.

He likes candy more than any adult I’ve met.

Groupies follow him like Twitter.

He keeps calm, and carries on.

He is not a grown- up. Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.

While you may not know him, I promise you would like him.

And while I can’t guarantee our paths will cross again, I hope they do. And I wish him the best of luck in the world.

As he embarks on his adventure in the great wide somewhere, I begin mine as well.

We’re both trading Rhode Island for something a little more exciting. While he’s staying domestic in D.C., I’m dusting off my passport and jetting to Florence for the semester.

See you at the airport,

Tom