Tuesday, March 14, 2017
The weekend is officially over, and it’s back to reality. By reality, I mean going to school in Florence, Italy in 70 degree weather. Midterms are already next week, so this week and a weekend are big study opportunities. After that, it’s Amsterdam and Paris! Not a shabby reward.
I can’t describe how fantastic Copenhagen was. Listening to Danish, relaxing in the park with the sunshine, strolling around the mild city on a Saturday, eating the best food I have ever consumed in one weekend, admiring exotic fish and animals at the aquarium, and taking a spontaneous trip to Sweden with Elaine was the perfect getaway and recharge. We couldn’t get over how happy everyone seemed in the city; the locals and tourists appeared to be truly enjoying themselves. We especially loved sunbathing at a local square and watching people play soccer, a young girl unicycle, and observing the locals shop at the produce & flower market. If we return, we will definitely rent a bike!
This morning after my philosophy group presentation (about St. Augustine & free will), I went to a local high school in a city suburb with another LdM student and teacher. We talked to the group of 20 students (14-16 years old) about what school is like in the United States (schedule, logistics, expectations, student lifestyle, etc…). Their jaws dropped when we showed them pictures of our college campuses. I forget how different the European and American schooling systems are. For example, Italians will go to a public university when they are 20 years old, and they live at home. They also have a certain field of study in high school, whereas we don’t in the States. It’s always fun visiting a school; it was surprisingly comforting to hear a bell ring. The high schoolers look like college students! They were very friendly, shy with their English, yet fully engaged. Their school day ended at 1 PM, and we took the tram with them heading back to the city center; I felt like I was on a school bus which I never experienced throughout my childhood. I should explore the suburbs more! The teacher that went me said I hadn’t seen enough of Florence. She’s right. It’s hard to get out and explore the space around you. I will hop on the tram though and get off somewhere unfamiliar.
Although I’m not volunteering with the elementary students this semester, I hope to return to the high school and learn more about student culture in Florence! xo ~ e.