April.

Yet again, I begin a post with an apology: I am so, so sorry that I have not been updating. I didn’t realize that my last post was from Helsinki… Almost a month ago. Things are a little crazy here, so I’ll give you a brief update of the last few weeks that I’ve spent in Rome. What better way to procrastinate on final papers than updating my blog, right?

  • My voice professor invited all of us over to her house, where she cooked us fettucine and served us a certain kind of wine, both of which are mentioned in the song Arrivederci Roma, which we will all be singing tomorrow night at our end of semester performance. It was nice to sit on a couch for a change and it was really nice to eat a delicious, home-cooked meal with friends.
  • I performed in the talent show that we had here. I sang in an a capella group that some of us threw together a few days before. It was a lot of fun, especially because the last time that I sang in front of people was when I was in fifth grade. Crazy, right?
  • Calcio: My team lost our last game that counted for playoffs. The orange team (my team) and the blue team didn’t get to compete in playoffs, but we were allowed to compete to see who the winning losers were. Orange won!

    Orange team!

  • After a few interviews, a few offers, and a whole lot of thinking, I have accepted an internship with the Healthy Schools Campaign for this summer. I will be living in an apartment in the city and getting college credit for my internship. Though I will miss my family, my friends, the pool, and having a car at any moment’s notice, I think that this experience will be good for helping me decide what I want to do with my life (maybe).
  • One Saturday last month a group of students from our campus went on a nature walk, cleaned up a few parks, and planted flowers around a tree near our campus. The Italians looked at us like we were crazy (per usual), but some seemed to be genuinely happy that we were trying to make a difference, even if it was small. It was the first time that anything like this was organized here at the Rome Center, and it seems like it will be a tradition that will be fulfilling for many semesters to come.

We cleaned around a tree so that we could plant flowers!

  •  Holy Week and Easter were crazy. There were people everywhere and everything was crowded. One of my friends from Loyola that is studying in Spain came to visit Rome and we met up to get gelato at Old Bridge. It was nice to see her! I didn’t go to Mass at the Vatican for fear of getting trapped in a huge crowd, so I spent Easter here on campus instead. I had a relaxing day. For dinner that night, a group of us went to the Hard Rock Cafe here in Rome for some American style food. I had a cheeseburger that proved to be quite delicious and worth the price.

Kenny and me: I'm clearly excited about my onion ring, while Kenny is more apathetic about his Legendary Burger.

  • We had our end of the year banquet on Thursday night, fitting as our last classes of the semester were the same day. The school rented a really, really nice banquet hall where we were served dinner. Everyone dressed up and it was a really nice atmosphere to end the semester on. It was here that they presented the handful of academic awards, superlatives (the certificates for which I made as part of the Student Activities Committee here), and allowed some acts from the talent show that were particularly entertaining to perform one last time. My friend Christina did the funniest stand up routine and the a capella group that I sang with performed again, this time with another song and featuring yours truly on one of the numbers. Once I upload the videos to YouTube, I will post them here!

Erica and I took awkward pictures before the banquet.

Christina and I always take the best looking pictures together!

  • On Friday, the Student Activities Committee hosted an “American-style” brunch, proceeds from which went to benefit the earthquake victims in Japan. It was a big deal, as the Mensa workers were taught how to make pancakes and French toast, among other delicious breakfast dishes. It really tasted like home and was a bittersweet reminder that we would all be returning to our respective cities, schools, and lives in a few short days.
  • Yesterday, I took my first and only final that I was worried about: Italian. While I’ve progressed a lot in my abilities to speak and pronounce words correctly, it is still difficult to deal with six different verb tenses, along with the accompanying pronouns and the large amount of vocabulary words that we learned over the course of the semester. I think I did okay, though, so everything should be smooth sailing from here on out.
  • I have two papers and two finals to go, though  I don’t really count my voice final as a final exam, since we’ll simply be singing our pieces three times through. We’re graded on improvement and my professor has assured me time and time again that I have made great progress in my vocal ability (though I will probably never fully believe her). After I hand in my final philosophy paper on Wednesday morning, I will have the next day and a half to absorb as much of Rome as I can before I depart for Chicago on Friday morning.

I am both sad and happy that this semester is coming to a close. I miss my sisters , my dog, my parents, my friends, the rest of my family, and the familiar things of every day life. More on that later, though. I will write a comprehensive post – a final post – about my post-departure depression and how it will affect  my life from there on out. But for now, I am going to embrace my final days here and go out with a bang. Not doing so would be unfair to me and this beautiful city that I have called home for the past four months.

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About Austin Sears

I'm a junior at Loyola University Chicago majoring in sociology and minoring in urban studies and photography. The purpose of this blog is to document my semester abroad in Rome!
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One Response to April.

  1. Excellent post today! I really enjoyed it. I enjoy making great food for my family and friends when they come over for entertainment. Food can also be entertaining in itself. Thanks again for sharing this.

    A Delicious Coffee Roll Recipe

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