The trip is almost over by the time I'm writing this so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to reflect a bit on what we've just done here. These past 3.5 months or so have been one interesting experience I doubt any of us will really ever forget. Everything, both the positives and negatives alike, all the laughs, complaints, adventures, stresses, etc. that we've all come across have come together to shape a totally unique program that we will think back on over-all without regret once home. No one will leave here wishing they had not come.
The whole cultural and experience aspect connects back to a project I recently did in this class, the one on "light" (the big head with the literal and metaphorical representation of the word). The idea was, again, that when people say expressions like they have "seen the light," there is a reason for that. Shedding "light" in any sense on something brings it out of the "dark," meaning that it shows you or helps you understand something that you did not quite get or "see" previously. After roaming around the streets of Florence as well as many other European cities, the group as a whole I would say has been able to learn things about ourselves that we may not have known before, cleared away and/or reaffirmed stereotypes of other peoples, maybe adopted a new style, strut, language or two, even a new attitude, guts, sense of independence, over-all assertiveness (hmm…a little bit of "Italian-ness" rubbing off, perhaps?)
Anyway, I'll save you all from having to read a novel from me and wrap up, but my point is that what it all boils down to, I think you'll agree, is that we've all grown, become more cultured/knowledgeable, more open, tried new things from foods to activities, and picked up so many things abroad that we will be bringing back with us (not to mention probably brag about to friends and family;)). We are just not the same EXACT people that we were that day when we arrived a pretty thoroughly confused group of UConn students in the Florence airport, wondering where any teachers were, where the signs/people were trying to tell us to go, and WHAT the heck we were doing- am I right? VA BENE!??
Okay, so just for fun, here are some of my own pictures that can serve as examples of things that would not have happened if I had not come here and decided I was going to do crazy things (or, just things that personally I normally would not have done, I know you guys have your own versions of these)
On top of a tour bus in Barcelona
in an authentic Italian brick oven,
in a little paper hat...
World-famous FC Barcelona "Futboll," AKA Soccer.