As the first week of classes at JFRC concludes, I am surprised. I’m surprised by how quickly time is passing. I’m surprised by how at home I feel here. I am surprised by how much schoolwork I have. I am surprised by a lot.
It’s all becoming a blur, so I will try to detail my days for my own record.
Moving in Saturday was the typical whirlwind, but I found the gym while exploring and discovered way more equipment than expected, so I am happy to let off some much needed steam bright and early every morning. I am not adjusted to Italian time. I am a morning person who does not have a leisurely dinner until 11pm. That being said, sleep deprivation does not make for a good time when your professor reads a lot in class for 3 hours.
Saturday night we had a welcome buffet where the director cheered us to “work hard, player harder.” Then, a group of us walked to a nearby gelateria. Oreo and Nutella. Yes. Just yes.
We then had an enormous 4-course meal. Having a dietary restriction sucks. Without lactose, I get all of the boring food. It also comes about 20 minutes later than everyone else’s dishes, so I get to watch them eat their cheesy, delicious goodness while I wait. It’s a blast. Still, there could be worse things than eating a gourmet, 4-course Italian meal.
We went on a scavenger hunt around Rome. It was so much fun, and we traveled some serious ground. Featured below, we are sorority squatting at Piazza Nuvono and posing like (confused) mannequins on via Condotti.
After losing one group member and another thinking she lost her entire wallet, we met up with the rest of the group for pizza. To this, I embraced the dairy. It was well worth it. I tried my first suppli, which is fried cheesy rice. That and gelato will always be worth it.
Monday we began classes. My Monday class is Exploring Fiction for my literature core. I have already complained enough, but so far I do not like this class. Professor seems awesome, but hate the class. Other than declaring my stay with my passport, not too much else happened that day. Each day I say I have to get my life together. Still working on that.
Tuesday I had International Advertising. Due to not offering a business course or being able to enroll in the Honors course, I took an elective that seemed interesting to me. I loved International Marketing this last semester, so I decided to pursue it more. So far I love my professor and I’m looking forward to this course because we will at least be taking some class trips. Most classes offered at JFRC are taught on-site at churches and museums. I am not that lucky.
That evening, we visited the Pantheon where we were bombarded by vendors shoving selfie sticks in our faces. More gelato. Spagnola and some kind of crumbly Limone. Perfecto.
We stopped by Scholars Lounge, an Irish karaoke bar full of American students. A few of us wanted to head home early after, but we got lost. They say the best way to learn Rome is to get lost. I say the best way to get in a bad mood is to get lost. I am good with directions, but the bus routes are so far impossible to decipher.
Wednesday we read out loud the same story in class. Yup. That evening, we attended mass at the Church of St.Ignatius of Loyola, my university’s namesake. Although I am not Catholic and have not been religious for years, this was an opportunity I didn’t want to miss. I was nervous about attending my first mass and not knowing what to expect. As we were walking in the church, I said to my friend, “I’m nervous for this. I keep telling myself ‘don’t fuck up Mary, don’t fuck this up.'” I think I fucked up right then.
Mass was absolutely beautiful, and I just love our Jesuits.
We then ate another enormous 4-course meal (except dietary restrictions got 3 because we were jipped dessert – yes, I’m still bitter). This restaurant is known for its pear pasta. Although it has cheese, I had to try some of Kelsey’s and it was DELICIOUS. This is my first course, fried vegetables (artichoke, zucchini, and cauliflower). Also delicious.
I broke my glasses today. That was really exciting.
As stressful and chaotic this week has been, I feel at home at JFRC. Go Loyola.
Alas, I must head to bed. Earlier I thought 10-7 was 5, so I think I need some more sleep. Buonanotte!