On my walk home today I was thinking about my adventure here so far. Have I changed? yes, in so many ways. I am so much more open to the possibilities life presents to us. I don't say no (well, I mean, I do sometimes) and instead let myself experience ever thing and every moment available to me. When I hear people say "oh I'm skipping that class", I think to myself, WHY??! Its all part of this amazing journey that we, as young people, have and should feel lucky every day to be here, in a beautiful city thousands of miles from home. We are not here merely to study and attend classes, we are here to see the world and LIVE. Life has given us an amazing opportunity and I fully intend to take advantage of it. In sickness and in health, I am determined to make this adventure the best it can possibly be. So I go to class, not to learn, but to enrich myself. To fill myself with the knowledge that only these professors can bestow upon me, to take a little bit of them, a little bit of Italy back with me to America. Have I changed? Of course I've changed. I change everyday, every minute, every second. Every moment I experience here changes me in just the slightest way. I am constantly looking around me, soaking in the people, the smell, the old buildings, the shops, the uneven cobbled ground. I observe and am observed, that is the best way to learn. I know this city, or at least my routes to school, like the back of my hand, but I do not let myself go on "auto-pilot," I slow down, I look up, I see what others ignore, I let myself be influenced by Florence and in turn I influence Florence. Its amazing to be absorbed into a city so quickly and to be able to call it home. This journey may be one month over, but I like to think of it as one month began.
|In the lobby at the school I teach at|
After class, one of the boys from another group, Nicolas, was trying to put his chair away while Mariagrazia was talking to us. I saw him struggling, as he is very small. I went over to him right as he almost fell over. I picked up his backpack and put it on his desk then lifted the chair for him. He had the biggest smile on his face and said "Thank you!" a little out of breath, than ran away to play with the other kids. I don't know why, but this made me really happy. I think it was because it was the first moment that I feel I actually helped one of these kids. No, I didn't teach him anything academic, but I think I taught him about helping and maybe even conveyed that Americans are good. There is a lot of prejudice in the school I teach at and in Italy about "new Italians" and immigrants, so I hope that during the rest of my time here I will be able to teach these students, the future of Italy, that tolerance and coexistence is important.