Point A to Point B

20 Feb

About 2-3 weeks. That’s all it really took to walk into, cope, and conquer the culture shock. From discreetly looking at the map (or what I thought was discreet) to now taking shortcuts or boldly taking new streets to get to my destinations, I’ve embraced and confirmed my new sense of independence. Part of my reasoning for studying abroad was, not to be cliché, but to find myself. To see where I stand and what’s important. Yeah, that’s pretty broad, but I’m currently a junior and I needed a wake up call before I come back for my last and final year of schooling as an undergraduate, hopefully, if all things go right!

Parts of that wake up call were caused by my anthropology class instructor. It states in every one of my syllabus that no laptops are permitted during class. She explained a little further and deepened my understanding for a rule I only understood skin deep. It’s not just to keep students from being distracted during class, but she introduced the concept of being unplugged. Unplugged… I never thought about it that way. At first, the idea that I should write my notes kind of confused me. A laptop is more convenient, its easier, and I’d feel more comfortable getting all the information down. She went on to say that this should be a break from our electronics because we’re in a different country and to live in the moment. She even offered to help us after class with notes that we missed because we got too in the moment, ha-ha.  This made me compare my classroom methods to when I’m at Purdue. Now don’t get me wrong, I love learning new things, but I can’t always help but have either tunnel vision or taking time for granted. Especially, since I’m about to be a senior, I’ll be having the internal case of senioritis hitting me soon. Yes, these classes probably aren’t as hard or demanding as the classes at Purdue, but I’ve developed that sense of enjoyment from learning again and reapplying what I’ve learned and analyzing its’ application to the world or to myself. It actually makes me miss school and excited to use everything I’ve learned here and see it’s effect back home.

It not only made me realize my learning methods, but the realization that I haven’t taken full advantage of the opportunities at  Purdue,  and I only have a year left!  The campus, the staff, the teachers, and even the students have so much to offer and yet they’ve been overlooked because I’m distracted with someone or something else. The idea that when I walk or take the bus around campus, it’s only to get from point A to point B.  Power to the people who go deeper than that. That still leaves me in Florence, however. Yes, there are trips planned and trips taken, but I feel like I still don’t have enough time to really get the most out of Florence. Spring break is approaching and my roommates and I have already settled on the locations we will be visiting: Amsterdam, Germany, and Prague. How is it that I’m already half way done…

Speaking of my limited time in Florence, I decided to stay here the past weekend to see what was going on in town. My roommates and I heard talk about the Chocolate Festival, so we decided to check it out for ourselves. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. They had just about everything: chocolate bars, hot chocolate, chocolate fountains, chocolate cakes and treats, and chocolate souvenirs like cameras, wrenches, and watches. It was such an experience seeing everything people from all over Italy had to offer and what creative ways they show it in. It wasn’t just the way the chocolate was presented, I tried new flavors of chocolate too: chocolate with chili pepper, violet (the flower), and melon were the most interesting to me. Talk about the little things that make your weekend!

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