Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Eyes Wide Open

     Plato has this theory about prisoners in a cave. What if you were stuck in a cave with a fire behind you and you could not turn around. The only world would you know of are the shadows on the wall created by people going by on a bridge behind you. Now say one prisoner is let go, and after getting used to the light begins to see a whole new world. Of course the prisoner runs back and tries to tell his companions (you) about the wonders he has seen...would you believe him? It feels like that has just happened to me, but my brain is the prisoner and my eyes are the ones trying to convince me that what they see is true. Now let me give you some back story. 
     Last I talked to you Bora had just arrived, and until a week ago, Bora stayed. So for the last month below 0 degrees was the norm. The great thing about Italian winter is that Italians are not ready for it, so as soon as below zero hits the radiators die, the wind picks up, the sky darkens, and life becomes centered around how many clothes you can get on your body. The up side to this all was it  

snowed, TWICE,  and I got to wear alll my lovely new winterclothing. Then because of the cold I got a lovely case of bronchitis which kept me indoors for a week. All in all I had not seen the sun in a long time. Then Saturday morning my cough was minimal, a school  trip to Verona was scheduled and the Sun came out. I felt like that prisoner who had just escaped and the world was new again, but my brain just could not process what was going on. Thank god for cameras to capture it all and remind you later when the brain is feeling more acceptable. 
     Verona was beautiful. People tell you when you first arrive that Duino area is not truly Italian, there is to much Sloven and Austrian influences but you just think "You must be joking!" There not and when you go to places like Verona you are hit by how ITALIAN it is there. It has everything, ancient Roman colosseum's, Shakespearean love stories, Dante, and good pasta. Having a guide like Henry Thomas my World and Arts teacher with never ending knowledge of all things is nothing to shrug at either. My dream in life is to have at least one forth of the knowledge that man possess. 

 The day was spent running through the streets after the man, trying to stay as close as possible in case he said anything, going into churches, and searching for affordable food. All in all it was a good day, snow was seen, pasta was consumed as well as gelato, side streets were explored and many, many pictures were taken. Sadly though  the time in Verona was still not enough, Juliet and Romeo's house's were not explored and I did not get to walk on the grass next the river and yell Dante's inferno at the ducks. But there will be a next time, the ducks shan't get off so easily. 

And that is really the only interesting thing that has happened in the last month. Yes there have been late nights with friends with long conversations that never seem to end and random adventures but this is all that I can tell you. I promise I will be more vigilant with my entries here and hopefully more interesting things shall occur. Which I deem will not be until London in two weeks! I will be going there for one week for a school project in which I will wander around doing an art project that involves photography. SO excited for the three extra days there I will have to wander around with my friend and read poetry, sit in the many parks and hopefully try and see some live show or acting. 
P.S. The heading is a song by Gotye that I recommend you go check out.

I have created a game in which the goal is avoiding the wind.

The fog comes
on little cat feet. 
It sits looking 
over harbor and city
 on silent haunches
 and then moves on.
- Carl Sandburg  

I know I have already talked about weather here but right now, the weather controls my life. Winter has truly arrived and in full force. Negative degrees were always something for late nights...not 12 in the afternoon. The residence now bustle with a social life that consists of huddling around heaters with hot tea and stories to warm you up. Its nice the way we all have come together because going outside is just plain silly when there is baking,warm beds and pillow fights to do inside (key word being inside). Cold is not the only change in weather we are experiencing here, the fog was one beautiful example of how the sky is becoming clouded and the infamous Bora has arrived. It is everything the stories said it would be, windy beyond belief and cold...so very cold. Its like the wind captures all the frigid air around and the captures you  in a whirlwind of hell frozen over. Tips...layers. Now I don't just mean a few shirts I mean tank-top, long-sleeve, jacket, another jacket, scarves (I'm starting to contemplate two scarves) tights,jeans and of course gloves. I don't need to walk...I roll everywhere. 
College life is starting to pick up, course work actually exists and my goodness it is evil. Add onto that Occidental Week in which all us occidentals put together a show and activities for the rest of the college to learn more about our countries (more on that when it happens). This equals no sleep. But that's okay this is way to much fun to give up.

 Please forgive me for only adding this now, but all this happened a few weeks ago. I was hoping to have some pictures for this blog but that will come later. New more up to date blog to follow within the next few days. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Silliness of epic proportions.

Why hello. 
Hello again! Current location is once again Duino. St. Augustine I will revisit you again, this is something I swear to the beautiful people I left behind who hold me to this promise. It was harder saying good bye this time as I don't know when I shall return again and somehow I felt closer with my friends than before, I would say that we matured but that's just not the right word...Oh well. 

The winter break was informing in many was and one thing that I was forced to learn is the painful truth about growing up, it sucks big time. Still fighting this unfortunate fact but returning to the college is not helping in the least with course work starting to ramp up, SAT's around the corner and the scary thought that this isn't for ever. Thank god not everything has changed and there is plenty of things to distract the mind and stop maturity. 

This asian is cool.
For instance this last weekend has been beautiful, with people who I love doing many spontaneous things like long afternoon naps all cuddled together, jumping into the freezing ocean, long conversations about nothing and times with no need to talk just to be together. Duino please never change. I missed these people so much and I love how natural everything feels again. I even love the cold, how it brings people together inside for tea and long conversations and how when outside it inspires us to act with vigor, to run around and to bundle up beyond recognition. SO happy for all my amazing Christmas presents that are keeping me warm and happy right now, if only pajamas were acceptable in polite company. 
It even looks cold out!
Well the biggest story I have to tell you all would have to be about the adventure into the ocean my friends under took in 7 degree weather...excuse was that it was sunny. I did not partake in the death defying act of bravery/stupidity but enjoyed a nice warm bystander view point. The facial expressions were amazing. Someday I will do this but I don't like the cold THAT much. 

 "When I am rich and own my own island...all of you beautiful people are welcome on it". 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A beautiful step out of Reality

Well I think its time to update you all on whats been going on lately, which is summed up it one word, home. I know it has been awhile since I spoke to you last, I shall fix this by writing just a little to much about it. It took an entire day, three different flights and way to much time sitting in a position a human body does not willingly approve of, but in the end running into my mothers arms while I think screaming...or maybe it was just her, I cant remember I was crying to hard,  made the whole thing worth while. Of course that was almost two weeks ago and now most of what is coming out of my mouth is..."Damn I miss Duino" which most teenagers who have just moved away from their parents will completely understand. 

Home is amazing though, the warmth, being around wonderfully crazy people who know more about me than I had realized, the family who has not changed AT all and having people speak English everywhere! I missed this place so much. Its interesting though for me now because I know what its like to leave a place and return months or even years later, but this is different. The people have changed, but this time so have I and the change is good. I was prepared for the worst, not understanding the jokes, awkward silences and just plain not fitting in. I was not prepares for evenings filled with laughing so hard it hurt, weird noises, absolutely no talking due to the things I just mentioned and just the feeling of "I fit here". I have had so many bad homecomings but this one makes up for all of the others. I miss the college and my new family but what I am just now realizing is that we still have a long way to go to reach the levels of friendship that I have here. I really will miss this place when I go back to Duino and real life. 

                                                                                                Christmas has come and passed means that a new year approaches which scares me so much more than I would like it to. I think this has something to do with my silly stupid idea of just "looking" at colleges...gah I don't want to grow up, really I don't which you should be able to see from the flattering pictures I have been putting up. Christmas was a very small affair, Kalessin my sister had to leave two days before on work so we had dinner then and opened most presents then as well. I love my new and warm clothes...so much, Duino I think I handle your cold now! I love Christmas not for those reasons, the presents and food, but because I get to be around people who I love, make evil treats and have an excuse to be corny watch Christmas specials. Now that its passed here I start to think of Duino and hows it going to be when I get back, what I've gotten for my rooma's and new stock for the famous tea party's. And now I shall post to many pictures of Christmas Eve dinner and some of my early Christmas to make up for my utter lack of interest in my blog this last month.
Fake box's are the best

Mom finally got a fridge for the boat!
My bone....
Yule Log my master piece :)

See, photo overload.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Welcome to UWC

Hello again, no new adventures to talk about so I decided to talk about life in the college a bit more. As the first term comes to an end and new applications are being filled out all over the world I look back to my first impressions of the college and how they have changed.
The first thing I believe people should know about this college is it is far from perfect. The food is horrible, my residence is falling apart, some teachers just don't care, the IB program does not make any sense, people steal your things, "Thats Italy" becomes a saying of defeat, internet sucks and you miss home to the point of pain. I know it is important to learn these things your self but it also important that people back home understand this as well, life here is far from what we ever imaged. It is even better.
The people I have met I love just as much and in some cases even more than my friends back home and I never want to imagine my life with out the evil asians, swearing Balkans, confusing Italians or my awesome co years and seconda. The view from my dinner is over looking the sea with a castle in the corner. Some of my teachers care so much about me and how I am doing in the class and even how I am doing on a personal level that they dont even feel like superiors or even teachers. My residence is one of the most amazing places with some of the most amazing people. I'm in ITALY, one of the most beautiful places of the world and its normal to go to Venice on long weekends with some of the coolest people of the world.

It is hard living here, harder than anything I think I will have to deal with in a really long time and harder than anything I have dealt with before. The thing is I am surrounded by 187 people who are feeling exactly what I feel right now. If anyone is reading this who feels like applying to the program do so, it will change your life and make you grow quicker than you want, but the ride is to amazing to give up.
I also say that UWC chooses the weirdos from every country in the world and slams them together to see what happens. It can get quite interesting.

P.S. 21 days till home!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Vertical Climb

Hello world, I can see you from up here! Finally took a camera on one of my hiking trips, which I then used as an excuse to go slower that normal and take way to many pictures of Jack (come on look at him he is so photogenic!). A few weeks ago my little hiking group went to Slovenia to a mountain called Občina Brda which is located in the mountain range along the Slovenia and Italian border. We have gone into Slovenia 3 times to walk up the mountains, and every time has been a different experience. The colours have changed from bright green, to yellow, to red, and now a glorious combination of all three are covering the mountains creating something I have never seen in my life, a warm rainbow. The changing of colours in the leaves is insane! There is such a thing called autumn! Thank you winter for slowing down and letting me experience this amazing change in seasons. 
And now for news from the college, life has been very busy but in a way that is hard to describe to the out side world. Visitors from Mostar college were here last week, co-years from the USA were among them. It was fun hearing about other experiences and about parts of my "home" that I don't know anything about (they were from Alaska and Ohio). And what do American teenagers do when they meet up in a random country far from home, they stuff into a car and drive to the American Navel base 2 hours away to buy large amounts of junk food. Nothing changes, once a teenager always a teenager. That was a culture shock for us all, being back around are own culture, I even forgot I could speak English when ordering food from the food court (They had a food court!) which was slightly embarrassing when the cashier answered my Italian in a very southern accent "Been away from home awhile, huh?". And after an afternoon back "home" we were all very glad to get back to Duino, real home. Its interesting the concept of home, how it differs from person to person and what is truly home, the place we come from or were we live at the moment. 
Other fun things at the college include EE show which is something you have to experience to understand. In a nut shell, EE stands for Extended Essay which is something our poor secondi have been doing since the end of last school year. Us first years then put on a congratulatory show to entertain them and showcase our talents, what ever they may be. It was a night of cultural dances, strange costumes and laughter. 
Right now at the college we are all in a vertical climb, whether its up a mountain in a strange country, up the mountain of homework pilling on all our desks or towards entering university. Whatever vertical climb it may be the view is ALWAYS worth it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I want to love you for the rest of my life

 Due to problems with first attempt of posting about Florence that involved spending 20 minutes trying to arrange photos in an exact way and then accidentally deleting the entire post afterwards well haven't wanted to be around my little Plarium for some time now...
View from hill next to the river were the fake David is located

Duomo at way to early in the morning
I experienced an interesting phenomenon called long weekend a few weeks ago. Its a time in which many students have the ability to oh you know just take a train a go to different parts of the country or visit neighboring places like Croatia, Slovenia, Austria or France. WHAT IS THAT? How can I still say so casually that just for a weekend I went to Firenze, Italy? If anyone back home heard me they would slap me for how easily I can mention things like this, but it also leads to the thought that is this how all Europeans feel? Maybe thats why they know more about the world cause its easier for them to travel, a trip from one country to another is the same as an American going from one state to another. But then again I digress...

Oh Florence so many things to say about the city but man it is freaking huge! We arrived around 12:30 after a lovely train ride of fitful naps and random people bottoms in your face, got to love Italian trains. After going around in an actual circle we finally found the little hostel. More Italian quirks and then we were off into the city, first stop...food. After grabbing the fixings of a good sandwich we heading towards the Duomo, a beautiful church located in the middle of the city. So many people, vendors trying to sell you souvenirs, beggars, locals who are above it all and the masses of tourists with camera's, funny accents that sound strangely like home. (Americans are EVERYWHERE!) Europe is different from the New World in the sense that Europe is old, and I mean grandfather who tells awesome stories about the good old days old. Everything you see has history that goes way back into the middle ages which is something we hear about in books or history class and to walk in buildings that saw the times first hand brings a scary thought, these places will not notice me, I am a mayfly in their existence something that is for a second and then is no more. History is seeped in everything in Florence something I am slightly used to from living in St. Augustine but nothing compared to walking down a busy street, turning a corner and seeing some random old church or building that has been around longer than St. Augustine itself. 

The group split up after the picnic but that was okay, it was nice just wandering around town with my neighbor Maja from Denmark. We spent 2 days walking around town, finding small alleyways and found this amazing park just out side the center were the leaves did something I have only seen in pictures and movies, they changed colour. There was red, orange and yellow leaves falling all around us as ducks and pigeons tried to steal our bread, it was so cliched it was magical. I did miss out on going into museums and seeing the real Michelangelo's David but after going to the Uffice Museum and spending 3 hours looking at naked people...well...enough is enough. Put a leaf on or something sheesh. But anyways it was magical walking around seeing things that locals see and watching people go about there lives. Its even more fun now that I slightly,kinda understand Italian so the gossip is interesting. The best part of those two days was the last night there, were Maja and I walked up to the hill overlooking the city just, just, just in time for the most amazing sunset ever. Then we met up with other UWC people from Maastrich and spent the night with them. I have a co-years from ST. Maartin and Barbados attending and hanging out with people from back home was so nice. We also got amazing Italian pizza and spaghetti, I hadn't had real Italian spaghetti...it was amazing! Then after lovely conversation in which I talked way to fast, in a weird accent and about strange Caribbean things I went to bed at a decent time for once! 
Well the next day we went to Pisa AND Seine in the same day, but that is for the next post which will be soon I promise!!

Voglio amarti per tutta la mia vita.