Monday, October 17, 2011

Dear Winter

Its getting cold and I mean proper even the Canadians are wearing jackets cold. The sound of waves crashing against the shore have been replaced by the whistling of wind through the trees, trees which colour's have turned from green to yellow, with tendrils of red starting to creep in. This sound is my constant companion, a hum that never goes away, even when indoors it drums in my head, keeping me crazy or keeping me sane? There is a lot of crazy here, crazy in love, with happiness, with stress or just plain old fashioned crazy. We all crack once and awhile, but that's what makes us human and what ultimately makes us sane in the end.

Life has been going well here at the college, mainly surrounding school work which despite second years telling us to do the opposite and enjoy our time here before the real work comes, which oddly is not that comforting. Since I last filled you in I have spent most days here in Duino, curled up in some corner with fellow cold persons, exchanging stories of warmth back home, arguing who has the worst heat/humidity and just being silly. Life is good when you have people to share it with.

A strange thing did happen this last week, a phenomenon called...Suit Up Day, in which the majority of the college honored a favourite character in a TV show called How I Met Your Mother. So on the 13th of October mini business women and men wandered Duino's streets and the Italian guys finally were not the only ones in suits. Its interesting what happens when you put a suit on a person, how in the classes people sat that much straighter, talked with more confidence, and sometimes behave slightly classier than usual. How does one set of clothes do that to someone? Does that go to show that appearances do make a difference? Maybe Barney Stinson was on to something with his love of suits.

Well Mensa is calling, its that time of day when we all flock to line up for food, the internal clock is screaming "I WANT FOOD!" So I will leave you to go eat dinner, with high hopes of maybe getting something healthy to eat tonight and 2 to many layers on for mental comfort.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pilgrimage to Padova

Basilica of Saint Anthony 

Hello all, got to ride the Knight Bus from Harry Potter yesterday! No joke, combine two layer bus, front seats on top layer and Italian driving…magic was defiantly used to get around corners. Oh and did I mention its not going to be above 20 degrees C anytime in the forecasted I feel cheated, you skipped the nice transition period called fall and I am not sure if I can commit to winter just yet! But I digress; Padova is what I wanted to talk about today.
The bus ride there was an adventure all to its self, from going through places no bus should ever fit in to the sight of the sun rising upon mountains, it was amazing. I don’t think I will ever get used to that sight, looking out my window and seeing something that majestic block my path. I understand people who climb Mt Everest to a degree; I do not see mountains as something I want to conquer but more like, I bet that view is amazing. Someday I will find a place close to the sky and sea and I’ll never leave.

Roman Chariot Race Track
Padova is an ancient Roman city in Northern Italy and is the pilgrimage city of Italy because of the Basilica of St. Anthony. So of course we get to go on a school culture visit, pay 5 euro’s for bus and admission and then get 10 euro’s for food because we were not at Mensa, love Italian politics sometime. Add on that Henry Thomas is our guide, and it is one of the best things in the world. Padua is the old district of Padova and that’s where we spent our day, it’s one of the most amazing cities I have ever been to. It has the element of tourism that I dislike, but it’s counterbalanced by the fact that real people live there, it’s a real environment to live in, there are local pubs in side alleys hidden parts that I could see myself actually enjoying living in, and it is so beautiful!
The people I was with also made the day enjoyable. It’s amazing the college, how it slams so many cultures together and within the confusion, you can just stick to one person and immediately have a connection. Who knew an American and a Slovene could have so much in common, or that hanging out with an Estonian always leads to trouble. The world is not as big as people make it out to be, I bet no one reading this blog is in the same country as me and yet they can still now my thoughts. Teenagers everywhere are the same, just like pizza (Hey I’m in Italy) we all have the same base but with different flavors. 
Latvian, Estonian,Slovene and I 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Hardcore Procrastination, Ninja’s and Sleepless Nights

Life at the college is just getting started and its feels like I have been here awhile, routines have fallen into place, people have become more than just faces and names, teachers know our names and riding to Monfalcone or Trieste is nothing.  Everyone has settled in, home is slowly becoming the crowded halls of residences and Mensa food is endured. School here is the same as home schooling except with classmates, teachers and homework but we finish early, do what we want for most of the day and the classes are often outside. It’s only been one month, I can only imagine what it will be like by the end of the year, but hey, that’s awhile away.
School is starting to live up to its scary expectations, actual work is being done which means my favorite past time is starting, procrastination. One of the many unofficial things taught at the college is how to truly procrastinate; sorry Facebook but you’re a thing of the past. Every were you look, there is something to do, so why do homework when I can be swimming in porto, walking Rilke Path with friends, having a tea party or just sitting and having a good conversation, be it about politics or whether Grom really is better than Zamboni when it comes to gelato.
The campus is getting cold, and its affecting us in a very strange way. Now that Peace One Day is behind us we can move on to more interesting things, like ninja, a game in which the whole school has to dress up as a ninja, and try and kill as many victims as possible. Very UWC I know. Now people have gone to the extreme of holding spoons up in Mensa, so as to see behind them for possible attackers. Soon we are going to have poison tasters, looking out for the deadly almond extract slipped into their food.
 There is always night time to do homework, hence the sleepless nights. Sleeping before 12:00 is hard, before 11:00 impossible. There are not enough hours in the day to sleep and do what you want in this place. I used to have to have at least 8-10 hours to sleep, now I make do with 6 or 5, thank god for free blocks in which power naps are suggested.  Speaking of I should probably sleep as I have Hiking tomorrow and a class first thing in the morning. Good night all.