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.