Unexpected Encounters During Class

I remember the best day in grade school was field trip day. No matter where we were going, I knew that it was going to be an amazing day. It was a chance to get out of the classroom and learn something new, something real. It was a real change of place.

In Rome, I feel like I’m reliving this piece of my childhood.

My professors are enthusiastic about incorporating the history of the Eternal City into our lessons, discussing and analyzing the history, art, and culture of Rome. On top of all of that, our professors like to include site visits as a part of their curriculum…

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The Uffizi: Encountering the Masters

Have you ever seen the following image?

Boticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” c. 1480; Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy

I’m sure you have, probably in a textbook or on the Internet or a poster in a cafe.

But what would you do if you had the chance to see this masterpiece in person?

If you’re a nerd like me, you’d rush to see it. So that’s what my friends and I did while we were in Florence one weekend (among other things).

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From the classroom to the Forum

On Friday afternoons at Loyola, I usually head back to my room to unwind and relax after a long week of classes, homework, and extra-curricular activities.

Sometimes I have Evergreen meetings to attend, but I traditionally spend a large majority of my Friday afternoons in my room.

My traditional Friday routine was disrupted as soon as I landed in Italy. Instead of staying in my room, I found myself running around the Eternal City, or taking a bus to the train station for a weekend away…

This difference didn’t really hit me until this past weekend when, instead of heading home, my friends and I walked twenty minutes to the Markets of Trajan, which are a part of the Museum of the Imperial Fora. I willingly – and gladly! – trudged down Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, trekked across Piazza Venezia, skirted past Trajan’s Column, scurried up a flight of stairs, and entered the Museum – all on a “lazy” Friday afternoon.

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A view of Trajan’s Market from the Forum of Trajan

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Calling Rome “Home” for a Semester

Roma, the Eternal City, Caput Mundi… whatever you want to call it, that’s where I am right now.

It’s still weird to say after a month and a half, but I’m actually living in Rome. I remember receiving the email from the office of international programs last January confirming that I would be studying in Rome in spring 2017. I never thought this semester would come. But it’s finally here.

Living and studying in Rome is a bit different from a normal semester in Baltimore. Besides the obvious language change, the landmarks in this city are understandably different than what I’m accustomed to at Loyola and in Baltimore…

Some of my friends go past the Colosseum every day on their way to school. Personally, I pass a Claudian-era inscription during my walk each morning. Any time I want to take a bus somewhere, I usually go to Piazza Venezia, meaning I can see Trajan’s Column from my bus stop.

This Classics major is in heaven.

Kelly at the Colo2

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Pickup Soccer

Pickup Soccer.

You may not know it’s a thing at Loyola… but it is. I’m proud to say it’s a full-fledged club with all the bells and whistles.

But when I started showing up to play as a first-year student, it was just a group of guys who really enjoyed playing soccer, who would stay at the FAC until it closed.

mac court

Pickup Soccer began had started the year before I came to Loyola. A few passionate guys were getting together a couple of nights a week to play soccer on the indoor court at the FAC. It was informal, but competitive and fun.

They eventually created a Facebook group to help organize times and communicate. The numbers were low, but the competition was high. The group had some key figures and it was mainly comprised of club soccer players, male and female, and former high school soccer players who were missing the game in college.

When I came to Loyola, I joined club soccer and intramural soccer before I could figure out how to do laundry. After four years of competitive soccer in high school, I had to keep up with it as much as I could. When winter came around my first year, there weren’t many outlets to play soccer, and I was still trying to meet people, make new friends, and find an outlet for my inner athlete.

Then a good friend of mine (same class year and a fellow soccer player) invited me to come to the FAC one night in January. He said there was a group of sophomore and junior guys who regularly get together to play soccer informally for a couple hours.

Even though I played in an all-men’s league in high school, I’ll admit I was nervous about going…

If they did welcome me, would I even be good enough?

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10 Reasons to Love Loyola

There are many, many reasons to love being a student at Loyola.

And while I know every student has his or her own list, these are my top ten.

Some might seem silly (for instance, condiments I can only get from Loyola Dining Services) compared to others (like personal growth opportunities I’ve discovered during my time here), but that’s only until you experience them for yourself.

I can assure you they are all heartfelt and sincere. I miss them every summer, every time I’m home for break, and I will miss them more dearly after I graduate in May.

Without further ado, here are ten reasons—in no particular order—I love Loyola University Maryland…

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The Essence of Economics

Loyola, through its community of professors, students, and alumni, allows each individual to partake in a unique academic experience, one that converts theory into reality (and vice versa).

I’m studying economics and history… and I read a book last semester that helps me to articulate the complicated and compelling reality of my academic journey.

In his book Economics: The User’s Guide, Ha-Joon Chang, an American economist, academic scholar, and professor, provides two distinct perspectives through which the broad field of Economics is interpreted, studied, and practiced.

Economics: The User's Guide by Ha-Joon Chang

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Skill over task

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“C’mon, Grandma!” I exclaimed impatiently. “Let’s play doctor! Get the toys, Grandma!”

Grandma rushed quickly to gather the necessary materials for the night: stuffed animals that desperately needed proper medical treatment. They would be saved by a five-year-old whose fate may have as well been pre-determined, for I knew exactly how my life would look years from that very moment in the living room …

A physician, curing real people with real problems. And maybe a stuffed animal or two.

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