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.

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Mercy in music

I headed up to the retreat house this past weekend for the annual Chapel Choir retreat.

As always, it was a wonderful weekend of music and love and fellowship.

This year, our theme was “Into the Heart of Mercy.” And let me tell you, I definitely received a lot of mercy this weekend, something all of us so desperately need.

Technically the reason for this retreat is so that we can have more rehearsal time for Lessons & Carols (which is not to be missed, so mark your calendar for Friday, Dec. 9, at 5 p.m., and get there early to get a seat!)…

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Spiritually, it’s a chance for the members of Chapel Choir to build a community and talk about our faith journeys and our struggles.

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Why I’ll always be happy I joined Loyola’s Honors Program

The Honors Program only encompasses a small percentage of each class, but I believe that it is home to some of the best and brightest students that Loyola has to offer.

I made the decision to apply to the Honors Program pretty early on, because I knew that I need to be challenged in order to reach my full potential. And boy am I glad that I applied.

I have made some of my closest friends through this program and I’ve developed good relationships with professors that I would have never made otherwise.

Honors students quickly learn how to survive in a high-pace classroom environment.

Within the first month of my first Honors class I had already read the Odyssey, the Iliad, Herodotus’ History, and parts of Thucydides’ account of the Peloponnesian War. That’s a lot to take in—and it was definitely overwhelming while I was doing it—looking back, I now know that I could do it again.

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Jumping into junior year

Hey, everyone! My name is Kelly, and I’m a junior classics/history double major from Cleveland, Ohio.

(Everyone: “Hi, Kelly!”)

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I’ve gotten that sentence down-pat because I’m an Evergreen (Orientation Leader) here at Loyola, which means I’m very used to giving people a quick summary of my life.

(If you were wondering, my fun facts are that I can whistle through my tongue and that I know more about figs than most people care to. Side note: This is what happens when you’re a Classics Major. You pick up a bunch of “useless” information.)

What do Evergreens do, exactly? Well, in addition to helping plan and run Summer Orientation and Fall Welcome Weekend for new students and their parents, I help my group of first-year students at our weekly Enrichment Sessions, where we talk about ideas such as diversity and justice while also addressing common issues for new college students, like time management and homesickness.

I love being an Evergreen because I love being able to help new students find their way here and helping them to see why I love Loyola so much.

The beauty of Loyola is that it’s a small, liberal arts school in the Jesuit Tradition, where the people who work here are in your corner, and will push you as much as they support you. I can’t imagine myself anywhere else.

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Lessons from My Sophomore Year

The semester is finally winding down, and my second year at Loyola is coming to an end. I’ve definitely learned a bunch in my classes, but it wouldn’t be a school year at Loyola if I hadn’t learned some life lessons along the way…

While I learned Greek and read Paradise Lost, I learned how to be silent. While I wrote countless research papers and tried to learn physics, I learned patience. I met countless wonderful people and reunited with old friends.

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So, what have I learned this year that won’t receive a grade?

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An Open Letter to All High School Seniors

Euphoria.
Freedom.
Responsibility.
Stress.
Under-prepared.
Torn.
Contemplative.
Excited.
Nervous.
Joy.

These may be some of the emotions you’ve experienced this school year, first as college acceptance letters start to roll in… then as you started visiting campuses… and especially now, as you prepare to make “the big decision” and enroll.

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