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One year more. It's going fast. Am I taking advantage of every opportunity? You betcha.

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Posts Tagged “study”

Carnevale: Pt 2

Q. You’re not better than me because you visited Venice. I heard it’s overhyped and really expensive.
A. Words of an ignorant man. As I was saying, the city was alive with festivities. I split my time between exhausting my camera’s battery and my wallet at delicious restaurants or tourist sights. Normally I try to avoid being a tourist, but in this case I had to give in.

People always tell me I shouldn't stick my nose in other people's business...

Q. Know the best way not to be a tourist? Stay in your own country and stop complaining.
A. Listen, I’m sorry I didn’t bring you with me! You would have loved the flight of the angel (an event that left my neck begging for rest) and all of the panoramic shots of the canal system. I just didn’t feel like being crazy abroad. But, I can buy you a knick-knack if that’ll make you feel better.
Q. …It might.
A. I’ll get you one from Venice. How about a mask to remind you how much you missed out on!
Q. I don’t like you.

(Thus concludes Andrew’s first and only existential dilemma.)

Flight of the Angel!!!

Carnevale: Pt 1

An assortment of mask...what fun!

Q. So Andrew, what’s been new with you?
A. First of all, I’d like to thank you for having me on your show. This past weekend, I visited Carnevale!
Q. I think you misspelled carnival, there.
A. You are incorrect sir! Carnevale is an annual festival throughout Italy that precedes Lent. I visited Venice on the opening weekend. It was incredible: the entire town was in the streets, partying in the classiest manner. I felt like I had been dropped into medieval Europe, what with all of the costumes, masks, and even the—
Q. So it’s just a hyped up Halloween? So really I’m not missing much right?
A. …You are incorrect. Sir.

Find out what happens next HERE

I'm as excited for Carnevale as I am for this Twix that I bought on the trip there

It’s A Journal, not a Diary…

Advice for all people planning on studying abroad: take a journal! The reasons are innumerable. You are going to want to remember everything that happens during the incredible months you have abroad. Also, you’ll improve your language proficiency in leaps and bounds.

So maybe not innumerable, just the two actually.

My biggest problem at this moment is time management. THERE’S TOO MUCH I WANT TO DO! (Admittedly a good problem). I want to read Harry Potter in Italian, watch movies in Italian, journal, spend time with friends, hit the town, travel…Man I love this place.

It's Journaling Time! (Sometimes I think I just shouldn't write anything in the caption...)

And there was evening, and there was morning–the first day.

To quote the timeless movie “In Bruges,” all I can say of my experience so far is “I know I’m awake, but I feel like I’m dreaming.” Sitting on a bus driving through the hilly Italian countryside, I don’t yet realize what’s happening. The traveling took it out of me. Seven hours on my flight between O’Hare and Frankfurt left me both sleep deprived and nursing a sore neck from attempting to sleep in an aisle seat.

I was so exhausted that I slept in the Frankfurt airport during my five hour lay over (which goes a lot slower than one might hope), and again on the two hour plane ride to Rome. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to sight see, since my program through Arcadia University was there to pick me up, along with other people arriving from their own planes.

For the moment, I write and listen to avoid the claws of sleep that drag my eyelids down and gently whispers “just lay down for a moment, this exhaustion can slip right off you like rain off a waxed car.” But I refuse. Jet lag is the worst part of the transition, and is easily avoided by falling asleep at nighttime here, not the nighttime that my body tells me. Shhhhhh, Andrew’s internal timeclock, you’re being too loud.

Che pittoresca! (How picturesque!)

 

Manar

It’s like the “Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants,” only with people of all genders, and pants aren’t a major player. I’m talking about the companionship of travelers, whether they’re local or international. Let me lay it out for you: it’s like going to a new school or away to college, and everyone is a little bit nervous, resulting in more open interactions (no one can act superior or aloof, since you’re all in the same boat. Or plane, for that matter).

The smoking booths we both found funny :)

On the plane from Chicago to Frankfurt, I met Manar, a 38 year old Palestinian woman who had spent six years studying to be a Pediatrician in Italy, and who was returning to Italy to renew her license after several years of travel. She speaks four languages, including Hebrew, Arabic, Italian, and English. You can’t make this stuff up.

So, for the three hours of lay over that she shared with my five, we wandered around the Frankfurt airport—which couldn’t be more bland—talking about whatever. We made fun of the German accents, marveled at the “Camel Smoking Stations,” and she even showed me her pictures from trips throughout Italy, offering pointers on places to visit. I know that I haven’t even reached my final destination, but for some reason I feel like I already made it.

Beginner’s Luck

That’s what I have, apparently. And although I am affronted by the notion that I am a beginner (I’m not some country boy stepping onto a plane for the first time going “golly gee, you think this thing can fly?”) I will take any luck that I can get.

A Plane

It started when my terminal, randomly separate from all of the other international airlines, was the same as my Dad’s, who had a separate flight out from O’Hare at the same time. Score one for Andrew. Then the stakes rose as my luck did. My extra cheap ticket (compliments of statravel.com) only accounted for one bag, meaning that the second I had packed would cost an extra $70. Oh no-es!

Thankfully, I was blessed by both a faulty credit card machine and a magnanimous airline employee who discreetly waved me through. Score 70 for Andrew! Now I sit in the airport with very little to do, hoping that my ten hour flight feels more like a ten minute flight, so I can get this adventure going.

Italy: I leave in HOW many hours?!

Because I am blessed with the incredible ability to put off worrying about something pressing (in this case packing for my semester long excursion into Perugia, Italy), I started packing within 24 hours of my departure. What I didn’t realize is that while I need to pack, it is such an overwhelming task that I often invent a number of minor tasks that I somehow justify in my mind as being relevant, in order to put off the hard decisions (do I need an electric razor as well as a regular one in Italy?) These events are chronicled below.

My room, as it stands now.

1. Went the the gym, got my buff on

2. Showered

3. Got a haircut

4. Listened to my mother telling me I need to pack

5. Napped

6. Woke up to my mother telling me to pack

7. Watched tonight’s episode of Modern Family

8. Wrote a blog

9. Cut my fingernails

10. Learned that my mother has become so disheartened by my willy-nilly lollygagging that she has started packing without me

It seems I must now throw in the towel, so my next post will most likely come from abroad. Ciao for now! (One last question, should I bring floss? Yes, I should use it, no I probably won’t. But I could buy some there. But it’d be more expensive…GAHHH!)

 

Studious Solidarity

It’s a fact, that when it comes to crunch time, studying alone is like eating a cake alone: it’s less a party, more a depressing affair. To avoid this, I often find a group of people to study with. Here are some tips on how we make it through the late nights:

1) Frequent bathroom breaks
2) Joke about how much work you have while browsing youtube videos unproductively
3) Take water breaks (leads to #1)
4) Brag about how much work you have left (oh you’re going till one? It’s looking like an all-nighter for me.)
5) Snack on some pretzels/energy food (leads to #3)
6) People-watch (the extremely studious are nocturnal. See a side of campus you’ve never imagined.)
7) Complain about how much work you have
8) Take a trip to Starbucks on campus
9) Stretch. Ya gotta stay limber.
10) Rejoice when you get to say “g’night” to your friends who still have piles of work threatening to fall and crush them.

A Great Group Study Space

The Midterms are Coming, the Midterms are Coming!

Study time! I just imagine Paul Revere riding through town with this shocking news. In the rush to get the prime study tables on campus, some people might stop and ponder why it’s so surprising to have tests at college (what’s up with that?) But most don’t stop to questions, since such distractions can result in getting to the library late and being stuck with the tables by the bathroom.

Ah, Irwin LIbrary. How you consume my days.

Midterms here at Butler are scattered around Fall Break, some before and some after. As an English major, my midterm tests are very limited. I only had one leading up to this fall break. My midterm papers are much more prolific. Three total, due after break.

That’s one way I know Butler is doing its job. Throughout the entire semester, you work hard. It’s almost non-stop, slowly building first to midterms, and then a bigger push to finals. When winter break and summer hit, I always am left with nothing to do. I’m so busy at Butler I don’t even realize how much growth and education is going on!

Study Central

For a campus with a relatively small number of students, it can be surprisingly difficult to find a good study space away from one’s room. We can chalk this up to Butler’s studious and dedicated body of burgeoning scholars. For those of you wondering why I needed to study away from my room, it’s because there’s absolutely nothing worse than studying feet away from a bed. I have learned this through many a study-time turned nap-time.

Look! Over yonder! The Butler Observatory.

Over the summer I happened upon a wonderful study room in the recently renovated Pharmacy Building that was both well equipped and had a fantastic view, a prime panorama of the Butler Observatory. Getting here early in the morning was a struggle, but once I was up, this room helped me focus more than any amount of caffeine could.

The comfiest chairs you'll ever sit in. I guarantee it.

 

 

 

The reason I was on campus over the summer was for BSI, or the Butler Summer Institute. This is a chance for the scholarly and self-driven students of Butler’s campus to engage in research over the summer with a professor . Needless to say, I saw more fluorescent rays this summer than I did sun rays.