Tales from Italy ch.14- Last Exams and the Beginning of the End

It’s been almost a month since my last update and I’ve fallen behind on my entries. These last few weeks have been the busiest in the semester so far, and it has left me little time to write. Fortunately, my poor memory has been saved thanks to the little “Italia” notebook Adrie bought me at the end of fall semester; I’ve been recording my days with bullet points each day (or most, really) and that will really come in handy right about now.

So anyway- the point of my journal entry:

The beginning of June left me with 3 exams to take and plenty of trips to look forward to before heading home. My ceramics exam went well (a 27/30) and I was so happy to not study for it anymore once it was finished. In the weeks leading up to it, I had spent most of my free time studying for the exam. It got to the point where I would respond to my friends with “Sorry, but I have to study for ceramics” so often that the response became its own expression as a response for not wanting to do something (used by everyone, not just me). For example:

“Do you want to go out with us later?”

“Oh sorry, I can’t. I have to study for ceramics.”

My cinema exam was not nearly as pleasant. Janelle, Laura, and I arrived at 9 with the hope to be the first 3 for our exam at 9:30. This was not the case since our professor not only arrived late AND took an hour lunch break, but decided to go alphabetically starting at ‘P’. Of the three of us, Laura went first which was good since she had another exam that day. Janelle and I were stuck waiting for hours before we got in. Our professor wasn’t that nice either. Normally the professors take it easy on foreign students because they know there is a language barrier that can hinder how well we learn, but she expected the same of us as she did the students who could speak Italian fluently. This was topped off with sighs and rolling of the eyes, not to mention she didn’t look at us while we spoke- she went through papers and other things on her desk, only making eye contact once every two minutes or so. At the end of my exam she pointed out that she could see there was most definitely a language barrier and gave me a look that told me she thought I deserved a lower grade than what she was giving me. While all her gestures were rude and uncalled for, rather than return the favor in this entry, I will be the better person and end my discussion of her here.

My last exam was the best of them all not only because it was for my favorite class, but because it was with my favorite professor: Musica per Lo Spettacolo (Music for the Show) with Professor Festa (“It’s a festa with Festa!”). Laura and I were two of his three students and by far the most frequent. When we arrived for our exam, he let us take it in the same room together. I went first. The exam was like our classes: awesomely philosophical, but this time we did most of the talking. This guy is like our Socrates; we could sit and have him explain to us his thoughts on how music relates to life and space all day. The class –and our exam- were the greatest, not to mention we both came out with 30/30 🙂

With our exams finally over, we had to find other ways to occupy our time. While most of my time is occupied by the work I’m doing for my online summer classes at New Paltz, I did manage to join the others much more often once studying for my finals was finished. One evening, we all played a game of Never Have I Ever, and it lasted so long that we stopped keeping points. It was a very educational game into the lives and experiences of one another. While we didn’t get the chance to play the card game, Bullshit (or “Bull Sheißa” as we called it in German) in this last week, I think this would be a good place to point out that this game holds many memories from the semester for me. So many times we would just sit around and pass the time playing near the bar in Tridente or upstairs in the Sala Studio. I will miss these evenings very much.

Also during this last week, Ryan and I had our last radio show of Independent Carrots. We left the theme as a surprise for most our friends because Ryan and I had something special planned. We decided a great way to end the semester would be to make a playlist that encompassed all our favorite songs from the semester and songs that highlighted our experiences. In the end, we came up with these songs:

  • Fly Away”- Lenny Kravitz (to signify ‘flying away’ to study abroad)
  • Stereo Love”- Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina (THE song in Urbino, and a favorite of Judith’s)
  • Me and Julio”- Paul Simon (Laura and I put together a great harmony to this and some sweet guitar playing with ‘Pattie,’ my guitar)
  • King of Spain”- Moxy Fruvous (Introduced to us by Laura in the beginning of the semester)
  • Rocket Man”- Elton John (this song has 2 meanings: 1- “Rocket Man” was easily replaced with “Moroccan Man” in reference to the attractive Moroccan boy Laura is friends with; 2- I had never seen the “Rocket Man” rendition by William Shatner (I had only seen Family Guy’s parody of it), so Stefan sent me the video)
  • My Life Would Suck Without You”- Glee Cast (Glee was really popular to watch together this semester. Every Wednesday or Thursday, Laura, Monika, Sonja, Ryan, Janelle, and I would sit in my room and watched streamed episodes online. The title is also pretty self-explanatory for the strong friendships we formed ^_^).
  • Friends”- Flight of the Concords (The title needs no explanation with how it relates to us. We also find Flight of the Concords to be absolutely BRILLIANT).
  • With a Little Help From My Friends”- Across the Universe Cast (self- explanatory)
  • Mr. Sandman”- The Puppini Sisters (Countless hours spent on the terraces above Tridente playing chess, having tea and cookies, and soaking in the sun while listening to the Puppini Sisters).
  • Mama Ist Stolz”- Sido (A German song about pimps and mom’s being proud; introduced to Ryan by Stefan on their trip to Cinque Terre. Sonja also raps this pretty well lol)
  • Countries of the World”- Yakko Warner (We had the goal to learn this song by heart. While that didn’t actually happen, it was fun to try).
  • We Like to Party”- Vengaboys (While explaining 6 Flags Theme Park, and the dancing old man from the commercials (who Laura hates btw), Monika pointed out that this was the song in the background).
  • Just Around the River bend”- Pocahontas (We had the pleasure of watching Disney’s Pocahontas this semester)
  • Can’t Tell that to the Administration”- Rob Hanlon & Nick Petrasino (An Urbino original, written and performed by two Villnova students)
  • Freedom”- David Hasselhoff (The previous radio show (an 80s theme), we meant to play this for ze Germans but ran out of time. Because David Hasselhoff sang this in a lit-up leather jacket at the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, our German friends have taken to calling him their hero).
  • Good Riddance”- Green Day (This song is one of the first songs Laura taught Monika and I on guitar. It is also a beautiful goodbye song reminiscent of our experiences).

We hope that we left the radio program well prepared for future students. We always had a blast.

The night of the 10th, Judith and Mike had a dinner with all of us in town because they were leaving the next day. Sonja, Janelle, Ryan, Matthias and I were also leaving, but only for a short while. The next few days we would spend in Rome before heading back to Urbino for one last week 🙁

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