Monday, June 21, 2004

Day Two = Mamma Mia

Whoever it is who told me I'd have all this free time to lounge and shop and eat and drink wine, I'm gonna get you when I return! Breakfast is at 730 (can't find the colon on these weird keyboards, p.s. Chris you'll be happy to hear I'm being forced to use a Mac...) but it's not just one of the infamous Italian hard, hollow rolls, although they are omnipresent. There's also cereal, juice, coffee and tea, yogurt, fresh fruit and then 'something American' like French toast ha ha. The AAR group for summer school consists of 26 people, from graduate students to teachers of Latin, history, humanities, etc., to retirees (God bless them!). After breakfast we all followed our beloved leader Myles McDonnell (any students reading this, he's the one in that video with the black leather blazer...) and his assistant Justin to the American Academy where we got the best view of Rome from the highest point in Rome, the Villa Aurelia owned by AAR (although the Vatican says the dome is higher, so it's in dispute). We had a guest speaker who is the woman upon whose work I based my master's thesis, so that was exciting for me, and it's all about me anyway, so... Then a tour of the Academy's library with all of its special rules and quirks, and then an information session with Myles during which he gave us the GIANT reading list and warnings such as 'on days where it's noted, be sure to wear long pants and closed shoes because there are scorpions and such.' Can't wait. I found a little snack bar two blocks down where I just scarfed down (can anyone say starving???) a panini con pomodore e mozzarella, yummy! I successfully used the ATM, but unsuccessfully used a payphone as my cell phone card is still en route. I'll figure it out eventually... Tonight I look forward to a lecture ala Myles and a reception at AAR that we're supposed to dress up for, we even got special invitations. Fun!!! For now, I must go read about 150 pages including Livy, Vergil and a book called The Beginnings of Rome. Thanks for writing, Mom and Mimi and Shelley (I do remember you, and thank you for your praises and warnings!) Ciao!

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