Well, there are some weeks that one just has to sit back when they’re over and say, “Wow, I’m still alive. I guess I made it through in one piece.” This past week seems to have been one of those weeks. A little of everything was thrown at us. We had finals for two of our classes, the major paper for our art history class was due, Italy almost experienced major political upheaval and riots ensued (which included Romans blowing up police vans, tearing down traffic lights, tearing up cobblestone streets, and damaging anything they could, and which some of us found ourselves accidentally in the middle of), and we had our Bernardi Advent/Christmas party (including Advent Angel presents for all), as it was the last week before our three week Christmas break. All in all, a pretty full week, I’d say.
I’m pretty sure that none of the academic work that I’ve done this week will be my finest, but I did what I could in a crazy environment with a lot less stability than I am used to for a finals week, and there is something to be said for perseverance under pressure. I guess sometimes you just have to push through and do the best you can. Perhaps the greatest lesson I will take from Rome is that you can’t always have things just the way that makes you most comfortable, and in such times, you have to pull it together and do your ‘darndest’ anyway. A valuable lesson, I think.
Now we all go our separate, merry ways for the duration of the break, and many of us will travel throughout various parts of Europe. Without a doubt, these past couple of months have been full of unexpected challenges and delights, and we are all in need of a bit of a breather. I am confident that we will come back in three weeks with renewed energy and excitement, so that we can fully appreciate the last weeks of our semester in Rome.