Monthly Archives

February 2010


Alumni Spotlight: Back to Rome

Posted by Gwendolyn Ryan, UST Alumnus 2008, Social Work, Catholic Studies, and Philosophy
This is my second year living in Rome but I promise you, living here is never boring. There is something enticing about Rome, that just sucks you in and never spits you out. If you have lived in Rome, you know exactly what I mean. I came here to study in the Spring of 2006 at the Bernardi Campus, the semester that I spent here was one of the best experiences of my life. I moved back to Rome after colleg in September of 2008, and even for me it was a crazy thing to do. When I moved here I didn’t have a job, I hardly spoke the language and I knew only one person. After college I had agonized about what to do next, having graduated in social work, I was thinking about starting a social work job in the Twin Cities. But I couldn’t shake my memories of living and studying in Rome. I had always wanted to live in a different country on my own, the challenge and the intrigue were so enticing. I finally decided after much thought to go for it.
Rome has agreed with me. When I first arrived, I did a month-long English Teaching Certificate program that was very intense. I graduated from the program with my teaching license to teach English as a second language. After that I frantically interviewed all over the city until I finally landed a job in October. That was a very stressful time, since I had to pay rent and yet I still had no job. All the money that I had saved had disappeared for the teaching course and what was left was dwindling thanks to the high conversion rate from Dollars to Euro. I had found an apartment behind the Vatican, it was tiny and rather ugly, but I didn’t care since I lived a ten minute walk away from the Vatican. My job for a language school made me work long hours for little money, but it was worth it. I went to Papal events, traveled around Europe with cheap flights, went to mass in a million different churches (and languages), played soccer in the park, and met people from all over the world.
I have since moved across the city to a different apartment, but I am still teaching English and I really enjoy it. I teach mostly private in-home lessons now and my students range in age from 3 to 60 years old. Lessons are rarely dull, even if they involve whining children more often than not. I’m still somehow paying the rent and even traveling, and I’m still thanking God for allowing me to live here, there is nowhere else I would rather be at the moment. Viva Roma!
You know you live in Rome if:
1. You live on a busy highway but your neighbor is a rooster.
2. You are woken up in the morning because the porter is singing loudly in the street. What the porter actually does is still a mystery.
3. Pasta is on the menu, once, twice, perhaps three times a day.
4. You smile and laugh your way through the work day; never entirely sure that you have understood what is going on.
5. You can go to mass every half hour if you are so inclined.
6. The pope is your neighbor and you can meet him twice a week if you want to.
7. The bus might stop at the bus-stop where you are waiting, but it probably won‘t, at least not in your lifetime.

Social Events

CSI/ Shine dance

Posted by Monica, UST
If you like music, dancing, dessert, Christmas cheer, and the energy found in everyone who just finished classes, then the CSI/SHINE dance was the place to be on Friday, December 11. The annual Christmas dance was located in Murray-Herrick 304 this year and it was one classy event. It was so fun watching everyone file in donning their semi-formal gear and/or Christmas apparel. There were a couple Santa hats, a dozen ladies dressed as Christmas trees, a few Christmas sweaters and a whole lot of beautifully dressed people boogying on the dance floor. It was an absolute blast and what I would call a huge success for CSI and SHINE. There were a large number of people there and almost everyone was out on the dance floor bustin’ a move. It was like a big dance party that everyone was invited to and each person was free to dance as crazy or tame as they wanted. Good, clean, Christian dancin’ fun was the theme of the night and it was a night that was well needed by everyone. I, for one, believe that the CSI/SHINE dances are the best dances at St. Thomas. If someone doesn’t believe me, they need only to attend one of the dances and their hearts will be sold to the twinkling lights, the upbeat (yet appropriate) music, and the completely lovable people who faithfully attend. The next CSI/SHINE dance is on the last day of classes of Spring semester. For those who missed out on the Christmas dance, I suggest attending the spring dance to redeem yourself and have an incredible night!