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Hi! I’m rather inadept at beginning anything well, but I’ll give it a shot. I’m Susie, but as I am not overly fond of my given name, feel free to think of me as my username. By the way, my username was created with the band Love Outside Andromeda in mind, not the mythological character. Nevertheless, I suppose that I, along with a majority of people, at times identify with being metaphorically chained to a rock of some sort, so the name is otherwise appropriate. Though you might have already guessed from the title (and the digression in the previous sentence), I am a Classics major. My concentration is Latin, but I like Greek as well, despite my abysmal comprehension of it.

The purpose of this blog is to document my experiences while I study abroad in Italy. I am currently living in Rome at a little social experiment called the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies. The program consists of 36 Classics majors from all over the United States living and studying together in one building. Sounds like a reality television show, doesn’t it? All students take a class called The Ancient City, which involves several site tours per week. Though the class falls into the archaeology category, the ultimate purpose is to gain a better understanding of Roman culture, which is valuable no matter what aspect of Classics one prefers. That sounds like a hollow slogan, but it’s true. I want to be a philologist, but one can’t exactly appreciate literature out of its cultural context. It’s not too bad being a little out of your comfort zone if you just remember that, when called upon to anwer an archaeology-related question, a safe response is usually the name of the first kind of tufa you can think of.

Currently, classes have been covering Etruscan and early Roman settlements. Today, we visited the Roman colony of Cosa. The city sits at a high elevation with a stunning view of the ocean. My, I should write a travel guide. Anyway, we looked at the temples at the top of the hill, then we studied the forum. The absolute best part was walking through the ruins of a Roman house. Some of the floor mosaics were still in the atrium and the triclinium. Though they were simple patterns, there was something really engaging about seeing a small, well-preserved part of a house and knowing that the occupants thousands of years ago would have seen it every day.

After the serious part of the day, the professors took us to the beach. Although the water was freezing, I never pass up a swim in the ocean; it is one of my favorite things in the world. Along the cliffs, I found a cave that led to a small, open-air pool. I ran out of time to explore farther, though. It was nice because the shoreline is so different than anything I am used to.

I’ll start posting photos when I get around to loading them onto my computer. That same computer happens to have five percent of its battery power left, so it looks like this is the end of my post.


2 Responses to “Saluete”

  1. Reverend on September 23rd, 2008 9:42 pm

    How cool, blogging from Rome. There is another UMW student blogging from Florence:

    I’m jealous of both of you, Rome is a beautiful place, and I would love the chance to live and study there. Look forward to your posts, and if you are so inclined share some images of all you see.

  2. A. Gosetti-Murrayjohn on September 24th, 2008 9:34 am

    It’s hard to describe the feeling of standing upon the same stones and mosaics that some Roman family did 2,500 years ago. What elation–and then–a swim in a cave…can life have anything better to offer? Like the Reverend, I’m absolutely green with envy!!