With one last week living here in Arezzo, Undergrad Physical Theatre students Connor, Bethany, and Ellie, Dance student Makenna, and One Year student Zach give some final thoughts and words about their feelings at the end of the semester.
Connor Paradis, Boston University
Advice to Future Accademia Students, and valuable regular reminders for myself:
-Italy will likely be way colder than you expect if you’re coming here for the spring/fall semester! Bring sweaters.
-Go on day trips! There are so many incredible spots so close to Arezzo you can travel to such as Siena, Perugia, Passignano and Cortona that are all very cheap to travel to. The Villa can be really claustrophobic, don’t think you need to go all the way to Rome to get way.
-Carlo has the best gelato period.
-Go on walks.
-Working with a large ensemble is slow-moving work. For me, it has been a constant process of reminding myself to reignite the fire that sparks me, to see assignments always as creative opportunities to explore something that matters to you as opposed to work. The second things become too product oriented is the second the creative work leaves the present truth. Work is slow and that’s okay.
-Have patience with yourself and others.
-Go into every church you see. Almost every single one is an absolutely stunning piece of art and history.
-Communicating with life at home will likely be very hard – because of both distance and the WiFi here. Do what you can but try to accept the things you cannot change, and remember that while often having no wifi and limited communication is undoubtably frustrating, when at home you’ll likely be flooded with the internet and people and that this moment is very rare and valuable in it’s own way too.
-At restaurants where you are given bread you can always ask for olive oil and vinegar. Throw some salt and pepper in that guy – it’s damn good.
-You can learn something from every performance you see.
-Ask for Mensa leftovers on Friday.
– I learned stretching is REALLY useful before AND after exercising. If your body is hurting take care but know it’s growth.
-You can get 3 bottles of wine for €8 at the first deli down the road to the right of the Villa.
-I believe uncomfortability is often necessary for growth. Learning how to ride a bike does not feel stable at first. Trying to meet the assignment before making the assignment meet you, has been essential for me.
-Every new ensemble will be different from any previous ensemble you have worked with in the past. What are you doing that actually benefits the ensemble and what are you doing out of habit? What’s comfortable is not always what’s useful. This will probably change all the time and the exploration is constant.
-Try not to be too frustrated with the irregularities, inconsistencies, the unexplainable or the unknowable. Life is an incomprehensible mystery, and each day is as ephemeral as the last. You can only ever do your best. Do your best.
-And watch the sunsets.
Ellie Swartz, Muhlenberg College
Reading philosophy texts
Excitement for weekend plans & performances
Singing songs of home
Energy from Nadia’s pastas & cakes
Collaboration with friends
Expressing love for this special place
Makenna Finch, Hampshire College
Late nights toppling in
The students here wonder if
They will ever sleep
Cabernet is five
There is no wifi
The odds weren’t in our favor
Please please please send help
None were left standing
No really we are all fine ha
Buona notte a tutti
Roses are red,
violets are blue,
I’VE HAD A LOT OF ADVENTURES THIS YEAR,
how bout you?
Bethany Bryant, Muhlenberg College
Reflecting on the last week in which we had our final cablab performance, I was struck more than ever by a feeling that is not easily articulated, that is the feeling of being here and leaving so soon. For me it cannot be summed up in one thing or word, and it isn’t something that I would want to pin down in that way. My immediate thought is to turn to metaphors to express it, but I don’t feel like some kind of description of climbing a hill and looking back at how far you’ve come but seeing the horizon or something on the other side is applicable here. Yes it’s the people, yes it’s the place, yes it’s the experience, but I cannot and don’t think I will ever be able to sum it up in a blog post. Which is good, I think. Because if it was so easily summed up, then I would harbor more regret. Instead I stand here, in this moment, with a sense of the indescribable, and perhaps that is enough.