This week’s ADALife bloggers reflect on some meaningful moments here in in Arezzo, as they get closer to the end of the program.
Mose Kane, Boston University
Semester Physical Theatre Program
Since the last time I sat down to write for this blog, it’s safe to say that I’ve gotten out more. Florence, Milan, Naples, Bologna, and many other places have been crossed off my checklist, with more to come. However, as I have gotten farther and farther along in my travels, I have developed a greater appreciation for Arezzo, a feeling that I far from expected upon arrival in Italy. Obviously, the love and praise for Italy’s big cities are well-deserved, but there’s something specifically about experiencing abroad in Arezzo that has altered my semester entirely. In living in a very small community (ADA) within a small community (Arezzo), I’ve gained a deeper perspective being away from the bustle and tourism, which I don’t think would come as easily living in a cramped dorm in the center of Florence or Rome. I get to walk through a vineyard to get groceries. On the weekends, I can count the amount of tourists I see on one hand. The workers at my favorite kebab place are starting to know my order. Simply put, I get to experience Italy as Italy, and I didn’t realize how important that is until now. As I’m nearing the finish line, my plan for the final few weekends is to soak it all up as best I can. For all that Arezczo has provided for me, it’s the least I can do.
Georgie Johnson, Oberlin College
Semester Physical Theatre Program
Erika Davis, Coastal Carolina University
One Year Physical Theatre Program
It’s the first day of the final month of a life changing year—I can’t wrap my mind around that.
The seven year-long students are in full process mode for our final show going up on April 24th. I’m learning a lot about myself and my peers; the ways we work, the ways we function under pressure, the ways we (try to) communicate—the close proximity we have to each other at all times every day allows little room to ignore that kind of stuff. I’m not gonna lie, some days after rehearsal I need to scream into the void about nothing or everything. I’m lucky “the void” that I get to scream into happens to be the hills of Tuscany.
It doesn’t hurt that I happen to be working with some of my best friends; they’re good at grounding me when I’m in these relatively explosive states. For every time that I’ve felt like I was going out of my mind, there are at least five instances of crying tears of joy, or being supported when I needed to cry tears of sadness, or the feeling of creating making my heart race, or having something in an improvisation fall into the perfect place to the point of getting chills—these are the feelings I wouldn’t trade for anything. These feelings make the frustrating moments worth it.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t excited to go home. I miss eating dinner with my family. I miss driving a car with the windows down. I miss mac and cheese.
As we get closer to the end, I’m trying every day to live in the moment. I’ve started thanking the universe out loud every time I remember where I am and what I’m doing—it solidifies the fact that the last year hasn’t been a dream. I’m so lucky to be here doing what I’m supposed to be doing. I can feel the end approaching, and for some reason, it doesn’t feel wrong to be leaving. I’m a new person after this year. I’m an artist. And I will never forget what this place showed me I was capable of.
Kayleigh Scott, Muhlenberg College
Italy is a beautiful country with rolling mountains and hills, quaint cities, and history on every corner. The weather is amazing in the springtime. It is all anyone like me could ask for. There is, however, one thing missing: cats.
I can list on one hand all of the cats I have seen since being here. Maybe it is the drastic number of dogs that are seen walking through the streets that makes it seem like there are so few cats. Maybe it is because I do not have my own cat to keep me company. But here at the ADA I am deprived of cat love, only being given a few stories of Sabine’s cat, Jennis, to quench my thirst.vThere is a house on the way into town that sometimes has cats outside. They lounge in the garden and walk around the yard, and I long to pet them. It is torture that I cannot reach over and scratch their cheeks.
This weekend my thirst was quenched, but by a real cat. I traveled to Pompei this weekend and stayed in a hostel with a cat. Her name was Angel, she was 14 years old, and she was perfect. I met her on my first evening when I was going to inquire about buying a snack. I never did buy the snack, as I was so wrapped up in the time Angel and I spent together. I sat on the couch with her and learned that she loves being scratched under her chin. Our second encounter was the next morning. It was as we were checking out, and I saw her behind the counter. I called her over, using the name I had just learned. I rubbed my fingers together and after a few moments of staring, Angel came to my hand for some loving scratches. Our final encounter was when I left the hostel. I saw her sitting on the couch, and I had to give her some love. I scratched the side of her face and under her chin and she began purring right away. We sat for a few wonderful moments together before I had to leave. I kissed the top of her head, happy to have met such a wonderful cat.