Oreine Robinson, Boston University
It’s kinda funny.
We have less than a month left in the program (woah), and I’m just now starting to feel the pang of
home sickness[?] I dont even know if home sickness is the right word honestly. All I know is that I really,
really(!!!) miss my mum. I miss my sisters. I miss Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I miss quite a lot of things..
But I don’t wanna go back.
I really don’t wanna go back
The thought itself makes my stomach do a lil ole flip-a- roo. Me…back in North Carolina…
In a mythical, magical realm where everything goes exactly the way (oh boy) I would simply teleport my
fam here. Along with all those food items I’m craving. And my sister’s lil puppy! And, and we would all
stay here for who knows how long and live haPpILY’evafter!
That’ll be sweet.
But it ain’t happening.
And that’s bittersweet.
The yearning for the day I can wander again through the streets and alleyways of Italy has already
begun. It’s a bit annoying. To look at the sunset from my bedroom window and only think “Oh man…imma really miss this once I’m home” To feel this prickling pressure to take as many photos my phone
can store just so I can make sure I retain the memory (I have a crap memory… I even forgot I had to
write this blog post so here I am at 1am writing it. It’s all good though. I’m actually enjoying writing my
But, as I stated in my above tangent, it’s all good though. I’m here. Right now. I learned a bunch of stuff.
I’m still learning. I experienced so, so, so, so so much. And I still have many more days of experiences.
The being I am now is the being that’s here. And that’s good enough for now.
My mum and sisters are doing well (I just video-chatted with them a few days ago). They’ll be there when
I get there. With those goofy smiles on their faces.
Arezzo is where I am now. In a bit I’ll be gone on home. But I’ll be back. Since I would like to think this is
now also my home.
Cateryna Kochan, Muhlenberg College
Ah the comfort zone… where we all like to rest our bodies, finding that deeply imbedded indentation
that we fall back into, slumping happily, lazily. But the potential to be happier Is unlimited when
venturing out of the comfort zone. Maybe I like the comfort zone just as much as the next person. I like
the simplicity of going to class, going to lunch, going to class again, relaxing until dinner, and then doing
my homework before bed. But this semester, while it has been tempting to keep life simple, it is also
tempting to explore. My biggest exploration has probably been the process of the Cabaret Laboratory
(or Cab Lab for short).
You may wonder what this is. Two times a semester, students are able to create, compile, direct, and
stage a cabaret that is put on for the faculty, staff, and all who wish to watch. The number of pieces,
transitions, lighting, etc. are all determined by the students, and even the meetings are relatively
unfacilitated. As you may imagine, this can possibly turn into chaos. But we have been working hard for
that not to happen. Recently we have been thrown into rehearsals for the second cabaret experience
and it has been a whirlwind so far. The first cabaret, I was only in one piece with the other dancers and it
was a very hands-off process since it was completely improvised. But this time I am committed to about
4 pieces, all of which have a very structured process. I am finding that the rehearsal process is so
interesting and the concepts that I am now working with are so unfamiliar to me, yet so fascinating.
Working with peers who are especially knowledgeable in theatre is a very interesting process, I have
found so far, because in a movement sense, they offer so much more varied insight, and in a
performative sense, they have such a vast library of knowledge that, personally, I have been eating up.
With every day and every rehearsal, I find that I learn something new about performance or myself as a
performer. That’s kind of crazy. Even better, I have been spreading my wings into the acting and singing
realms. SO I may say that my comfort zone has been shattered. Annihilated. Destroyed. The only thing in
my comfort zone is the amount of time I have to rest (none).
But here I am. Spending 8+ hours a week making art. Creating. Thinking. And bonding. Even better, we
have the opportunity to work in site specific spaces, or even outside in the Tuscan hills. Nowhere better
for artistically exploring and moving. I am finding that now I am more inspired than ever before. I just
hope that I will have the same ability to create and explore when I get back to Muhlenberg, so I may
continue and share this creativity.
Eddie Harris, Boston University
Crack the sky
Pull teeth from my brain
Wash away the mud from my veins
change change change change
Trickle through the drain,
and make me new.
Matt Guerrera, Muhlenberg College
With less than a month left studying here in Italy, it is important to make the most of your time,
but this can also be the hardest because you are working so hard, both mentally and physically,
and sometimes it can feel impossible to keep up with everything. Below I outline just how to
accomplish conquering homesickness and balancing last minute weekend travel explorations!
1. Put music on in the Sala Danza and DANCE IT OUT!! The best way to overcome
homesickness is to listen to your favorite music and dance however you want!
2. Go into town and sit at a coffee shop and do that dreaded philosophy reading! What’s a
better combination to distract from homesickness than coffee and philosophy? Trust
me…doing philosophy will quickly distract from how homesick you feel.
3. Talking with friends…don’t jump to Facetime just yet! It is important to immerse
yourself in everything happening here in Italy and facetiming with friends back home can
sometimes make your homesickness worse. Sit with someone new at lunch, have a
conversation with someone you haven’t talked to, or just hang out in the living room for a
while (there’s always something going on in there!)
4. Explore a part of Arezzo you’ve never seen before! Yes there are in fact other streets than
Corso. You can find the best hidden gems if you just look for them, and the time you
spend exploring this beautiful town will take away from thinking about home!
5. Call home! Yes it’s ok to do this! In fact…this is extremely important!! Mom, Dad,
sisters, brothers, cats, dogs, grandma’s, grandpa’s etc… all want to know what you are
doing in Italy and it’ll make you feel better to now that you miss all of them just as much
as much as they miss you!
Well that’s how you conquer homesickness, but how can you travel throughout Italy while
you’re stressed about that philosophy reading and afraid of not completing your cablab piece in time.
1. Travel first class! Let me tell you…I took a first class train only once, but I will never go
back to second class after that! It was the most comfortable and enjoyable train ride I’ve
ever taken. For the couple extra euro…I highly recommend it!
2. Plan out your travels!! The worst thing you can do is show up to place and say… “well
what do you want to do.” Do your research and have some ideas in mind of places to go
and things to see beforehand!
3. Eat a pastry and coffee on the go to your train. Eat a big lunch when you first arrive.
Then grab pizza by the slice or chicken taste on the way back to the villa! That’s the best
and cheapest way to still get your necessary 3 meals a day!
4. Don’t book the train with the 20 min layover! Chances are your first train will end up
getting delayed and you will be stuck scrambling to book a new one. Always make sure
you allot at least 30 min between trains (only if necessary)!
5. Tuscany is beautiful and there is so much to explore here! It is not necessary to travel 5+
hours. The best trips are the ones with short distances and beautiful destinations!