Somehow, yesterday was already the last day of classes for the Temple Rome Spring 2012 semester program. I’m not quite sure how that is possible already, but these last few months have managed to fly by and we are quickly approaching the end of our time in Rome. Yesterday was also the final student art show which had on display the artwork from the various studio classes that the students had worked on for the entire semester. It was a great show. Not only were all the works very impressive, but it was fantastic seeing how Rome inspired so much of the art. Looking at pieces was nostalgic as it brought back memories from earlier in the semester, but was paired with the knowledge that we are all leaving so soon.
There is truly an odd mixture of emotions that everyone is feeling, a mix between excitement, sadness, nostalgia and stress. There is excitement to be going home to family and friends (and especially pets) that are greatly missed, yet a sadness and nostalgia about leaving this amazing city behind, not knowing when we might return again. For those that are not going home right away, but are instead traveling around Italy and Europe, there is excitement for the new adventure they are about to set off on, but stress about where exactly they are going to go and what their living arrangements will be. Then add on the stress of final exams and one has an interesting range of emotions flowing through them.
Regardless of where people are going after April 22nd, everyone is trying to take in as much of Rome as possible. This means taking walks just for the sake of being in the city, eating gelato every day since it is so much cheaper here and soon will not be accessible on every street corner, trying every pastry in the 24 Hour Bakery (located on the way to school, a dangerous situation!), or simply sitting next to the Coliseum at night to take in its beauty and the fact that Rome was our home for all this time. Over the next week of finals, in addition to studying of course, I will be making my last visits to my favorite places in Rome: the small outdoor markets I love to find on random side streets, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, the cat sanctuary, and the quiet park outside of the Castle Saint Angelo.
I will also try to eat at some of the restaurants that are still on my list (there are a lot!). I know I will not make it to all of them, but I will take the time to enjoy the total experience of dining in Rome and the Italian food culture that has grown to be a part of Italy that I truly appreciate. I’d better get to it.