Small Classes

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As classes here at Temple Rome wind down, I have found myself getting a bit nostalgic for all the amazing moments that have happened in my classes this past semester. The classroom has always been a special place for me; it’s typically in a classroom where I feel most comfortable, and have an enormous amount of fun. Okay, so maybe I’m a bit nerdy and a little weird, but if that’s how I feel in a classroom, then I guess it makes sense that I want to be a teacher! One of my favorite things about Temple Rome has been the small class sizes, and it’s something I will come to miss.

The largest class I’m in has about 20 people, and the smallest has 6. This may seem like a big range, but I love it. In all of my classes, I have come to learn everyone’s name, which is different from a big lecture you may have back home, and we all have all learned a bit more about each other. My political science class, a special seminar called ‘Race, Immigration, and Identity in Italy’ has seven people, and we meet twice a week. Since we are a seminar class, each class is a discussion, rather than a lecture. In addition, for each class, we take turns rotating which student will lead the discussion. I have come to grow so fond of this practice, because it’s cool to see all the different types of learning/presenting styles, and I’ve enjoyed learning how to prepare myself for leading an effective discussion.

Last week, my ‘Race, Immigration, and Identity’ class went to Piazza Vittorio Emmanuele to have discussion outside. We study the immigrant experience in Rome, and Piazza Vittorio was a great place to meet because it correlated with the book we read for that week and located right by Termini train station, which is a popular hub and meeting place for immigrants. We sat outside and had class, and it was one of those “everything is great” moments. I looked around and loved hearing everyone contribute their ideas, and when we finished, our professor looked at us and said, “Okay, mangiare,” which means “to eat” in Italian. We all agreed in excitement and headed out.

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Luckily for us, one of our classmates had eaten at an Indian restaurant nearby, so we headed over there. It was such a treat to get to eat a a type of food I haven’t had in a while; don’t get me wrong, of course Italian food is great, but it’s good to mix things up every now and then!! After we all ordered and received our food, we dug in. For two of our classmates, it was their first time eating Indian food (ever), so we made sure to pass plenty of naan and mango lassi over to them. I loved sitting around the table with all my classmates and professor; the conversation went beyond academics, and instead, we all sat and took genuine interest in each other’s lives. And our professor even talked about how he’s sad that we will be leaving soon!

In just a few months, we have built a community, and I’m excited to stay friends with the people I’ve met here in Rome. Since I don’t go to Temple back home, staying in touch will obviously be a bit more difficult, but if we can make it in Rome, we can make it anywhere! I’m starting to get excited to see where everyone’s senior years will bring them, and I’ve already started planning for my reunion trips up to Temple Main Campus. Thank goodness for the small classes I’ve been a part of— I really will miss learning and living in Rome with these people!!

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