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  Cornell University

Cornell in Rome

College of Architecture, Art and Planning

Andiamo, Ragazzi!

This week has been a whirlwind. It was the ‘official’ first week of classes. Most students claim they dread the oncoming workload and monotony of classes, but I think it adds a sense of purpose in my life. School helps me figure out a daily self-maintenance schedule, from which I can decide when to feed myself, when to shower, when to chill with friends, etc. I feel as if my summers always turn into one long day during which I do nothing but snack and binge watch television shows.


But I digress.


The following is my condensed summary of the first week of classes:



Sunday was the Sperlonga beach trip. A more comprehensive account of the voyage can be read here. In short, David The Intern assisted fifteen non-Italians to the beach in Sperlonga. This scenario becomes more complicated once public transportation is introduced. Needless to say, David The Intern was very stressed, but the rest of us had a great time.

Photo By: Julia Cole


Monday marked the first day of school, and with it, the first day of studio. After a quick debriefing of the upcoming semester, we went on a site tour. However, the site was unreachable by foot, so our tour became a scavenger hunt where we tried to find any view of the area through any ‘hole in the wall’ means necessary. That is, literally finding holes in the fifteen-foot wall that separated us from our site.

George and Davide point to the site of the architecture prompt. Photo taken by Stephanie Cheung.
George and Davide point to the site of the architecture prompt.
Photo taken by Stephanie Cheung.



On Tuesday I found myself in the lecture hall, waiting for my Architectural History professor to arrive. The class was ‘The Topographic and Urban History of Rome’, taught by Jan Gadeyne. In my opinion, history professors are either egotistical and dry by nature, making their class a torturous mess of pure historical information, or an enjoyable presence, thus making both their class and history as a whole an entertaining excursion. Jan Gadeyne is the latter of these two. His lecturing style is unique in that he lectures with his eyes closed, a habit that I believe is a mark of one of two things: insanity or genius. He took us to see sites that we would be studying in class. However, since he walked so briskly, the whole class was practically jogging beside him.

Jan Gadeyne Photo by: Stephanie Cheung
Jan Gadeyne
Photo by: Stephanie Cheung



On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, nothing worthy of note happened. I went to class, I did homework, and I practiced my broken Italian. The first week of school was finally over, and with it, the excitement of starting a new year. Nonetheless, the excitement of being in Rome will stay with me until I have to leave.

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