Things that make me happy: Receiving letters from my mother (with socks... Dobby much?) and MARIECUS. It literally made my afternoon. Not only was it soggy with sassiness, it was practically angelic prose. And I can't wait to respond. It's already begun.
Part 2: Skyping with Sonja and Vanessa. Separately, but wonderful all the same. It's like my life as it would be if I wasn't in Rome.
Part 3: Eating delicious Gnocchi made by Erica. That means that I didn't have to cook. Yay!
Now for the real news of the day, and I've been thinking about this post for a large chunk of time. Honest.
I'm going to tell you a little story about Charles, and subsequently, my assumptions about all degree seeking students here.
Charles is in my Gaga class. (That's Ancient Greek Art and Archaeology for those of you not paying attention) Charles is a fairly tall man with a full beard and often wears a beret when not in class. He is the kind of individual who will physically move a chair to the front and center of the room just so he can sit there. This also means that he is often the only one in the front row of a classroom. But far be it from me to criticize his enthusiasm for learning. As I was sitting down I peered over his shoulder and noticed that the header of his paper was written backwards. We're talking mirror image (including the formation of letters) with the title of the class. I figure, hey, he's been here for a while and got bored. Fine, whatever. We've all been that bored kid in church or homeroom. I get it.
This is where things get freaky.
Part way through class, I noticed that he was left handed. Ok, cool. I know some sweet left-handed people. But I don't know anyone who... TAKES NOTES BACKWARDS! What!!?!?!?!?! That's the most absurd thing I've ever seen in my life. Legitimately writes backwards. Think Leonardo da Vinci in English. Except I don't think this Charles character is a genius... that I know of.
Speaking of good old Leo. In my Italian High Renaissance class (see what no nick name does? It makes you read all of that plus my asides. How not fun is that?) Professor Smyth (not a joke) talked about how Leonardo would follow the strange looking people all day just so he could sketch them when he got home. Awesome? Yes. Would he follow Charles? Probably. Is Charles an Alien? Very likely. (I feel like this entire thing could be filled out a la scantron. A) Yes. B)Very Likely. C)Sometimes. D) Not Likely. E) No.)
But seriously, who takes pages (PAGES) of notes writing backwards!?!?! Who? Only aliens do that. It's the only plausible explanation for this strange occurrence. Like crop circles. People? No way. Aliens? Almost certainly. This brings me to my degree seeking student bit. In this particular class, there are 3 (including Charles) current degree seeking students (this means that unlike the study abroad kids who are there for a semester/year, these people are there all 4 years.) And I think there are two freshmen who are degree seekers as well. I'm not really counting them because they are almost as clueless about JCU/Rome as the study abroad kids (side note on these two, one of them is literally named Chloe R. I'm never sure how to take this because we often sit next to each other. So my Chloe R, pay attention). And if you throw Charles into that group of three, you have: A girl I can't understand who gave a presentation I couldn't understand with pen on her face, a girl who is supposed to be in multiple classes of mine and shows up late to all of them, if at all, and a degree seeking alien who takes notes backwards. By this point I just keep playing the "I'm going camping" game. During one specific bus ride to somewhere in the middle of nowhere, Cadi took a turn and listed (and correct me if I'm wrong): light up shoes, radio towers, Natalie, that car, and her cat. What can you bring camping? Anything that Cadi thought might have been an alien. Well I'm going camping, and I'm bringing Charles.