Posts Tagged ‘body’

This post is the final post that will primarily focus on my time in Italy and all of the introspection that I did while I was over there. To start off I would like to thank all of the people there who helped me with my roller coaster of emotions: Camelo, Dane, Justin, Matt, Brent, Britta, Sofia, and Cecilia. Thank you all for being there for me when I was not at my best and for bringing me up to my new best, I want to thank you all of all that you  guys have done for me. Next I would like to thank my teachers, Darryl and John, for being great professors and instructing me in ways that greatly helped me with my designs and growth as a future architect. I would like to thank our providers, Mirko and Eugenia, for being there to help us with adjusting and for giving us so many great opportunities. Emily and Inga, pretty much the only friends we made over there, thank you so much for being our friends, and for being my friend. And finally, I would like to thank my parents for giving me the opportunity to be able to go off and travel and grow as a person this semester.

Now though, my final analysis of Italy. Italy is a country with a rich history, wonderful food, slightly lazy people, and the best coffee you will ever have. The city of Urbino was a great place to work and study in with its strong history and great atmosphere, even though it was a college town. We were able to use the city as a template for our designs and figure out what it all meant in a historical sense and in a modern way as well. The architecture is unparalleled there and I wish I could go back and live in those cities for the rest of my life, but I first need to learn Italian so I don’t piss off as many people. If any of you want to travel to Europe in general, I recommend Italy, but not just the tourist places that you will go to. Make sure you go to all of the less known cities and really delve into them, even if it’s just for a day. Do it. All of our day trips while we were there were just amazing, and were some of the best times that I had during my time in Italy.

During the course of trying to actually get down all of my thoughts and critiques on Italy, I have come to realize that it is nearly impossible to describe everything that I have done, experienced, seen, felt, and so on that I am unable to continue critiquing Italy. All I can say about my time is there is that it was the best time of my life, and I would love to go back for any reason and experience it again. It has changed me and returning to the states now I have come back a new and better person from everything, so much so that I will once again be able to call myself The Architect.

Now that I have been back in the states for a week, I have experienced a few things that I would like to talk about. The first is trying to find a new home, ie, trying to find an apartment in San Antonio so I don’t live out of my car while going to school. It has not been fun because even though I am a full time student, that means I am over-qualified to rent most of the apartments in the downtown area, meaning I have to keep going farther and farther out. I get really annoyed by that, that I am over-qualified just because I am a full time student, that my money is not good enough to get me a room somewhere so I can go to school more cheaply. No, instead I have to go farther out where the rent is higher and thus making the apartment less viable for me. So the apartment wars continue.

I have also taken up to seeing Tori on a fairly regular basis now, and actually went out on a real date with her, which was one of the best ones I have been on in the past five years. We’ve watched movies, talked for hours on end about anything and everything that comes up, and we don’t talk every day about nothing, which keeps our conversations interesting and the “spark” there as well. Though I don’t think that was ever a spark, I lit a wildfire at the first go. All I know is that regardless of what happens, I have one of my best friends back, I am the least nervous I have been in a decade, and I have smiled the most in the last week than I think I have in my entire life. I know that whether I am at my highest or my lowest, I am the most insufferable person to be around and interact with. My standards are the highest they’ve ever been, both for the people around me and for myself to live up to, and they are the greatest challenges I have ever given myself.

I am good. I am the Black Knight. I am The Exile. I am The Architect.

Whatever the risk, still onward.

-The Architect

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Today we had the architects from Milan come in and critique our work. I think it went really well, even though I still suck at explaining my designs and everything that is going on in them. They said I should revisit Scarpa for my designs again and stop my rectilinear designs and start working more with the site. I should start working on trying to create more dynamic forms instead of interesting boxes. They also gave me some ideas of turning my colossal columns into things that could mimic or represent the trees on the site that I am still not allowed to get rid of. I think I’m going to look for some precedents for the actual column trees; I’m thinking I’ll use one of the gardens in Japan or China I think it is. Other than that, I’ve been listening to more of my classical music to help calm me down more and just chill me out and I have been talking to Sarah still. We’ve been getting to know each other more and more, she seems really nice and pretty chill and it’s been the highlight of the past week or so for me.

We went touring through some of the projects in the city with the architects from Milan today. It was a lot of long walks and brief lectures, but pretty good for getting some ideas. Urbino has a lot of interesting buildings and different kinds of entrance and exits that put you out into amazing parts of the city. Afterward we got kebabs for lunch and then proceeded to go back and finish out our day as usual before turning in to get ready for our Rome trip that starts tomorrow morning. At 6am, sharp.

Note, the next post will be made after I return and will be analyzing Rome as a whole.

Whatever the risk, still onward.

-The Exile

Sunday evening I started unfriending people I don’t talk to or never have talked to, and also started looking into my travel plans for the Thanksgiving break. While going through my friends list and pruning I came to realize so many things about people, one of which was that anyone who was in theatre was just fucked up afterwards.

Dawn of the whatever day, 40 days remain. That’s right, I only have a bit more than a month left in Europe before I make it back to the states and start my next chapter. Though we must now continue to analyze Europe and all of its effects on me and how I relate that back to western society. Our first history and theory class with just Daryl was today, and we looked at an author who was neither an architect nor a scholar, and thus was an annoying pompous ass in all of our opinions. Once we managed to get through the discussion and Daryl pissing me off about roman numerals (he wouldn’t let me see the damn numbers long enough to read it and said mean things to us for not knowing them [I was the only fucking person who could get the damn thing!]) we made it to lunch and then on to measuring the site for our exhibition project. While we were measuring the site it began to rain, but Daryl just pulled out his umbrella and watched us freeze to get the ruddy dimensions. Afterwards I managed to grab a cappuccino with him and discuss part of the future Rome trip. Once we made it back to the studio we all got together to discuss our form diagrams that we were working on and get a sort of grasp on what we were trying to accomplish for our project. After we made it through class we all went to dinner and then I spent the next 6 hours talking to Tori, and finally going back to my room at 1am.

I found some extra blankets last night to keep me warm because it has become near freezing here (not kidding, last night was 37°F) and in a room that has spiders and cracks between windows, walls, and doors, you kind of need them. So I finally rolled out of bed and got dressed in time to make it to my watercolor class where we sketched and rendered the library below our studio. The process was alright, and of course my render didn’t turn out quite the way I wanted it to, but it wasn’t the worst thing I’ve produced while being here. I’m started to feel a bit alienated from the rest of the people, and I think it’s because I’ve been having some fairly intense moods recently. Cecilia is still an annoying bitch, Sofia’s views confuse me, Britta is a quiet neutral party, Dane is always nice, Brent is more of a sarcastic ass than usual, Justin is quiet as always, Camelo is less talkative and social than he was before, Matt still has an annoying personality, and I keep having extreme moods that persist for the entire day. I am either antisocial and get annoyed and mad at everything everyone does, or I’m light of heart, but quiet, or I’m apathetic to everything around me. And then while I was applying shadow to my drawings I came to the thought that my father is getting older and may not be around to see the man I become and the accomplishments that he would be proud of. I guess I’m just starting to doubt everything that I’m doing and if I can actually get it done for it to matter the most to me. Pair that with the constant cigarette smoke clawing at my will power and we have a great cocktail at the moment for me.

Midway through the week and my mood is still like a yo-yo at the moment. I’ve been stuck with my designs for the exhibition space we are supposed to design for the city, so I’ve been going crazy. Besides that I’ve been trying to not be as mean, but failing at that, and talking to a few people online.

Thursday was mainly a work day, except for the fact that we all went out and drank in the city. This made me confirm the fact that I am not a party person and going out on the town is definitely not for me. After I went back early I posted on Facebook that I did not enjoy my time out, and this then sprung Cecilia taking it upon herself to “correct” it and make sure the future people who come don’t get the wrong impression. This mostly boiled down to her saying I’m not fun and am boring. Well she needs to mind her own fucking business and quick harping on my personality and mood at the moment or else she’ll finally hear all the shit that I keep back out of courtesy.

Today was mainly sleeping in and doing a bit of studio work, but we also managed to go to the cemetery to do some much needed sketching and relaxing during our studio time slot. Other than that, I think my anger is getting away from me, I’m going to need to find some kind of physical outlet or things might not go well for the rest of the time that I’m here.

Today was the day of the hike that everyone else took, so I was able to stay at the studio and get some much needed “me” time. I got some good design work done and now I have the overall concept statement for my project: The Floating Room. I think it’s going to turn out really well if I can manage to get the floor plans to work out. I’ve also been talking to another girl, and she seems really cool. We like a lot of the same things and she doesn’t give me stupid three word responses. It’s actually really brightened up my mood, which is good for the rest of the studio as well, that way I’m much less of a dick. Besides that I just kind of relaxed and ate oreos for most of the day.

Continued conversations with Sarah today, things seem to be going really well. I really like talking to her, she has something to say about all of the stuff we talk about, making it much easier to keep the conversation going. I’ve also had a long day or working on my project; I am starting to fix some of the problems with the design, but I don’t know what all I’m going to show the architects tomorrow for my critique. Things seem to be getting more focused as we start getting closer to the end of the semester, and it’s beginning to make posting harder because I have less to think about or talk about because I’m getting tunnel vision for my project.

Whatever the risk, still onward.

-The Exile

Day one of the overlap of my professors has begun, and to start things off, we had Daryl critique our work for our contextual buildings. Guess who he started with first. Yup, mine. Though I have to say I wasn’t overly self-conscious about the critique this time around because I think I had more confidence in my designs. The critique went fairly well, there were some things that he said that I agreed with and I liked that he thought of this project as a “in progress” project and not a finished product. He went on to say what we should consider in the next phases of the design if we were to continue with the project instead of moving on to the next one as we are doing now. After that we were given our next projects, which seems kind of like a blow off because it’s a PowerPoint presentation about one of Kahn’s buildings and how it relates back to classicism. Overall, class went well today, mainly because we didn’t really have to do anything for it, so we could still recover from our travels the previous week. After class we hit up the supermarket to get some snacks and stuff for the studio since we cleaned everything out before we left, so of course I bought all of the Oreos and a couple bottles of wine for myself. We finished the night off with dinner and an episode of The Newsroom, with one of my bottles of wine. I also managed to get a reply from Tori again, so I think there is promise in reconnecting, and hopefully patching things as best as possible.

Today I was able to go into the studio early and just be by myself for a while with the internet and have some calm time to read and work and relax. Once that was over though I had to have lunch with my professors because I was driving with them to our site today for our watercolor and drawing class. Cecelia tried to kick me out of the car because she wanted all of the girls in it, but I wasn’t having any of that shit today, especially not an hour before we had to leave. So we made it to the site, which was a house designed by Giancarlo De Carlo, and we had to primarily do sections of the building. Sections have never been my strong suit, but it was good practice, and most of them turned out well. Afterwards we hiked back to school since we apparently missed the bus, and then we all hit the studio to work on our summaries. While working I decided to have scotch again, though the last time I had it was in Siena when I lost my keys to the hotel room, so I cut it with some OJ to make it less intense and relaxed while working. That was until Tori was on Tumblr and I got a chance to have a real conversation with her. Got to say she really brightened up not only my day, but the past few months for me. I had really missed talking to her, and I had missed the closeness. I won’t lie or hide it here, I still have feelings for her, but I’m not going to push that unless she wants to and I have a fair idea that she doesn’t, but time will tell. But just the talking has really helped me feel better, and not because I was buzzed for part of the conversation like my studio thinks.

The day starts off with a bomb. History and Theory was tanked by my apparently incorrect analysis of the previous readings, which made it so I didn’t want to talk for the rest of class, which affects my grade. So that went spectacularly, but afterwards we all grabbed lunch and then started working on our presentations for Friday over our Kahn buildings. Well I just kind of messed around on the internet while working until Daryl finally showed up (2 hours late), to give us some direction and critique what we had done so far for our projects. He said I should really look into the structure, materials, and the Ten Canons for my building. After a while Tori came online so I started talking to her for the rest of my day, talking about my trips and tell her stories of the things I had done, the people I had met, the experiences I had, just everything. I kept on going on and on about it all, showing her pictures, and just talking about it all. She occasionally chimed in with her own comments or suggestions or stories about what I was talking about, but I had to ask most of the time for her to share things about what she was doing or thinking for the most part. We started talking about the different things we would do when I got back into town, and now that I’m thinking about it I’m starting to get a little concerned. Not in a bad way like I’m doing something awful, but because the last time I had plans similar to these was when I was engaged. I know they are fairly short term for the most part compared to what I had been used to planning, but it just seems like the things I’d want to plan with a significant other. It works as friends, but I think I’m already treading a thin line with my emotions as it is, but I just don’t want things to crop up in me and then ruin the friendship because she doesn’t want anything more. The plans make me excited for when I get back; make it so I’m not relying on eHarmony for some hope when I get back. I might be over thinking all of this, but food for my brain right now. I’ll keep on the friend side of things until I actually see her again because that’s what’s the most important, but if I get the chance, I’m taking it like I never did before.

So today was our day off, so I woke up early thinking I could do my laundry and maybe make it into town and get the hat I’ve been eyeing for a while and maybe sit in a café and sketch for a bit. Then I remembered we had an essay due the next day over Kahn’s writings, and a presentation to create and prepare for class tomorrow as well, so there went all hope of having a free day. So I spent most of the morning cleaning my room and taking a shower so I could avoid work for a while, but then I finally had to head into the studio and actually start my readings and essay. After a while I finished up my essay and kept working on my presentation until Tori got up and we started talking about Fallout Boy rumors not being true, her job, and then went into my goal of becoming the most interesting man in the world. That discussion also led to me asking if I could join her at church once, so I could understand religion and beliefs more not only for broadening my view, of figuring out what it’s all about. I was tired of limiting myself by my selective knowledge of things, so I made a big choice in my life with that goal. The following is what I actually said about the idea:

“Well I got kind of annoyed with my limited scope of knowledge that I had to engage people with. I had limited experiences, limited thoughts, and limited views. So I couldn’t engage with people the way that I really wanted to. I was tired of being quiet for a lot of a conversation, waiting until I found something of interest to say about something I didn’t know/care about. So I kept seeing the commercials for Dos Equis and thought, “huh, that guy, though fictional, has done so much, and can thus talk about so much.” After some thought on the matter, I asked my dad how I could become the most interesting man in the world, and he said to let him think on it. So I waited, until I spoke to my uncle, the scholar, and realized that he could talk to anyone about anything because of all the books he’s read, experiences he’s had, and opportunities he’s taken. So I decided that’s what I was going to do. I wasn’t going to limit myself to just architecture, videogames, and sex, but instead know everything. Culture myself to the point of impossibility.”

Also, just as a side note for this, I would like to add that the girls went out for Britta’s birthday, which is fine, it’s their choice even though we have a project due tomorrow. Whatever. What is not fine is them coming back at 3:30 in the morning being loud and waking me up, and yes this is because they woke me up. I don’t care if no one else woke up, the fact that they woke me up is all that matters and they are lucky that Matt made it outside before I did because they would have had it from me. End note. Back to trying to sleep.

I start with my realizations about my life up to this point, to the point of day 500 in my own life. I went through my growth as I reflected on what Brent said last night, commenting on fictional books title for architects, one being “10 Ways Your Ego Destroys Your Building.” Ego, big word for an architect, because we are sort of the all-knowing people of the world, similar to scholars, but on an even grander scale. I started to think about how my ego has changed over the years, from middle school, to high school, and now to college and my real life. I’ve seen the birth of my ego when I was president of the Gaming Guild in middle school, the way I had power, responsibility and the joy of leadership. Then I moved on to high school, losing all of my power and leadership, and having to start at the bottom of the ladder again. Slowly I moved up the ladder of the theatre community and thus my ego began to grow again, but this time, with the inclusion of women. I think that was part of the folly of my ego was the fact that I let getting attention from women go to my head so much. Once my ego was in full bloom in high school, I had to move on and go to college and pick a major, so of course I pick the major that goes with the largest ego. Now though, through all of my experiences, I have humbled myself; I have taken my experiences in life and seen what I gained from them. As an architect, I must be conceited and egotistical, but in life I must be humble. So now, I see I am Tom from 500 Days of Summer, taking part in the longest day in history. The 500th day of Summer is where I am in life, just before entering the front door to the firm I am applying to, just before the best part.

Today we took a trip with Daryl and Mirko to San Marino and San Leo. San Marino was pretty cool because it is technically its own country, so it has its own laws and stuff, but it is really just an Italian town. We explored some of the castles there and had just a grand time of it all while we were there. After that we headed to San Leo, another cool, yet small town where I got the chance to venture off some and do some much needed sketching for myself. Once we had our fill of San Leo we headed back to Urbino so we could all eat dinner and watch the Newsroom to relax. Afterwards, though,  things kind of went south with my mood because the internet has been broken here, meaning I couldn’t check my e-mails so I could stay up to date with my parents, eHarmony and school related things. Also meant that I couldn’t talk to Tori today, so I think that might have a bigger impact on me while I’m here than I’m giving it credit (and I’m already giving it a lot of credit). I don’t know, I always get mad at the smaller things, or Cecilia, rather than the larger things in life. I just don’t understand why I get so mad at all of the little inconveniences in life rather than the stuff that has more of an impact on me. I just worry about myself with everything that’s been going on with me evolving and becoming the man I want to be rather than the man I was forced to be. Will this change me too much that I can’t relate back to people anymore? Will I still be able to have a relationship that works? Will I still function in the world or will I be the guy that people introduce as a high-functioning sociopath? I’m worried that one of these days I won’t be in control of my anger and thoughts anymore and instead the Hulk within will take over and release all that I have pent up inside. I’m slowly working to get rid of all of the stuff that I have pent up in me, and I’m making decent progress on it. I am almost done resolving the main stuff that everyone knows about, I’m about to start my next attempt at quitting, and I’m getting back to reality and life again.

So I woke up today and realized that day light savings time had taken effect, so I actually got an extra hour of sleep. After a bit of procrastinating, I finally managed to go ahead and do my readings and finish up my summaries so I could have the rest of the day to work on my design work and see if I could find some working wifi here. This post will be finished before the day is actually done, because I want to see if I can still write poetry at all and to finish my design work.

Whatever the risk, still onward.

-The Exile

So this post is to apologize for not posting like I should have been, but I have not had a single free weekend since I’ve been here. So to make up for that I will be giving a brief overview of everything I have done of interest since my last post. So to begin I will start with the fact that I joined eHarmony and have been trying to see what is out there in the world of online dating and what not. So far I have put myself out there for a few times and trying to see what happens. So far I have seen that a couple people have some interest, but not as much as I was hoping.

Besides that I have been to Venice for one of our free weekends. It was a great time, but it really is the Disneyland of Italy. It was full of tourists and a lot of angry Italian because there were so many tourists.

Weekend after that we hit the Tuscany region. We stayed in Siena, but also travelled to Florence, Pienza, and another small town. Over the course of the trip, I went to a wine tasting, enjoyed life, got drunk and lost the keys to my hotel room, and feel really embarrassed about the whole thing.

Whatever the risk, still onward.

-The Exile

I had my first classes today, starting with my history and theory class for architecture. It was a fairly standard class, sit there, listen, and maybe talk about the material we had read the day before. The material was pretty interesting because we read older texts concerning architecture and the patterns and forms in it. On the readings focused on the idea of modules and construction of the orders, which was pretty interesting because it went into the stories behind why the orders were the way they were. After class we met up with Emily, one of the other American students who are studying here, and had lunch in the cafeteria. We mainly discussed the current green movement in Italy and why it came about here the way it has. We basically concluded that it came about due to the limited resources here and was out of necessity rather than desire to actually do it. After lunch we met up in the city to start our first studio project, an analysis of the orders using one of the buildings in town as an example of what the usual ideas behind them are and how they can change while still falling within the norms of the order. We were given a building that used the Doric order except that it didn’t have a base for its column. The building itself is actually not the detailed, and we were divided into groups so we could further divide up the drawings, making it so each of us only has to do one drawing and then trace the others from our group members. After we finished our analysis I hit up the grocery store as it opened and picked up a bottle of Disaronno and some snacks for the studio. The evening descended into working in the studio for a while and then a night of rough sleep on my bed.

We had our first watercolor class today outside of the studio. We did a fairly rigid wash on a transfer drawing we did the day before of a painting that a famous artist I had never heard of had painted. By the end of class I had a sunburn and kind of shitty piece of artwork to show for my three hours of class time. After we finished our class work we all went into town to look at our buildings for our studio projects and make sure that we had all of the details and measurements that we needed. Once we finished our analysis of the buildings we all seemed to go to the art store at the same time to go and look around, something I do not recommend people do if they ever come over here because I think they get mad when all of us go in and look around and then leave with nothing. We were trying to figure out the paper situation, but that didn’t get resolved so we’ll have to do that tomorrow or something. We went back to the studio after we had dinner and worked on our studio projects, I pretty much finished mine because our building isn’t that complicated in plan view, though the rest of the drawings are more detailed. While working on my drawing I opened up a bottle of wine and had some for the rest of the night. By the end of the night, I had basically had the entire bottle, so while working on my summaries I had to make very certain of what I was typing and how it related back to my work. I wasn’t drunk, just kind of tipsy by the time I left to go to bed for the evening. It was a pretty good day, a part from the sunburn.

We had an interesting discussion of previous projects in the history and theory class today, and I actually talked during this class, unlike the first one, so go me. After class we all went into town to figure out the paper situation and to actually get what we need so people can shut up about having the wrong things or using the wrong paper. Best part of the day though was while I was in the art store because I actually went ahead and bought my fountain pen that I wanted. It came with blue ink so I’ve been practicing with it and see what it is actually like to use one and to get used to the color. While we were in town we had lunch at a local place, at which we all got kebabs with picante sauce, which was just amazing. As we were walking out of town we also picked up a couple of lemon pastry things that were again, delicious. Before heading back to the studio, I went back to my dorm room to use the bathroom, and while there the maids knocked on my door and wanted to clean the room and change my sheets. Well I couldn’t exactly have a conversation with them saying to come back later, so I just told them not thank you. They left after that, which leaves me with the same sheets that I’ve had since I got here, which isn’t bad, but it would be nice to have some clean ones now. After all of our food we hit the studio hard and plowed through our drawings again, only to find that some of the measurements we took were wrong, so we had to go back into the city and take new measurements of the building which was time consuming and annoying. Annoying mainly because Cecilia kept saying “I told you” and “should have done it the way I said” and other crap that was just annoying. The main measurement that was wrong for the building was the repetitive brick pattern measurement we did. We measured one brick and thought that all the bricks were uniform and thus made the pattern easy to measure. Well, it turns out that the bricks are different sizes, but the overall pattern is uniform. It was just really annoying because she kept thinking that she knew what she was talking about, but she really didn’t when it came to the measurements, because even if we had measured one of the other bricks we still would have drawn it wrong because of the irregularity in the bricks. So that just got annoying, but the redo of the drawing was easy for me since I still had the plan view. The rest of the day was pretty normal, just some studio time and internet for the most part, I practiced with my new fountain pen some and updated my Tumblrs. We are meeting up in the morning tomorrow to finish our drawings and start the transfers so we can have a three day weekend and enjoy ourselves some more while we’re here, probably hitting the town some and go grape picking at a winery or something.

Well we all made it into the studio around 9:30am to get to work on our projects, only to have a few hours pass and all of us decide that we didn’t want to have class today and instead have studio on the right day. So Camelo called up John and told him about what we had all decided on, and then we all kind of relaxed for a bit and took things more slowly so we could enjoy our day. It was raining most of the day so we ended up not going out, which was kind of a bummer because I had wanted to see what all of the hype was about for Thursday nights here. We also went to the store today to pick up some snacks and to get some more wine (at least that was the main reason I went) and other liqueurs, but since it was raining, the dirt path we usually take to get to the store close by had turned into a mudslide. We all ended up with some form of mud stuck to our shoes and pants by the time we actually made it back to the studio. So instead we all ended up drinking some wine and watching movies and TV shows together. After that we all were tired and just kind of went off to bed. I’ve been keeping myself busy with Tumblr, drawing, and hanging out with everyone here, which I think has been good for the part. Whenever people go out to do or get anything, I go with them, which has been nice for the most part, but I’m kind of hoping that nothing actually happens this weekend so I can just kind of relax for a bit and maybe just explore town and eat some good food there. The first two weeks here have been really jam packed with things to do and see and eat, and I kind of want to keep looking through the town for all of the little food stores and shops. I also found a hat store in town! A legitimate store that sold only hats and things relating to hats. It looks really cool, and they have a bowler hat!!

We all met up in the studio early Friday so we could keep working on our drawings and readings, until John showed up for class and we all started to do our ink washes. They went well for the most part, but we all really didn’t enjoy defacing our wonderful drawings with our subpar watercolor skills. Afterwards we all went to dinner and then went back to the studio and watched movies. And when I say we in this case, I mean everyone but me. I just didn’t feel like sitting around watching a movie, so instead I stayed in the other room doing my usual things, drinking wine and cruising the internet for interesting things. After a while I went back to my room and just kind of relaxed before going to sleep for the night.

Today we explored the town of Urbino and the markets that were going on to see if we could find anything really cool or interesting to get. While exploring some of the guys got scarves for their girlfriends, which I tend to avoid all conversation about or leaning towards out of the fact that I still don’t enjoy other people being happy yet. I’m getting better on the whole being alone thing though, still not past that undeniable fear of truly being alone, but still making progress. Back to the city though! We went around the walls of the city and ended up outside the walls a couple times, which confused us because we had been on top of the walls the whole time, but we got some great photos and had a really good time. We also encountered this old woman who we think was trying to tell us she was a professor of Italian and English at the university, which we didn’t really buy because she never said a word of English to us. We went to get kebabs again at the place we went before, and then got some gelato to help finish off our lunch. The we all made it back to the studio again to keep working on our summaries for Monday and generally try to get some actual work done.

Today was a very special day, we went out with Eugenia and Mirko around the Marche region of Italy and see all of the sights that we could for a day. We went to the coast and looked at the water and the cities along there and got lunch at a great bar that over looked the water from a cliff side. After lunch we explored a castle for a while, but only Mirko yelled at the ticket lady for not letting us in for free because we were architecture students. She wouldn’t do it because it didn’t say architecture on our student IDs, which we all thought was stupid, I mean who goes up to you and says (translated correctly) “We are students of architecture and would like admission”? It was really annoying. So after we explored the castle we went and looked at some birds and actually practiced some Falconry! I asked Eugenia if I could after Camelo had asked, I’m getting better about this trying things and being more open-minded I think. Once we finished with the Falconry we all went back to Urbino to keep working on our summaries. While driving around the country though, I got to experience Mirko’s driving and how people drive in Italy in general. It was really cool, and I would like to correct what I tell people about why I don’t like having other people drive. I don’t like riding with bad drivers. Mirko knew what he was doing and knew exactly what his car could do, it was actually pretty relaxing, he turned on the radio and we all just talked about what we saw and what we thought. The rest of the day was devoted to summaries and killing zombies to chill before leaving the studio to sleep and indulge my internet needs.

Whatever the risk, still onward.

-The Exile

It has begun, my journey has started. It began when I first started with the plane rides with my professor over to Rome where we met up with the rest of the students. When we first got there we had to wait for another plane to come in with them on it, so John (my professor, he asked us to call him John) and I went and had a cappuccino at the bar (bars are different here). It was the most glorious thing I have ever tasted, the milk was steamed properly, and the coffee was just beautiful. They really do have a totally different culture here when it comes to coffee, I have been experiencing it every day since I got here. After a while the plane came in and we all grouped together to get our train ticket to go to the bus depot where we would then catch the four hour bus to Urbino. During the trip I told the story of my relationship to Cecilia and we had a nice conversation about what laid before everyone and how it was going to help and change us all. Once we made it to Urbino, we went to the university where we got dinner and our dorm rooms. The room is alright, it has the essentials: bed, desk, chair, shower, and toilet. We all ended up in the studio after everything so we could all use the internet and contact our loved ones and family. Well part way through Camelo plugged something in wrong and basically blew up the internet. I’m not kidding, there was a loud pop when he plugged it in and it just killed the whole socket he tried and the internet, all in one go. So after that we all started to fade and drift off back to our rooms to sleep for the night.

The next day consisted of a lot of tours around the actual city of Urbino, guided by John and Eugenia (one of the providers) and her husband Mirko. This introduced us to the hill we would be going up and down most of the time we wanted to do anything in town. It is a steep, slick hill that does not lend itself to high heels, and gets really annoying after the first billion times you have to go up it. We looked at the art store in town first so we would know where we could get supplies and stuff for our classes to come. They took us around the city to see what all there was to do and what the city had to offer us. For lunch they took us out to a local restaurant where they served wine and pasta and just so many amazing dishes for us to enjoy while we talked amongst ourselves. After dinner we continued touring the city and finding out so much about it and seeing all of the different amazing buildings that the Duke was a part of. Once we finished our tours and everything, we were left to our own devices. We ended up having gelato in the main piazza, which is just beautiful might I add. The day ended with us having dinner together in the cafeteria and going to the studio to once again mess with the internet. It’s interesting to see how much we all depend on it, and it is a little depressing that we depend on it so much now.

The next day we went on more tours (we were starting to get tired of tours at this point, and because our feet hurt so much) of the city except with a woman who may be giving us Italian lessons later on so that we can better understand and talk to people. We took a break in one of the bars to have a cappuccino, though I had an espresso to help keep me going. There was a woman working in the bar who wanted to practice her English and basically told us about when people go out in the city, which is Thursday here, and how they would love to see us there again.

Well we actually went out on Friday because we had been too tired the previous day. This was my first time actually going out and drinking socially with friends, and to go out with drinking at all with people, so it was an interesting experience. We started off at the bar in which we encountered the woman who told us about going out during the week. I started with a nice glass of scotch, but after that we had what they told us was “Tequila Boom Boom”. This was basically just a bit of a mix of tequila with something else to lessen the strength. It was also my first time doing tequila shots, but it went well for the most part. Once we finished up at that bar went looking around for another and ended up in one that was just across the piazza. I tried to order a scotch and soda, but they just couldn’t get and I couldn’t help them, so I caved and just got a gin and tonic. After a bit I started to loosen up and talk more to people about things that I was thinking and feeling. I ended up telling Sofia that I wouldn’t mind getting to know Britta more, but that I figured I didn’t have a chance for two reasons: one being that she was twenty-seven, and two being because she was vibing up another guy in the group. Once the night was basically over we started to head back to the dorms, but on the way there I just instantly sobered up and became really self-conscious about everything I had said and done while out with everyone. So I hung back for a bit and then just walked at the end of the group not saying much until we reached the dorms.

Now we come to the weekend! John took us to Pesaro and basically just stuck around long enough to show us the beach and how to get on the train if we needed to or wanted to so we could travel. After that he helped us figure out hotels so we could get that taken care of before we went off to the beach. So once John parted ways with us we all grabbed a bite to each at a local café, this time it was a café, though it did seem pretty close to a bar. We had an amazing meal there of some sort of penino or something, which had uncooked ham, cheese, and tomatoes on it. Afterwards we walked along the beach until we found the free section of it and set up camp for the day and play in the water. It was so beautiful there and so much fun. The water was perfect, the sand felt amazing, and everyone was having a blast. There were parts, though, where I just kind of sat and thought about life and where I was going and where I had been. I was a lot quieter than I had been the previous night because I was still self-conscious about it all. I decided to stay the night with a few people that were staying, which was an alright choice. The next day we went shopping in the market they set up each weekend in towns to sell things. Here markets are different, they sell EVERYTHING, from socks, to vacuums, to cars. We wandered around while a couple of people went to the beach. We ended up not getting much of anything, though I did get the most amazing donut thing ever created by human beings, it had a lemon taste to it and was covered in sugar. It was so delicious. After a while Sofia, Cecilia and I headed back to the bus depot to grab a bus back to Urbino so we could relax, have lunch, and start on our homework for the first day of class (which confuses me, but whatever). The end day descended into my usual indulgences, a warm shower, and dinner with everyone in the cafeteria. I finished up my summary homework right after dinner, and rewarded myself with some well-deserved internet time.

Whatever the risk, still onward.

-The Exile