Let me start off this blog with a little about myself.
My name is Tiffani, but everyone knows me as Rose, and I am twenty years of age. I am a first generation college student at Salve Regina University studying in my junior year; I have a double major in Art History and French and a minor in Studio Art; I am studying abroad in Rome, Italy for the fall 2014 semester.
A few hobbies of mine are making art (I love film photography, sculpture and painting to name a few things), collecting vintage Edgeworth Tobacco tins and researching abandoned places.
I was born and raised (for the most part) in Bristol, Connecticut, the wonderful home to ESPN and an ancient amusement park.
My grandparents raised me; my grandmother was my best friend and mother as I grew up, she is the reason I am in college and have not given up the dream since the seed was planted seven years ago. She is the reason for my desire, my exhausting journey to attain. Unfortunately, she is no longer present on this earth to see what I have accomplished, am, and will be accomplishing but I know she is proud of me nonetheless as she lives on through me.
As a first generation student, it was my grandmother that taught me the importance of doing my best to be rewarded in the ways I deserved most. It is this mentality that she instilled in me that allowed me to afford study abroad and college in the first place.
With that being said, I would like to take the time to thank those that have made this experience possible:
Firstly, I would like to thank my grandmother and best friend for always pushing me towards my goals and never letting me quit, no matter how many times I cried out of frustration (math in elementary school included).
Secondly, I am thanking Salve Regina University for making it possible for me to even attend college. Without their generous scholarships and financial aid, I would have so many more student loans due to a general inability to afford school.
Third, I want to thank my grandfather for also aiding me with college to the best of his ability. Without his help, I would not be studying abroad at all.
Fourth, I would like to thank The Reach Foundation of Connecticut for their generous four-year scholarship that eases the financial burden of college for my family and myself every semester. It is always a delight to hear from your treasurer, Jane, and to know that you are there for me each semester, supporting my career decisions. To you, I am forever indebted.
Lastly, I would like to thank the Office of International Programs at Salve for all of their aid and support throughout my rather bumpy decision to journey across the ocean as well as their generous scholarship awards that I have received to aid me on my journeys abroad. Knowing and receiving your aid brightened my day and allowed my trip to become even more of a reality.
I cannot believe that I depart on Monday afternoon to start a new life as a pseudo-Italian citizen and student. Knowing that I will be in a strange land is somewhat comforting; it allows me the ability to explore and endure multiple blunders. Aside from the excitement of leaving, exploring, and the ability to be imperfect, I am eager to experience something close to a true Italian lifestyle; to live, converse with and befriend my Italian neighbors in my “authentically” Italian apartment while I shop daily for fresh food like true Italians do. I will admit, it will be rather entertaining to see college girls attempt to take ten minute long showers before the hot water runs out and the general interaction with the bidet (assuming we will have one.) Just living in an Italian apartment is an enthusing thought which makes me interested in seeing how my roommates adapt to this new environment in comparison to how I acclimate. One thing in particular is the city’s quiet hours: they last from about 9pm until 8am and then again from 1pm to 3pm when the siesta is held. Obviously, there are certain quiet hours to be regarded in the dorms at Salve, but a whole citywide observed silence is something that isn’t found here in the states. Personally, I do not believe that I will find issue with this, but I am interested to see the reactions of my roommates to this limitation. I am also curious to see if such regulations are strictly enforced by the Questura (the Italian Police Force) and obeyed by a great portion of the population. The existence of these quiet hours is just a little quirk in Italian culture and society that will run a social experiment in how adaptive and attentive Americans and other outside cultures and peoples can be towards new lifestyle changes and laws.
I will be updating my personal blog frequently (found here: http://dessyatonegirltheworld.tumblr.com) throughout my journeys around Italy which will take on a more artistic perspective with photographs, prose and my own personal art and experiences. I hope you will return to submerge yourself into my blog as much as I plan to integrate with this strange new world awaiting me.
In less than 72 hours, the journey begins.
Again, I thank you for your time and support.