I know I know, I’m already too excited about this blog thing and this trip as a whole but I need everyone to know everything about my trip!!! Today was the first day of orientation and after a presentation that never seemed to end, given by none other than the wonderful Dean David Davidson (please read his name again), I felt that there was no way I could ever sit down again. Today I filled out my “Permission to Stay” form which had been a source of constant worry for both my mother and I over the last couple of weeks because I was arriving in Italy much earlier than every other student, and it was supposed to be completed within eight days of my arrival, which passed almost two weeks ago. Everything went smoothly, as we were given an example as to how to fill out the form correctly.
After the dean’s presentation all of the students, there is only about a hundred of us, were split into two groups. I was in “Group B” and that meant that my group would be listening to another lecture first, given by a visiting University of London professor, John Foot, on “Contemporary Italy: Politics and Culture.” I found the lecture very interesting and full of information. After the lecture Group B then was taken on a tour of the SACI buildings and some of the useful places/shops in the city. On this tour I was fortunate enough to make and hold conversation with a very friendly animation student named Adam from USC. I learned that he and I had a fair amount of things in common. I also promised him that I would wear my pink pants to the welcome dinner at 6 o’clock.
At 6 o’clock, just as I had promised I arrived at SACI fashioning my pink pants, a lilac purple button-down, and my signature batman belt. I had debated for almost twenty minutes about wearing my purple shaded and grey scarf, but in the end I decided that I would already be making enough of a statement and that the scarf wouldn’t be necessary. At the welcome dinner, I met a handful of wonderful people. It is incredible how much art students love to talk about art, and really any medium. I had intriguing conversations with a wide variety of young artists including Alden, a graphic design student from Suffolk University, Casey, a painter from Santa Barbra (who Austin if your reading this loves Gregory Alan Isakov!!!), Emma, a photographer from Vermont who’s array of camera’s I immediately fell in love with (I have a feeling that she and I will be having many more photography oriented conversations as our time here progresses) and so many others that if I named them all you would never read this blog ever again it would be so boring.
As people began to file out it was time to begin planning for the evening. I was invited, along with a handful of others, back to Emma’s apartment for some more socializing. I can’t begin to describe how much I enjoyed talking everyone I met. Jacob, an atheist, and I had a interesting conversation about Unitarian Universalism and religion, while Ben and I talked about what we hoped to gain as artists while at SACI and about what it was like to start to become more professional when it comes to putting our art out for the world to see. Casey and I got to talk about music and surfing, and Emma even let me fool around a bit with her Nighthawk (a very old-style camera) and her Hasselblad (perhaps the coolest camera I have ever laid my hands on). Emma, Nick (my roommate), Jacob, another Emma, and Casey all then decided to venture out to explore the nightlife that Florence has to offer. I respectfully declined my invitation as Ben and I had discussed earlier that there would be plenty of time for that later, especially with my birthday fast approaching on saturday (everyone was very excited to hear that there would be cause for celebration very soon and people are already starting to formulate ideas as to what to do for me).
Now I am back in my apartment and it just struck midnight. I thought I was supposed to be skypeing with my parentals this evening but I have seen no sign of them, so maybe that will have to wait because I am quite tired. I am relieved that today went so well and that my pink pants did not scare any potential friends away. Tomorrow is another day of orientation beginning at 9 am so its off to bed for me but you’ll be hearing from me soon. I promise pictures to come. Ciao!