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The sun is setting now, lazy afternoon light sliding through the wide-open windows of my house in Vermont. The sky is dotted with puffy clouds in the east, but a clear azul is spreading across the rest, contrasting against the beautiful rolling green mountains which surround me. With my cat on my lap and my dog at my side, begging for my zucchini fritters, I couldn’t feel any further away from Paris, where I returned from almost a week ago. I’ve transitioned back smoothly after a not-so-simple trip home, and now all I can do is reflect on my summer, soak up the last of my time in Vermont, and look forward to the oncoming academic year.


I have been enjoying some good food…here, at a local barn-raising

My time in Paris didn’t turn out to be how I’d expected it; not worse, per se, just different. It quickly became clear that my french wasn’t going to improve by as great a margin as I’d hoped, but in lieu of improved grammar, my conversational skills and linguistic confidence increased substantially. I also became fast friends with the city itself which, as far as urban spaces go, is spectacular. In addition, I made some incredible friends from all over the world and all over Harvard, whilst eating baguettes in a cloud of second-hand cigarette smoke. (Ech. Not going to miss that.) Now I’m not sure what I’ll be up to next summer, and where I’ll be spending my time. Perhaps Paris again? Or perhaps the countryside? Or Italia? Good thing I’ve got a few months to decide 🙂


In Vermont, I’ve managed to keep myself busy, despite the relaxed feeling that’s permeated my bones. Yesterday was very exciting; I went on my first riding lesson in seven years! The horse farm is in Milton, way up north, so I decided to stop by Burlington (our ‘big’ city) on the way there to do some shopping. But back to the lesson. I’m seriously considering playing polo for Harvard’s team, and I had to see whether or not I was over-romanticizing my sentiments towards the sport. So I budgeted a bit for the lessons, called up the stable, and arranged a lesson for the next day. It went very smoothly; I rode a lovely buckskin for more than an hour in the arena, cantering on my first day, as well as accidentally jumping a small hurdle. (Whoops. Don’t tell my mom.) I felt so comfortable, and I have two more lessons waiting for me before I head back to Cambridge, where I’ll be setting up my single (!) in Currier. As a former resident of Canaday, I am fully aware of the lack of architectural beauty that plagues the newer dorms, and Currier is no exception. Thus, I have decided to decorate my room fantastically (I mean it) and so all of yesterday’s shopping was geared towards the housing department. I went to two fabric stores, a craft store, some standard decorating stores, a few cheap-o stores, and returned home with all of my goodies: a bathmat, two square leopard-print/camouflage throw pillows, another smaller throw pillow, yarn, frames, and a bunch of fabric. Do not worry. The fabric will be covering those hideous throw pillows, making them absolutely gorgeous. Ah, my domestic life is flourishing. I move from stovetop to sewing machine to clothesline just like a little housewife. Except I’m designing my room. Which will win prizes and be featured in the New York Times Style Magazine, if we’re lucky.


This might be part of my bedroom. Yet to be decided.

As far as the less-important aspects of school go, I suppose I have to choose classes. (Please note that I am joking, as I have chosen my classes as of two months ago.) I have a few conflicts…okay, waaay more than a few, and this semester is the last one that I have before I must declare my concentration…which is still up in the air. Romance Languages and Anthropology? Visual and Environmental Studies and Anthropology? …Architecture concentration that has yet to be created? I DON’T KNOW. And the clock is ticking, so I’d better decide quickly. I am so excited to return to school, although I am totally afraid that I’ll be overwhelmed and have a rerun of my freshman fall, which was not so nice. Wish me luck, anyhow!



No, that is not me.

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Rome, Italy… One of the places I’ve dreamed of going since the first time we learned about its epic history in elementary school. I remember looking at the pictures of the Colosseum and the Pantheon and wondering if I’d ever get a chance to walk the same terrain as the ancient Romans. After all those years of dreaming, I finally had the chance to experience it firsthand and it was unbelievable.

Rome’s ambience cannot be mistaken. It’s archaic buildings and huge city streets were just like I pictured them- only better. I was eager to explore the city and I wanted to understand why Rome seemed to be calling my name. I found out on the first night.

I arrived after sunset and the city lights provided the perfect introduction to set the stage for my adventure. I dropped off my bag and set off for a little exploration. Luckily, my friend from back home was studying abroad in Rome and she provided plenty of direction. We roamed (no pun intended) the streets and I had the chance to soak in the city’s feel. The scattered piazzas (plazas) and extravagant fontanas (fountains) around every corner had me gasping for breath but I had no idea what was up next. As we continued to zigzag down the narrow streets, I caught a small glimpse of the side of a building that looked different from the others. With my curiosity piqued, we finally made the turn into the Piazza della Rotonda- home of the 2000-year-old Pantheon.

Words do not describe the awe I felt. Accented by the night’s light, the enormous marble pillars of the Pantheon towered over me and had me mesmerized. The stone was smooth to the touch and as I pressed my hands to the column, I could feel the ancient building taking on my warmth. I began to think about just how many others stood where I stood, felt what I felt, and marveled in the same way I did that night over the past 2 millennia. I couldn’t speak for my mind was captivated. The building itself was impressive but what it stood for, in my eyes, was even more so. It is the connection between hundreds of generations, it is proof of how far mankind has come, and it is a symbol of how much further we have to go before we reach our true potential. This is why I had come to Rome- I had to experience this feeling.

First sight of the Pantheon

Pantheon-"To Every God"












Potential… Never in my lifetime did I think I would be able to see the things I have seen in the past few months, let alone the past few days. I think about what this means for me, my family, and my community and I am grateful for every moment. I am constantly reminded that one should never say, “never,” and that one day, with hard work and dedication, one can come closer to their dreams- no matter how far away or impossible they may seem.

If this was the first couple hours, you can only imagine how the rest of the weekend was. I thumbwrestled at the Colosseum, Lizzie McGuire’d it at the Trevi Fountain, and even saw the Pope in Vatican City. And of course, there were daily Gelato stops along the way accompanied by some of the best Pizza, Pasta, and Lasagna I have ever tasted in my entire life.

Trevi Fountain

I have come a long way from canned Chef Boyardee and those hot-dog bun/ketchup/kraft singles “pizzas” my friends and I would make at Austin’s house back in the day. I cherish those memories with all of my heart and it reminds me of how important our past is when heading towards the future. I will continue to learn and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for me next.

Check out the short video below for some thoughts I had to share while in front of the famous Colosseum.

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