I have had trouble keeping my head out of Rome lately. That’s a good opening line to welcome you back to my stateside reflections, isn’t it? But it’s true. I value the experiences that helped partially remove my cultural blinders; my vision of the world is much broader and is much more likely to grow since traveling and studying abroad last spring.
I type to the harmony of falling water, torrents being shot up in purple light and inevitably following gravity back down. I am on a wooden, slatted bench, under dim lights and stars (I can see the Big Dipper over the football field) and am watching other students circle around, heading into the athletic complex, coming out of the student center, chatting in groups, taking pictures. And then it happens: A group of squealing, laughing girls dare each other. One by one they sprint through the geyser, soaked and joyful. This euphoric fountain dashing is something I will experience before I graduate next May, but not quite yet.
I remember thinking that the fountain was pointless when it was first installed, a mere drain on our tuition dollars. But Rome, the city of fountains and gatherers, changed that for me. I see people gathering here and I know now that it serves a great purpose, uniting this campus. It’s a place for students to relax, goof around and live.
And, as they would say in Italy, “La vita è bella.”