Monthly Archives: December 2007
Please take a few moments to view the 2007 Holiday greeting from the Umbra Institute (click photo):
Season’s Greetings from the members of the Umbra administration and staff!
To the Fall class of 2007,
Perugia is a lonely place right now. After your busses rumbled away last Friday night, something changed about our hilltop town; a certain excitement that had been so wonderfully present for the last 100 some odd days meandered down into the Umbrian valley, leaving cobblestone streets, cafés, all those little haunts, nooks, and tiny crannies bereft of your spectacular vitality. Not even the snowball fight that Mauro, Lindsey and Tyler had in Piazza Morlacchi later that night could lift their spirits (though admittedly, it was really funny when Lindsey hit Mauro in the face…)
Our classrooms are empty- Mauro doesn’t know what to do with his time (there’s not a computer in sight) and Zach’s been forced to try out his jokes on unsuspecting Italians (they laugh even less than you did at orientation). Parma is rejoicing because they don’t have to make any more panini, but understandably sad because they just lost 25% of their daily clientele. And if the steps could speak, they would surely miss the constant laughter you brought them every day, even when it was freezing outside. Indeed, if these walls could talk, if our arches and palaces, piazzas and fountains were given the gift of speech—but for the briefest of moments—they would no doubt wonder where you had gone, and when you would be coming back.
And when you do decide to come back (trust us, you will), remember that you’ll always have a home at the Umbra Institute. You’re part of a family now, a huge community of people who decided to take a risk and sail a little bit beyond the horizon line, into waters that tested you, made you laugh and made you cry, angered you and inspired you, but above all, waters that made you grow as a person. Hoping to see you soon…
The Umbra Institute
In the past few days, these presentations have attracted the friends and fellow students of the presenters, as well as members of the Umbra faculty and staff. Some of the first presentations given displayed a fine semester’s work for each Italian class. Students taught their classmates about such diverse subjects as chocolate, viticulture, and the Italian family.
The presentations continued on Monday and Tuesday with the full-immersion students at the University for Foreigners, all of whom presented on academic themes, in Italian.
Yesterday the Perugia Practicum class took their own creative turn, presenting their well-researched itineraries of the city, as well as their Google Map for would-be tourists. And last, but certainly not least, Professor Shaw’s business students stepped to the podium to submit sleek, sharp presentations on the likes of SACI and Ducati.
Benfatto! Well done, ragazzi!
Yesterday night was Umbra’s semi-annual talent show, one of the closing events of the semester. The University of Perugia’s student union, called 100Dieci, was packed with Umbra students (and their Italian and other
foreign friends) for yesterday’s performances, which showcased the varied talent of the student body. Krzysztof started off the show on the piano, and he was followed by Alex Streiff on the guitar, then a duet my Michael DePace and Elizabeth Napier.
The Italian classes contributed a number of songs - some Christmas songs, some not – and the show finished with an encore byDePace and Napier, and the traditional southern Italian Christmas song, “Mauro The Red-Nosed Reindeer,” sung in unison to Umbra’s own Mauro Renna.
In the pictures: Krzysztof playing the piano; Michael DePace and Elizabeth Napier performance; Italian 310-B class singing all together.
Tuesday night saw the Umbra Art Studio transformed temporarily into the Umbra Art Gallery, where students of photography instructor Philippa Stannard showcased their finer black and white accomplishments of the semester. Students had the opportunity to discuss their work with those in attendance, while enjoying locally made torta al testo, an Umbrian flatbread with rucola and prosciutto on top. All in all, the affair proved a thoughtful and bright way to reflect on an unforgettable fall spent abroad.
Then Wednesday night students of Professor Cynthia Clough’s creative nonfiction writing class presented some of their best essays that will be included in the Umbra Institute’s fifth literary anthology. From a small stage at Perugia’s Loop Café, to a crowd of more than fifty, students read pieces that ranged from amusing reflections on their relationships with food (“Ahh, gelato” was a frequent refrain) to ponderings of the meaning of this semester, and the meaning of their fast-approaching departure.The night was rounded out by Professor Clough herself, who (along with her dog Desireé), read some of her “Monteluco Musings” essays. Thanks and congratulations to all the students!