Monday, May 14, 2007

Welcome to Rome! . . . take a number

Our students started arriving in Rome this morning.

Mike Tumolo and Jenny Biedendorf came by our apartment to pick up the keys to their apartment in Testaccio. Our undergraduates have been coming in all morning, along with students from the programs in Nutrition and Human Development and Family Studies.

The office is fairly small, so students are asked to take a number, and then go to the office in small groups to sign in and get keys to their apartments.

Here are some students waiting their turn in Piazza Collegio Romano, by the door to the Penn State Sede di Roma.

What to do the first day?

To get over jet lag, try starting today to adopt the Italian schedule rather than clinging to the American one. Drink plenty of water, get out and walk in the sunshine, have a light lunch at about 1:00 p.m., expect to be able to get dinner any time after about 7:00 p.m. -- most Italians won't start dinner until 8:00 at the earliest, and 9:00 or 10:00 is normal. But they will have some downtime, perhaps a nap, after lunch, and before businesses re-open at 3:00 or 4:00. DON'T go out drinking tonight (and certainly not any class night). It will tire you out, de-hydrate you, put you at risk in various ways, and make it harder to get over jet lag.

But do take your map and guidebook and start going out and about to learn something of Rome. You are close to wonders.

See the Campidoglio, the Forum, the Tiber, Piazza Navona, the Corso, the Spanish Steps, and get it all down in your journal.

And call me if you have a problem.

See you tomorrow, early, for orientation.

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