Thursday, September 24, 2009

Historical History

In a nutshell, I’m dropping my Sculpture major, I’m taking History of Tuscany taught by a Count, and my Renaissance Art History class is mind-blowing.

I not sure what exactly prompted me to drop my studio class here (and as a result, my studio major back home), and take History of Tuscany instead. I guess I’ve finally just come to terms with the fact that an academic life is more manageable for me than an artistic one, so I’m sticking with the Art History major. I still plan on making art and what not, but I just won’t have a “degree” in it. With my double major I would’ve had to do a fifth year of undergrad anyway, and that fifth year can be used much better I think. Anyway, here in Florence I have virtually no studio space, and I highly doubt I’d be able to keep up with what everyone else has been doing back home in the studio. I also decided that taking the history class is a better opportunity. It’s taught by a Count and his family owns a palazzo on the river with archives that date back to the 13th century! Our project is to write a paper using research done in his archives as well as the other notable institutions around town (i.e. that sweet National Library I’m obsessed with.)

Anyway, I am through rationalizing my decision. What’s done is done!

We finally had our first Renaissance Art History class, and it was amazing. The teacher is brilliant and seems to know everything (in a good way). He even went off on a tangent explaining how the English word “secular” stems from the Italian word for “century” which is secolo, and how that’s because it’s relevant to the passing of time, blah blah, it was awesome. We went to two piazze during our first class, Piazza della Repubblica and Piazza della Signoria. I learned more during those 45 minutes than I ever have before!

Then, during my afternoon class, Italian Style, our teacher took us to a welcome ceremony for American students held in the Palazzo Vecchio (the Old Palace) where the Mayor was supposed to welcome the students. However, the Mayor couldn’t make it, so the Vice Mayor came instead. It was still fantastic. The ceremony was held in the Salone del Cinquecento (the Room of 500), that was commissioned by the Medici and has statues by Michelangelo and paintings by Vasari. Awesome.

Regrettably, History of Tuscany has been canceled today, so I won’t find out what the class is like until next week. This is very aggravating. Hopefully I made the right decision. Ugggh.

Italian is incredibly advanced. We’ve now reviewed six or seven tenses. I had only studied two of them… but so far I’ve been able to keep up. I really took a lot of Spanish in high school, and the structure and concepts are almost identical, so it’s not that hard to comprehend.

We’re going to Siena and San Gimignano on Saturday with our school, so that should be exciting. It’s also Margaret’s birthday, so we’re going to celebrate! It’s only her twentieth though. Whomp, whomp. 

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