After my trip to Sicily, I had Fall Break. I had no trips outside of Rome planned for this period, as many other students did, but I did have quite a few projects to work on. Most notably, I had an oral report to give on the Forum Iulium, one of the imperial fora, located adjacent to the Forum Romanum. Also, I had a Greek composition project to do and a Greek midterm to study for. Consequently, I spent a lot of my break working on these academic concerns, though I also had plenty of time to catch up on sleep, to return to my exercise routine, and to rest.
This past week, however, was chaos. Perhaps I hadn’t worked hard enough during break, but I was swamped with work once our program started up again. My oral report kept me busy on Monday night, since my presentation was on Tuesday and my Greek midterm kept me busy on Tuesday and Wednesday, since the midterm was on Thursday morning. Despite my looming anxieties, the week was full of fun opportunities. On Tuesday, we visited, in addition to the Forum Iulium, the Forum of Augustus, which had the Temple of Mars Ultor. This temple, mostly in ruins now, sounds like it was one of the most beautiful Roman creations, based on my professor’s description of it. On the same day we visited the reconstructed Ara Pacis, which is stunning. On Wednesday, we visited the Forum Romanum for a second time to view the additions of the Late Republic and the Augustan period, including, among other things, the partially-excavated residence of Augustus and the Basilica Iulia. After my Greek midterm on Thursday, I caught up on sleep once again and used the weekend to rest and to get ahead on next week’s challenges (including my Latin midterm!). Today, Sunday the 31st, was particularly enjoyable because our professors held a barbecue for us. We had a taste of our much-missed American cuisine and the opportunity to dress in costumes. A friend and I dressed as two foosball players from the Centro’s table named Posso and Finito.