There are sometimes when I am walking here in Lugano, and I just think, “You know what I am happy.” I am just happy. I am happy that I am at a place I can call home. That I have an ubber clean dorm/apartment. That I can play Brandi Carlile “The Story” a billion times like I do at home and my roommate doesn’t mind (mostly because she has headphone on = ). That when I attempted to make Egg Plant Parm today, my friends and I ate all baked Egg Plant so I couldn’t make egg plant parm. I am happy at 12pm last night we decided to go to McDonalds and then Burger King. I am proud/ashamed/happy for my friend Medina who got a grocery sized bag from McDonalds last night. Not to say that somethings aren’t perfect in Switzerland. Right now I am freezing my ass off in my dorm room because they won’t turn on the heat in our room. One of our dryer is broken along with our washer, so our whole building is relying on two machines to wash all of our clothes right before travel. I got a stomach bug earlier in the week as a lovely birthday present, and spent half the night crying/ throwing up in the bathroom. And right now I am currently procrastinating on a Literature Review that I am suppose to be doing. But even so I am happy. Tired but happy. Freezing but happy.
Throughout the last couple of weeks some students here have been adamant about whether they love it here, hate it here or whether they are unsure. Till today I was in the unsure category. I love Europe, the culture here I find incredibly interesting compared to the culture in the States. And like every massive change for example, deciding to endeavor on a four year journey to Switzerland for college, it is both a new amazing experience and scary as hell.
Three years ago when I started my first google search for Franklin College Switzerland, I had one main goal in mind, to be able to sit in a classroom and hear the opinion of others who did not have the same background as I do, who did not grow up in Main Line suburbia.
Today in my First Year Seminar class I experienced that six girls in my class were talking about their experiences as a women in their home country. Two girls were from Russia, 2 from the middle east, 1 from Bosnia and the states, and myself. Unfortunately we all came to the same conclusion that even though the feminist movement can be taken as a good thing and a bad thing depending where your from women in a position of power, no matter where around the globe are considered 2 things either a bitch or a stupid barbie doll.
But no matter what conclusion we came up with on the feminist movement does not matter, what matters is that at 18 years of age I can talk to someone from Russia, Bosnia and the Middle east and have a civil discussion.
And that is the reason why I traveled all the way from home, because of a simple conversation that Franklin College has been able to provide me. Because at the end of the day, to be able to be a young adult and have a conversation minus politics, I think is one of the most valuable gifts of all. And that is what I came here for.
Every child has heard it right before they go on a field trip from their teacher.
“Now students as soon as you walk out of this classroom you are representing me, this school, and your parents so be respectful.”
These words of wisdom I have heard on countless excursions to the Philly Zoo, to Harrisburg, and to the Franklin Institute, but never has a rang more true till last week when I started schooling in Switzerland.
When I meet someone here, the formal introductions are done and at the end of the conversation I am either representing the Philly area, PA, or the whole US of A. Its kind of strange to be the representative for your area for a person who has never been there before. How do describe the place that you grew up in for 18 years of your life when you know almost nothing else, except for one European summer?
Its not easy. Try to explain to a non-tristater the awesomeness of WAWA and they will look at you like you sprouted a third head and turned blue. Try to explain what the Main Line is and you might as well grow a forth head.
As I stumble though through mumble jumble explanations about the town I grew up in I have come to the same conclusion I came up with two summers ago in Heidelberg as I talked to students there, I grew up in a place similar to where you grew up but a little bit different.
My a little bit different is what makes my home, home. My a little bit different is philly soft pretzels, countless trips to the Franklin Institute and the zoo via the R5, WAWA hoagies on a hot summer day washed down with steaming how coffee, running through valley forge park with deer by my side, watching the Phillies at the YMCA gym and swimming in a freezing pool on an 80 degree day because there is nothing else to do. That’s my a little bit different, and what I represent when I say I from the Main Line, Philly Area, Pa or the USA.
Yay first blog post!
Alrighty then well lets get to business.
It seems like half the world has a blog today and are stating meaningless facts and random tales about their lives to the internet world. So with that reasoning I thought why not become a conformist and do the same thing! Also with that conformist rationality my first blog post of course has to be why I am writing this blog about the nuances, randoms, and facts about life east of the Main Line.
And honestly I can think of a billion reasons why I am writing a blog, the number one at this point in time being I really do not feel like cleaning for Wednesday night dinners, and would much rather write a blog post.
So here it goes, and if anyone actually reads this blog that I have literally written out of sheer boredom and some serious procrastination on house duties, I apologize for the spelling errors, and grammar errors. As much as I love the craft of writing, commas, periods, fragments, semi colons, and all that other grammatical necessities that you were suppose to learn in English class I never really succeeded in learning.
Ah yeah and PS: the title is suppose to mean when I travel to the land of the Swiss and I will actually be East of the Main Line, not in my current state where I am smack dab in the middle of it. Sweet well have a good day.