Green Dots in Italy

Anywhere in the world, if someone is being harassed or abused, a bystander should do something about it. A bystander who is trained in the Green Dot violence prevention strategy absolutely must step forward, be the one person who speaks up, and do the right thing. Tonight in Florence, Italy, my students and I were standing … More Green Dots in Italy

Incident in Old Italy

For the past three weeks, my students and I have heard accents and languages from all over the world. We’ve also felt fortunate when multilingual service industry employees help us when our own stammering, unconjugated attempt at Italian fails us. We haven’t received any mistreatment or disrespect from the people whose country we’ve chosen as … More Incident in Old Italy

The Soul selects her own Society, even in Italy

If Emily Dickinson had written in Italian, she might have said: L’anima sceglie i suoi compagni e poi chiude la porta; la sua divina maggioranza estranei non sopporta. Impassible, sente il cocchio che si ferma presso il cancello esterno.  Impassible, guarda un re prostrarsi sul suo tappeto.  So che da tutto il mondo puo scegliare … More The Soul selects her own Society, even in Italy


Last week when Lauren, Stacey, and I were meandering around town before going to our respective temporary homes, we spent a lot of time in the Piazza della Signoria, where magnificent sculptures stand in their passionate and furious Renaissance poses, exposed to weather and tourists. Although we’d visited the Piazza before, we were newly enthralled … More Joy

Back to Class

In my first week of classes at the Accademia Europea di Firenze (AEF), I’m learning way more than I’m teaching—typical for me in any class, anywhere, but in Florence the learning is exponentially curvier. My colleagues who have taught for the Education Abroad program in Florence told me they have taken classes alongside the students, … More Back to Class

Word Nerd

I fall in love with words. My current word-affair is with traipse, and I’ve been speaking it furtively as well as conspicuously in reference to the Italy trip. Apparently, traipse is an uncommon word. According to one of my favorite books, The Oxford English Dictionary (OED), it belongs in Frequency Band 3, meaning it occurs … More Word Nerd