Spencer Newmister ’19 — After my first ever flights, I was stuck in a senses bubble with no escape after the plane ride derailed my ability to hear. My life’s dream to experience the city of Rome being in the palm of my hand seemed secondary to blowing my nose. However, even though my excitement had temporarily subsided, it was not due for an exit so much as a reemergence at the proper moment. Getting to the hotel and thereafter going on our first adventure the others and I quickly discovered that as, Tim Leath so aptly stated, “They don’t make Rome for big people,” and realized that the city had a longstanding problem of people tossing chamber pots from their second story windows acclimated the group and conditioned us to then see the splendor. Since this is Roma only food analogies will do so the trip over in comparison with each experience here on the ground has been like eating your greens before then getting desert or, perhaps more fittingly, drinking boxed sangria before any “vino rosa della casse” in the city.

I may suffer from a slight depression period upon returning stateside due to the food being more than any broke college student deserves or can find in America. However, I have learned a great deal about myself during my short time here. First, I have rediscovered how much my faith means to me. Upon entering the St. John Lateran Basilica, I was humbled by the veneration that the martyrs received being depicted as great statues but was then reminded of why Lutheranism has been such a great influence on my view of the world. I quickly became disgusted with the grandiose baroque style once I stumbled upon the bookshop inside the church and no more than 40 feet from the altar. My respect for how the veneration of these important and brave people was then at war with my shame knowing that this church was most likely decorated using funds gathered by the very injustice that Martin Luther was fought against. Furthermore, I have also noticed that our view of the world is narrowed considerably but we aren’t as bad off as some might say. As I look around this city, I see faces that are so cold and I enjoy living in a nation that allows me to say hello to strangers on the street.