A funny thing happened on the way to the forum…

Forum Romanum

…I went to school. In a three and a half hour tour of the Capitoline Museum and the Forum Romanum led by my professor, I saw enough ancient art to fill a semester’s worth of PowerPoint presentations back home. The Equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, the Capitoline Venus, the Arch of Septimus Severus, the ruins of the Basilica of Constantine. I walked on the Via Sacra. It was sort of an out of body experience.

I’m taking five classes: Intro to Italian (Mi chiamo Scott. Io sono venti anni.), Ancient Greek, Roman Literature, Ancient Art, and Early Christian and Medieval Art. Of these, the last three have on-site components; in other words, once a week for we meet for a three or four hour professor-guided tour of the artwork and locations studied in the class, with an occasional cappuccino break. Some of the students aren’t entirely keen on this, but I’m a huge fan. This is what I’d be doing if I wasn’t in class: touring. And because these are professors, we get access to certain sites that we otherwise wouldn’t.

I nailed a couple of questions at the beginning of one of my classes (When did the Roman Empire officially cease to exist? Which part of the famous Etruscan statue of the she-wolf suckling Romulus and Remus is not original?) and, for better or for worse, have been given the glossy (if not ephemeral) tag “that classics major with some answers.” In other words, I need to be Johnny on the Spot with names and dates from now on or risk shaming myself and loosing all entitlement. Truthfully, I’d be embarrassed if I didn’t know these things. How many tens of thousands of dollars have Mom and Dad invested in my education?

Anyway, Rome is still awesome.

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4 Responses to “A funny thing happened on the way to the forum…”


  1. 1 Prof L January 22, 2008 at 11:28 am

    I am glad to hear that all your hard work back in central PA has not gone unnoticed! Now of course, yes, you have to keep up with that reputation, but well, why not? I am glad you are having a great time. I am going to keep on reading your blog.

  2. 2 nancy January 23, 2008 at 10:15 am

    What a great communication. Joe and I know right where you are located! Are you enjoying the other students? Who exactly are the professors – thumbnail sketch? I can only imagine the thrill of having access to behind the scenes places and stories. We look forward to hearing more! Stay well, keep warm and keep in touch.

  3. 3 Sundown January 30, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    Nice- Saving Private Ryan insert. We discussed Severus in my medieval warfare class so I was pleased to feel “in the know” just now.

  4. 4 Scott Gosnell January 30, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    Hahaha, Saving Private Ryan? “Johnny on the spot”? Very adept.


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