Florence, Italy: Advent Anticipation

One of the many themes that rules my life is the anticipation I suffer when approaching a transition. For every summer activity I start focusing on the next thing approaching when I’m only 90% (and sometimes 70%) of the way through the summer. My energy always starts to fizzle out right before the end so that, when it comes time to finish, I’m “running on fumes.” This was a big part of why I’m graduating early: why languish in my final semester when I can finish strong a semester early?

As much as I like to pretend I can always finish strong, this semester the gauntlet was thrown. With so many distractions from living in a foreign country, my greatest struggle to was concentrate and finish well. My new method of procrastination: countdowns. In under 43 hours I’ll be on a plane on my way home. In five days I’ll have my degree. In 12 days I’ll start three full days of Christmas celebrations with my families.

Between now and then I have three finals to take. My Italian grammar final is this afternoon and hopefully won’t be bad. I’m not guaranteeing that since my professor was gone all of last week and we took a test on the last day and get those back today. Then again, for the entire semester we’ve only had a few minutes to review our tests after we get them back, so today won’t be any different. I’ll go to class, stay after and take that final, and then get ready for tomorrow. What happens tomorrow? The last two: International Topics in Political Science (should be a fun final to take — I’ve done all of the readings and was engaged in the class discussions) and my Italian Conversation. The conversation final is the one which I’m not confident in. The Italian finals count for 40% of my semester grade, so it all comes down to the next 28 hours. Once those are finished, my undergraduate time is finished.

There aren’t many things that can bring on so much anticipation for me that I get homesick. I listen to Christmas music and enjoy it, but it doesn’t make me homesick (unlike some others in the TCU group). Modern technology lets me communicate with my family and others from around the world. Even though I don’t get homesick easily, something happened in mass yesterday that made me chuckle.

In his homily, Roger was talking about the prophecy of Isaiah. He was giving it context and describing how it was supposed to move people. “Isaiah wrote to an exiled people; he wrote to the cast out in the world with the simple message ‘Come Home!'” Kristina was sitting beside me and was confused at first on why I started laughing. Roger’s message struck me where I least thought it could; advent isn’t a time of comfort or a time of nostalgia – it’s a time of uncertainty and a time where we’re expected to move and change. Hmmm … 42 hours or so!

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