Reflections: Returning to Ashland

December 20, 1997

I haven't touched this page since August, and for a while it felt like a healthy break. I wasn't going to update it til I was good n' ready to return to my seat at the computer. I thought it would take me a lot longer to get to that point, but then I briefly surfed the 'Net and got an overwhelming wave of inspiration, pulling me back to la mia pagina. Derek's pizza pictionary party page was a fun surprise, reminding me of how much pleasure I can get from seeing myself on the 'Net -- a sort of new twist on Warhol's idea of everyone needing their 15 minutes of fame. Then I bopped over to Justin's site, which I hadn't seen for a long time; it was reassuring to see that he's still as involved as ever. I also discovered some new Swattie homepages (such as Denise's and Will Nessly's) that were powerful peeks into life on campus, showing me that it continues on without me.

I am moved by honesty, and some people are able to reveal a lot on their self-baring online journals. Something about human nature makes them very enticing, and it can be difficult to pull your eyes away from the details of their lives. So how do I feel about doing the same thing on my page? Part of me finds it a little inappropriate, and I'd be uncomfortable telling ya too much. Yet another part of me sees the Internet as a fabulous place to express myself. A creative release. A screen on which to splat my ideas. An arena to shine the spotlight on various versions of who I am. Thus I now feel that self-expressive desire bubbling back up, drawing me to my 'puter to update my page.

Today is my third day back in dear old Ashland, readjusting back into American culture and the different time zone (by 9 hours). The 3 & 1/2 months I spent in Italy were amazing. Living with a host family in Parma (a small city in the north) gave me a really incredible chance to experience true Italian lifestyle and to pick up the language. I also traveled to Rome, Venice, Verona, Milan, Florence, Cinque Terre, Pompeii, Napoli, Siena, and the countryside around Parma. I wrote many essays, letters, short stories, observations, etc. during the whole time that I was there; it'll all be posted here in the near future. Stay tuned.

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