By Patrick Tobin, FFE 2013-14
“Is this it?” one girl questioned as we approached the masses of students and faculty, just as hungry as we were, waiting to enter the celebration. How could it not be the Lorenzo de’ Medici 40th anniversary party?
Familiar faces were lined up three blocks down the street. All of the FFEs from Marist College, myself included, chitchatted excitedly waiting to gain entry to the event. As time passed and the line gradually moved forward, the reception came into view. It was a truly beautiful garden with various arrangements of tents, statues, shrubbery, lights, and a massive crowd of people. When entering the event, the welcome desk handed out a program that contained the very important meal tickets, and a necklace of a thumb. The tents of food were everywhere, and no matter how long the line was, it was well worth it. I rushed over to the nearest line and then waited in anticipation for my first meal of the night.
After being in economics class, I realized that my time would be spent most efficiently by eating while waiting in the next line. So after offering my first ticket in exchange for a piece of pizza, I headed into the next line and ate away. It was like reading the back of a shampoo bottle: wash, rinse, and repeat. Only my night was grab food, head to next line, and repeat. The food at the event was delicious and left everyone delightfully satisfied and all of the students glad to have better food than we could have ever cooked by ourselves. The garden where the event took place was a beautiful venue, allowing for great places to eat the great food. After I had used the last of my meal tickets, a couple fellow FFEs and I went over to the much talked about photo booth. It provided crazy costumes for you and your friends to dress up and take as many bizarre photos as you wanted. Of course, I decided to wear the cowboy hat and hot pink boa while others wore neon yellow and pink wigs; we had a blast.
My first few weeks here in Italy were spent in a small town 3 hours away from the bustling city of Florence. Personally, after spending a week with the Marist Italy staff in Tuscania for orientation, it was nice to see them all again and catch up. The party brought the sectors of the campuses in Rome, Tuscania, and Florence together. After food and photo booth, I then made my way over to the dance floor. The music got everyone moving, providing a great mix so anyone from staff to student could enjoy and dance the night away; my favorite was Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive.” There were nothing but smiles, laughter, and thumbs-up necklaces, showing the crowd’s opinions of the party, all night long. As the dancing started to wrap up, I grabbed one of the cabs and headed back home. I couldn’t break the smile that was on my face as I was leaving. Thank you, LdM, for hosting such a great night. It allowed everyone in the community to come together, have fun, and celebrate the achievements of this great school.