This semester, all Marist Italy freshmen participated in the First Year Seminar class entitled: Florence by Foot, Tuscany by Train, taught by visiting Marist professor, Lea Graham. As students finish their final projects, prepare for the second of two public presentations on their pilgrimage, and reflect on the semester that has passed, Professor Graham has put together some thoughts on the course and photos from the first presentation event, which allowed the Freshmen to share their work with the Marist Italy Masters students. Read on and see the other photos below:
When you give yourself to places, they give you yourself back; the more one comes to know them, the more one seeds them with the invisible crop of memories and associations that will be waiting for you when you come back, while new places offer up new thoughts, new possibilities.
All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveller is unaware.
For the First Year Seminar “Florence by Foot, Tuscany by Train,” students made a pilgrimage to a place that they were connected to in some way. Some made journeys to sites associated with their family history: Checkpoint Charlie, towns in Sicily, Puglia and Tuscany; battlefields in the Netherlands, a church in Siena. Others traveled to places that held an enthusiasm for them: the Catacombs of Paris, Leonardo Da Vinci’s house, Dr. Who’s London, the Sistine Chapel.
As part of the discussion during the writing of the final project, students gathered for our “Pilgrimage Cocktail Party.” They shared with each other, staff, faculty and our inspiring M.A. students their pilgrimage journey and what they had begun to learn. A lively and interesting evening!
–Dr. Leigh Graham, Ph.D.