What I Really Learned in College

 
 

So, they handed me my degree last Monday.

Feels good! Feels weird…. Feels exciting.

College, on the whole, was an amazing 4 years for me. Studying history, economics, politics – I learned a lot from some inspiring professors.

But most importantly, I learned a lot from the examples set by those inspiring professors, and by my equally inspiring peers. Examples for being industrious, curious, tenacious.

 

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After graduating, I sat down and tried to think of what I had really loved about college. What made it special, and what I would miss. And I realized this:

The magic of college wasn’t in the classes I took or the places I hung out. For me, the magic was in the people I was surrounded by.

University is a unique scene. An array of people, all brought together from different backgrounds, in different disciplines, with different hopes and aspirations. In one place, you have the scholars, scientists, doctors, artists, and more – before they max out their potential and reach their goals. Here, in college, is where all of our paths cross.

So now our paths are starting to diverge, and that’s a good thing. As I embrace this new beginning, I look back on college as a great experience and opportunity.

I read a lot. I traveled a lot. I learned a lot.

But the best part was always the people.

Professors, classmates, roommates, family, friends, people I knew well, people I wish I knew better —

You guys are phenomenal, and with you, college was awesome.

 
 
With thanks,

Kate

 
 

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Washington, DC

Until last year, I had never been to the US capital. It was a place I’d always wanted to visit, but somehow never had the chance.

And now that I’ve seen it, I know that I love it. The people, the bustle, the food, the museums, the news crews – this city has a lot of excitement packed in.

There’s lots of marble everywhere…

united states of america.

And neoclassical architecture…

capitol.

There are the famous monuments visible in the heart of the city…

washington.

Downtown, the area is filled with tourists, souvenirs, activists, and food:

flags.

make some noise.

dc eats.

mirror.

 

I had a great time in DC! Have you been? What’s your favorite memory about a trip to the capital? : )

Be Well in 2012

Hey everybody,

So, I’ve been absent from the blog too much lately. It’s now my last semester of college, and everything seems hectic around here.

There’s lots of fun times and memories at Emory wrapping up, but also lots of exciting things to look forward to after graduation.

road less traveled.

I’m not sure yet what the post-graduation plan is — but not knowing is part of the excitement, right?

For now, I’m enjoying the last of my time at Emory and sticking with some good advice I heard for this year:

 
 

 
 

Be well in 2012. I’m all about it. Not really any specific resolutions, deadlines or goals — just being well. Living well, feeling well, being well.

Who’s with me? : )

A Roman Holiday, part 1

I got to spend 11 days in Rome, and enjoyed exploring around the vast city that has been home to so much civilization and culture.

Rome has everything from quiet gardens around the Villa Borghese…

borghese gardens.

…and ancient ruins from the Roman Empire…

forum romanum.

…to modern iconic Italian vespas, political flags, accordions, music….

vespa.
accordian.

There are so many facets of Rome, an ancient place where so much history and so many influences have left their mark. I can’t wait to share more photos of some different aspects of the city. : )

Sights and Sounds of Florence

I got to spend one Saturday in Florence, Italy – a city steeped in the history of art, music, politics, and Italian culture.

In the pedestrian streets around Florence’s famous art galleries, every square foot is filled with musicians and souvenir reproductions of famous paintings for sale….

Uffizi courtyard.

Walking through the city, there are pops of color and ornate architectural details all around you. You’re embraced by the legacy of inspiration that once surrounded da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Donatello, and so many other artists….

biciclettanatural split screen.

There’s something surreal to the changes of colors in the city throughout the day. In the early, misty morning, Florence’s famous bridge, the Ponte Vecchi, was cool and indistinct….

bridging the Arno River.

…but by the warmer afternoon, the shops and walls along the bridge had changed into their famous palette of warm yellows, greens, and oranges….Ponte Vecchi

Florence had a very Italian feel, and it was awe-inspiring to be in the birthplace of so many famous works of art. : )

The Fight

Hey everybody,

So, I’ve been absent from the blog the past week or so due to a health crisis in my family.

My mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer exactly 2 weeks ago, and she’s already begun the fight.

family.

The doctor has a lot of confidence in his treatment plan, and my mom has made it well through 2 rounds of chemotherapy so far. Luckily, my dad’s workplace is helping out by giving him the chance to go with my mom for the treatment every week and by providing meals every day.

So far, it seems to be going well.

This has been a big health scare for all of us – my mom had little to no symptoms, no risk factors, and no family history.

It came out of nowhere and caught us all by surprise. Ovarian cancer is hard to catch in the early stages, and we never expected anything so serious to be wrong.

Please be diligent with your health care.

For information on ovarian cancer + how to reduce your risk, check out the info on Dr. Oz’s site: “Ovarian Cancer: Stopping a Secret Killer.”

Hiking along the Italian Coast

I shared a few photos from our hike through Cinque Terre, Italy here. The seaside, the views – it’s lovely. : )

seaside.

We started out early in the day by grabbing some fruit at one of the small streetside markets….

snacks.
Our hike wound along the coast of the Mediterranean through 5 towns, some vineyards, and natural cliffs. In the middle of one orchard, we came across an Italian man selling fresh lemonade to hikers….

homemade.

fresh lemonade.

For lunch, we stopped in the harbor of one of the towns with some grab-and-go pizza….

lunch.

Throughout the hike, we overheard people talking in all different languages – Italian, English, German, French, and more. It was an interesting mélange of people from all different places – all come to enjoy the Italian coast….

hilltop.

Everyone we passed would say “excuse me” in a different language. Scusi, permesso, entschuldigung, pardon…

vista.

Cinque Terre is famous for its beautiful scenery and seaside hikes, but its mixture of different visitors makes for a really unique atmosphere, too. : )

One Tuesday at Cinque Terre, Italy

In April, I got to spend my spring break – 11 days – in Italy. The trip was rich with history, culture, and especially food. : )

We spent most of our time in Rome, but made this day trip out to Cinque Terre for some beautiful hiking along the Italian coast.

riomaggiore.

seaside.
This hiking area is full of sweeping views, crisp and salty Mediterranean air, seaside life…

perch.
The main hiking trail also takes you through 5 small coastal Italian towns, where you find your way through small, winding, complex Italian alleys….

street.

Interesting architecture and inspiring personal touches accent the walls and streets throughout each of the towns…

mixed media.
italian.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting about some of the food we came across as well as the atmosphere of our hike! See you then. : )

In and Around Karlštejn Castle

A couple of weeks ago, I took a day trip out from Prague to Karlštejn. The small town is just a short train ride away through some of the Czech countryside, and the vibe is so different from the bustle of the capital.

The views around Karlštrejn are so scenic and calm….

calm waters.

czech countryside.

Along one of the main streets of town, everyone has a driveway like this:

driveway.

That main street connects to a moderate hiking path up a hill that leads to Karlštejn’s famous 14th century Gothic castle….

castle.

I really enjoyed the walk up to the top of the hill with its picturesque views!

royal view.

At the castle, I took a 2 hour English tour explaining the history of the place and the old royal families, but no photos were allowed inside. The whole place is full of historic relics, royal portraits, twisting paths and staircases.

staircase.

Back down in the village after the tour, people were out enjoying the breezy weather. The whole town has a relaxed and unhurried feeling, perfect for a short day trip.

bike ride.

I loved getting a chance to see some of the Czech countryside and the old castle. : )

Late Afternoons on the Vltava River

Late afternoon and early evening are my favorite times of day to be around the Vltava River here in Prague.

In good weather, people always come out for paddle-boat sightseeing….

vltava.

And the light slanting in at this time of day is beautiful, giving all the riverside architecture a timeless look…

riverside buildings.

…as well as adding extra sparkle to Prague’s gilded accents…

gilded.

And the sparkle of the water as the sun sets is the finishing touch to the great atmosphere.

close to evening.

 
What’s your favorite time of day? : )