February 7-10, 2017: La La Land Fever

We finally found a good burger place in Italy. It’s called well done burger. They have cool water bottles. I bought one for myself because I lost my water bottle somewhere over break. I’m going to have to buy myself a new umbrella too because I left mine in a cab in Vienna, but they don’t sell umbrellas here and you rarely need it in Italy. The burgers are actually surprisingly good. And they have good oval shaped fries. And there’s a hot barista there, on Tuesday anyways. We’re trying to make burgers and movies a weekly thing. Especially because the movies are so cheap at the Cineteca. And it’s Oscars season. We tried to get into La La Land. It was a 10:15 screening and it was sold out! I was shocked. You see, the Italians don’t want to see it in Italian dub either. They want to see it in the original language, and this is the only theater that screens in the original version. I’d never seen the place so packed. Instead we saw Arrival. I was really bummed out because I’ve been looking forward to La La Land for months (since it was announced, but it’d already been out in the States since December, and I missed it in Venice earlier), but Arrival was actually an excellent movie. It was brilliant.  It really affected me how trippy and beautiful it was. When we eventually did catch La La Land the following week, it was magical. I loved it.

Arrival: http://tylerstakes.blogspot.it/2017/02/arrival-2016.html

La La Land: http://tylerstakes.blogspot.it/2017/02/la-la-land-2016.html

The second week of classes I continued shopping around. I had a dilemma between “Migration and Security” taught by Soren Jessen-Petersen or “Constitutional Development and Democratization” taught by Justin Frosini, my advisor. Migration is the most popular class at SAIS Europe. It was offered in the fall and it was oversubscribed by thirty people, so they decided to offer it again in the spring. Professor Jessen-Petersen is very high up in UNHCR. The course meets biweekly and it’s really interesting and timely. But ultimately I went with Frosini’s class, which was more interesting and intellectual and more work. It meets Friday morning, which is not ideal, but it’s one of my favorite courses now.

I spend the most time trying to plan my weekends, but it’s really difficult thinking far ahead. The problem is I don’t know what I’m going to have to do for my classes in the future and which weekends I have to be in Bologna. I have to monitor flights going everywhere in Europe every weekend. It’s hard just being decisive and picking something. We end up booking everything pretty last minute. It’s more stressful thinking about travel than doing schoolwork. You really don’t want to waste any weekends. We’re running out of them really fast!

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There’s a little window that overlooks this romantic canal in Bologna. Bologna used to look like Venice but they built over the canals. When it hasn’t rained for a while, this canal is dry.
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