Sunday, January 29, 2017


For the last few days I was in Urbino, a small university town near the eastern coast of Italy. I went in order to attend this meeting that we had for an abroad semester for a Master's program that my boss and I coordinate. I took a lot of pictures, because the place itself was beautiful. 

This was a room in the building where we had our meeting. 

The restaurant where we had lunch on the second evening

The street from my hotel to the main square

The church near my hotel  (note the snow)

The view from a window in the Palazzo Ducale

One of the "apartments" in the Palazzo

The road on the way back to the bus station

It was a very productive trip, in terms of the MA program. We had to take a bus and three trains to get there, so the days before and after were pretty much all spent with travelling. It made me think about what it must be like to live in a university town. Obviously, Lugano is very different. Now, I'm back and ready to start a more prolonged period of working and furthering my progress in the PhD.  

Monday, January 23, 2017

First post of 2017

This winter break, I decided to push my vacation back a few weeks. After working through the holidays (and actually being fairly productive), I headed off to Berlin as I am often wont to do. It was cold and snowy. 

I did manage to go shopping and eat some food and see some people BUT around the halfway point of my ten-day excursion, I got really sick. I guess it wasn't unexpected...the indicators were all there: very little sleep + very low temperatures + and running around a lot = sick me.  I was then restricted to solitary confinement in my (very generous and amazing) friend's apartment with the following view:

The last couple of days were okay, as I managed to heal up somewhat. Still, a sizable chunk of my vacation was spent cursing misfortune and drinking lots of tea. Oh well...

I noticed that this time in Berlin I didn't have as much fun as I usually do. It could be chalked up to the fact that it was -8° for a while there and that I am not a winter person. I think, though, that it had to do with the fact that I left a year ago and felt the same amount of groundedness and presence after four days that I would have had if I had stayed for the entire year in Berlin. I noticed also that with the lack of distraction in Lugano, I've grown and changed a lot since I moved here. The people in Berlin have been enjoying Berlin (something that I'm probably more than a bit jealous of) but personal development isn't necessarily part of the city's energy. 
I think being in Lugano is probably exactly what I need to be doing at the moment, even if I'm not having the most wild and crazy time. I'll probably take a bit of a break from Berlin as well. I went back four times last year...and this year I have a lot of conferences and travelling and whatnot. It all makes sense, I guess.