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Tag: John Felice Rome Center

The Little Things

The Little Things

The little things seem insignificant yet define our everyday. Like the way the bus jolts or the cold humidity, which I’ve never experienced as a Chicagoian. Or enjoying my choice of three different flavors of gelato in one cone (flavor number one is always cioccolato). That moment of realization that I’m lost, but completely content. Dreading the uphill walk to get to class and making friends with the neighborhood cats. The warm feeling of sunshine coupled with the smell of espresso and fresh air. Awe at the grandeur of Roman art and architecture while weaving through the Saturday afternoon crowds congesting the small cobblestone streets in the city center. The feeling of accomplishment when I successfully navigate home from an adventure.

These are a few of the things that define my first three weeks in Rome, Italy at the John Felice Rome Center. These moments are mine and no one else’s. Before leaving Chicago to come to Rome, I wanted advice from anyone and everyone about being abroad but I’ve come to realize that everyone’s experience is unique. Moving to a new city has exposed me to the little things that I’ve become desensitized to in Chicago. I want to remember all the little things from every place I visit over the next three months, especially the gelato. This weekend I’ll be exploring Florence, Italy, stay tuned for updates of my adventures!

 

 

 

Culture Shocked: Transportation, Scammers, Making Friends

Culture Shocked: Transportation, Scammers, Making Friends

Thursday, January 18th, 2018.

What am I doing here.

 

Prior to arriving in Rome, I had this notion that I’d be living in the middle of a postcard. Everything beautiful all around me all of the time. That wasn’t the case. Here at the John Felice Rome Center, we’re on the hill. It’s sort of the outskirts of Rome called Balduina and is on top of a hill. If I take the 990 Bus, for example, I’m 45 minutes from Vatican City. That is if the bus ever comes, of course. This is the first culture shock: public transportation works how and when it wants to. There is no use in understanding it. This is just the way it is. Understanding that Rome has no logic is the hardest part of adapting for me, but now I’m two weeks in and I’m over it. Need more dependable transportation? Take the metro.

Culture shock two: Scammers. They’re everywhere. This is a huge obstacle to making local friends other than the language barrier. The second night in Rome, a group of friends from at the JFRC and I went out to Trastevere. All of the locals know this area for their American pubs and clubs so some often times locals will come to swoon the International Students. Its also known by JFRC staff as an area

for students to be more cautious in. While hanging out near a bar, a group of locals approached my friends and I. They seemed really friendly and we had a lot of fun trying to overcome our language barriers. They knew as much English as we do Italian. One of the guys offered us a drink out of his cup. Red Flag. Its important to remember, especially if one’s been drinking, to stay aware of possible harm. I don’t know whether he was being amicable or malicious in his offer; however, I did know I did not want to find out. This isn’t to say making friends here outside the JFRC is impossible

because there are so many warm and loving people in Rome. More-so, never forget to stay aware.  During the first two weeks of orientation, the JFRC staff takes all of the students on trips and diners. One trip we went on was to The Colosseum and to the Roman Forum. It is one of the most astonishingly beautiful areas I’ve ever been in. Around these tourist areas specifically I’ve noticed, people on the street will approach me with roses, selfie-sticks, bracelets, ect. and try to put them in my hand essentially to get me to buy. At first I found it shocking, but now I’ve learned to say, “Non, grazie,” and be on my way. One place I noticed scammers weren’t as prevalent are the Villas. As a group, JFRC visited Villa Farnese other known as Villa Caprarola where we were privileged enough to tour the mansion. Sometimes the coolest places in Italy are in the middle of nowhere and its amazing.

 

This week I met someone named Ben. He’s an International Student studying medicine at a neighboring university. One night, we walked all around Rome hitting all of the tourist spots that just have to be seen and he explained the history of each spot. It was fascinating. We saw the Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain), Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti (The Spanish Steps), and Villa Borghese gardens. Days like this where the weather is beautiful, tourism is down because its later in the evening, and great friends surround you are days where Rome is absolutely lovely and the fact that buses may or may not ever come doesn’t matter to much. Making new friends, in my opinion, is my favorite part of being in Rome. I generally trust new people, but taking precautions such as telling my roommate or SLA where I’ll be, who I’m with, ect. to stay safe is vital. We drove back to the JFRC to drop me off at the end of the night on a scooter and in that moment I actually felt like Lizzie McGuire.

 

 

 

So, what am I doing here?
Living my best life.

 

Bienvenuto a Roma!

Bienvenuto a Roma!

Week one has officially come and gone! I have to say, it feels like I’ve been here a lot longer. From the 24 hours of constant travel to full days of orientation to my first few days of classes, the reality of studying abroad still hasn’t sunk in. As I wait for the feeling of being at summer camp to wear off, I’ve managed to become open to as many weekend trips and late night gelato runs as possible.

Before arriving in Italy, the only expectations I had of the country were based off the movies I’d seen (Lizzie McGuire, anyone?) and posts I’d saved on Pinterest. Italian culture has always drawn me in and a dream of mine is to live in Italy once I graduate college. The beginning of junior year I had come to terms that I was stuck in a rut that felt impossible to climb out, so I took my study abroad plans off the back burner, did my research, and signed up. The process was stressful so if you’re a procrastinator like me, get everything in order ASAP, it’ll save you a headache later.

As a commuter, I’ve never had a true “college experience” in the sense that I’ve never had a roommate that wasn’t my sister, I haven’t had to deal with dorm drama and eating cafeteria food was never even a passing thought. So far, I’ve gotten lucky. My roommate is the sweetest, my dorm has the best view, and as for the cafeteria…well, I guess that’ll still take some getting used to.

Seeing the beauty of Rome firsthand is something that no picture can ever fully capture. I still have a long way to go on my list of things to see, but the mindblowing reality of the historical significance is almost too much to handle. Walking the streets and taking in the monuments I’ve only read about in textbooks is an experience unlike any other.

If you’re on the fence about studying abroad, or if you’ve never left home before (like me), just go for it. Don’t be one of those people that gets caught up in the 9-5 and comfort of home! Go out and explore! See the world! Wear whatever you want! Talk to people you wouldn’t usually talk to! Eat weird food! …just make sure to pack some snacks from home. I wish I did.

Ciao,

Andrea

 

From Home to Rome

From Home to Rome

It’s been a crazy couple of days already. Well it’s actually only been 5 days. Throughout my time here, I have learned a lot. I’ve learned that snacks in airports are crazy expensive. I’ve learned that having a 9-hour flight can suck. I’ve learned that it is possible to get the stomach flu within the first two days abroad ANDD…I’ve technically learned a lot of things. Fun right?

There’s a lot you can expect when studying abroad but you are never truly prepared for it until you make it to your destination. So for those who are curious or want to know what one may go through when studying abroad, let me give you a recap of what I’ve gone through so far.

The first day was hectic and emotional because not only did I not know what to expect, but I was also not ready to say goodbye to my family, friends, and loved ones. It didn’t hit me that I was going to leave all of them for such a long until my final week at home. It was harder because I have never been away from home. Ever. So to study abroad in Rome, somewhere far far away, was a huge step. I started counting down the days and hours until I left and I was honestly dreading the little amount of time I had left. It wasn’t something I was used to.

So if you plan to study abroad, but you have never been away from home, expect to feel like this. Don’t worry though. That feeling will go away with all the great adventures and long walks you go on (literally). I only knew one person in my program, but with all of the outings I’ve had I’ve been able to make a good group of friends. Don’t be shy and, especially, don’t be sad to be away from home. Go head first and embark yourself in this incredible journey you are in!

Another thing…packing is hard. I literally wear a different set of clothes everyday, so to limit myself to only a suitcase and carry-on for my study abroad trip was a struggle. Right now, I still miss my clothes at home. Packing was hard because you literally want to bring everything, but also because you feel like you are leaving a part of you behind (not to be cheesy). Don’t panic! You will have tons of opportunities to buy stuff over there for a cheaper price and better quality. Also, you will have the opportunity to discover a new you through all the experiences you go through, which may include a new fashion style!

Don’t overpack, but also don’t underpack. Currently, I’ve been wearing the same yoga pants for 4 days because I only brought two pairs (sad times). Also, start packing ahead of time because you’re going to need all the time to weight your suitcases and triple check the clothes you bring. I know somebody here who actually forgot to bring their pajamas. Oh! Leave the heels at home. There is way too many hills and rocks for you to be able to efficiently walk in those.

Once I got through the struggle of packing and dealing with my feeling, I was able to start enjoying my journey. The very first day I got here I went to eat gelato and visit the Trevi Fountain. It was amazing! It didn’t feel like I was in Rome until that moment. It was great and I was low-key having a Lizzie McGuire moment when I threw my coin in the Trevi Fountain.

In that moment, I knew I’d enjoy my three to four months here. I was obviously going to miss home and everybody that was there. I was going to miss my mom’s food, my dog, the Chicago skyline, and everything about home. However, I knew that great experiences would be formed here. After going through so many orientation sessions and making some new friends, I am ready to start off school. I am ready to take on new challenges in a new country, surround myself in a different culture, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

For those of you who are reading this and are thinking about studying abroad…DO IT. Even if it is just a winter or summer term. It will be worth it. For those of you who are reading this for funsies or because you were curious…well now you know what I’ve gone through so far. It’s been a rollercoaster full of emotions, but in between all of that, memories have been made already.

I hope to make even more memories so I can continue updating you, but for now CIAO!

P.S: Here’s a picture of me finally visiting the Colosseum 🙂

My Internship in Rome (Final Week)

My Internship in Rome (Final Week)

This semester in Rome, I was fortunate enough to get hired as a marketing intern for a company called The Roman Guy. The Roman Guy specializes in various VIP tours of different tourist attractions all around Rome, as well as several local food tours in different areas. As an assignment for my class ROST 370, I am required to reflect on my experience of working as an intern for this company.

This week at the Roman Guy, my boss assigned me several tasks that I had to complete by the end of the week. Some of these tasks were my usual assignments, like finding TripAdvisor reviews and posting them to our website, editing blogs using the blog life cycle rules, and posting three instagram pictures and two stories. However, since this was my last week working as an intern for the Roman Guy, I was also assigned some tasks that were very different. Instead of writing a Rome Key Attraction paper, I was assigned to write my own blog while following all of the rules that I learned this semester. There is so much more than what meets the eye about blog writing. When you write one, you have to follow about 15 different rules of the Blog Life Cycle. These rules range from what kind of title you chose, to the pictures you have, all the way down to how the grammar is composed. This was one of my challenges for this week, because although I learned all of the rules and worked with them throughout the semester, I found it hard to make your blog post still apply to them. For example, my blog could be about whatever I wanted it to be, so I chose to write about three different places in Italy that I went to while studying abroad and what my favorite memories were there. My coworkers loved this blog idea but it was hard to write since everything was in the past tense, which is a rule that the blog life cycle wants you to avoid. In order to make my blog pass all of the rules, I had to figure out how to edit my post and keep it in the past tense, but change some sentence structures in order for the blog to be completely green and good to post. Before starting my internship, I created three learning objectives that I wanted to achieve by the end of my internship. One of the learning objectives that I set for myself was to improve my writing. I believe that I definitely achieved this goal while working as an intern for the Roman Guy, because the majority of the tasks that I had to complete involved writing. This at first was another challenge of mine, because I was not that confident in myself and I thought that all of the tasks that I had to do that involved writing would not turn out well. I overcame this by becoming more confident in myself and my writing, and overall others have told me that I have improved significantly. So far, one of the most impressive things about my internship to date is my co workers and how well good they are at their job. They are some of the most creative people I know and they are always coming up with ideas that are outside of the box. Another thing that impresses me is how well my co workers work as a team together. They are all good friends, and yet they don’t let that get in the way of their work and they can all compose work with one another that is very professional. Overall, I am extremely happy that I decided to do this internship because it has helped me improve in many significant ways and it helped open my eyes up to what my future career could potentially look like. I am extremely blessed to have been able to work at The Roman Guy, and to have such amazing co workers that were constantly pushing me to do better and were so supportive of my decisions. I will forever remember and cherish the memories that I has working as an intern for this company. Thank you for reading about my journey working as an intern for the Roman Guy and ciao for now!

My Internship in Rome (Week 8)

My Internship in Rome (Week 8)

This semester in Rome, I was fortunate enough to get hired as a marketing intern for a company called The Roman Guy. The Roman Guy specializes in various VIP tours of different tourist attractions all around Rome, as well as several local food tours in different areas. As an assignment for my class ROST 370, I am required to reflect on my experience of working as an intern for this company.

This week at the Roman Guy, I was assigned multiple tasks that I had to complete by a specific time. Some of these tasks were similar to what I have completed in the past, and some others were brand new. Some of the tasks that I accomplished this week we’re finding TripAdvisor reviews and posting them to our website, editing several blog posts using the Blog Life Cycle, writing about The Vatican Museums for our Vatican Tours, posting three instagram pictures and two stories, inviting people on Facebook to like our page, and finding 10 different photos that I will use to help create a video for our Facebook page. Previous classroom knowledge has helped me because a lot of what I learned, such as tactics for gaining followers, in my previous marketing class is being used during this internship as well. Before starting my internship, I created a learning objectives that I wanted to achieve by the end of my internship. One of my learning objectives that I have been working towards completing is to improve my writing skills for blog posts, various social media apps, and articles. I am working towards achieving this objective, because every week I am assigned a different tourism site in Rome and I have to research it extensively and write a small article about it. After I am done writing it, I send it for my boss to be looked over which will then be posted to The Roman Guy’s website when it is complete. I have also been working on improving my writing, because I have to edit several blogs using rules from the Blog Life Cycle. This challenges me because I have to know how to not use a passive voice, use better transitions, and reword sentences to make them shorter because ultimately that is what helps make a blog post good. A challenge that I have been recently facing regarding my internship is transportation. This past week, getting to work was rough because I missed my train and it was delayed a couple of times, and I also had to deal with a crazy Italian lady that was on the train one day that was giving me a hard time for being an American. Although I can’t control other people’s actions, I am going to fix the other problem by leaving an extra 10 minutes early so that I can hopefully avoid missing the train and dealing with delays. So far, one of the most impressive things about my internship to date is how creative my coworkers are. They can come up with really neat ideas involving photography, video, and content posting, and they push me to think more outside of the box in order to make our content be different and catch peoples attention. For the following weeks, I am expected to take full control of our company’s Instagram, The Roman Foodie, and incorporate creative pictures onto the profile and post more frequently. I will also be working on more creative projects that involve creating and editing videos for our Facebook and Instagram page. Besides that as of now, I am expected to keep interacting with followers, writing and editing blog posts, and marketing our social media to followers. So far I have been loving my internship and I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for me. Ciao for now!

My Internship in Rome (Week 6)

My Internship in Rome (Week 6)

This semester in Rome, I was fortunate enough to get hired as a marketing intern for a company called The Roman Guy. The Roman Guy specializes in various VIP tours of different tourist attractions all around Rome, as well as several local food tours in different areas. As an assignment for my class ROST 370, I am required to reflect on my experience of working as an intern for this company.

This week at The Roman Guy, I finished writing and researching a post about Michelangelo’s the Pietà for our Vatican Tours. After my work is read and reviewed by my boss, it is later posted to our website in order to inform customers who are interested in taking a tour of the Vatican. I also found Tripadvisor reviews about our tours online and posted them to our website, so that customers are able to see other positive reviews about our service. Lastly, I interacted with followers and posted on my company’s instagram, The Roman Foodie, in order to increase followers and market the company. Previous classroom knowledge has been helping me because since the majority of my internship involves writing, some English courses that I took last semester are really coming in handy. Also specifics that I learned in my previous marketing classes has been helping me too, because a lot of the things that I do at my internship relate to what I learned about marketing in school. Before starting my internship, I created a learning objective that I wanted to achieve by the end of my internship. One of my learning objectives that I have been working towards completing is improving my writing skills regarding blog posts, various social media apps, and articles as well as having my boss critique my work when I am finished. I am reaching this objective because every week I am in charge of researching and writing an article on a famous tourist site in Rome, and afterwards my boss reviews and critiques my work in order to help me improve. Regarding challenges, I had something terrible happen to me that will affect my internship. In class, my iPhone was sitting on the edge of the table and when my professor walked past and bumped the table, my iPhone fell on the ground. At first it appeared fine because it did not have any cracks, but then I realized that the whole touch screen was broke and the screen wouldn’t stop flashing. This is crucial because I am in charge of running my company’s instagram, which I use my iPhone to do. Luckily my friends are amazing, as they are letting me use their phone to post for the company whenever I need to and continue to interact with followers in the mean time, so hopefully this accident won’t be too much of an inconvenience. So far, one of the most impressive things about my internship to date is my coworkers. They are really supportive of me being a leader and the decisions that I make, and whenever there is a problem they always completely understand and help me with whatever I need. They are the best and I always look forward to working with them. My expectations for the following weeks is that I am going to be researching and writing more about Rome key attractions, running The Roman Foodie instagram account, and I will also be taking over my companies Pinterest page and learning how to monitor our followers. So far I have been loving my internship and I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for me. Ciao for now and thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Internship in Rome (Week 4)

My Internship in Rome (Week 4)

This semester in Rome, I was fortunate enough to get hired as a marketing intern for a company called The Roman Guy. The Roman Guy specializes in various VIP tours of different tourist attractions all around Rome, as well as several local food tours in different areas. As an assignment for my class ROST 370, I am required to reflect on my experience of working as an intern for this company.

This week at the Roman Guy, I have completed several tasks that were fairly similar to my tasks from last week. I found reviews online about our tours and posted them to the company’s website, I researched and wrote two articles on the Colosseum arena floor and the third tier, I edited and revised five different blog articles using the rules of the blog lifecycle, and I interacted and posted on our instagram page called The Roman Foodie. Previous classroom knowledge has been helping me a lot with my internship because my job is very writing intensive, so my english classes that I have recently completed have been very useful. One of my learning objectives that I have is to  improve my writing skills for blog posts, various social media apps, and articles by following the blog life cycle. I have been working to fully achieve this objective because the past weeks that I have been here I have been focusing on writing and following the blog life cycle. I see myself improving significantly, because the first couple of weeks I could only get a couple of posts done and now I can get a couple of them done in a day. Some challenges that I have been facing recently regarding my internship is balancing work and school with one another. It is midterm week, so I have been very busy with school and tests but on top of that I have to work as well. This week was hard because I stayed up pretty late after working in order to get school work done and it left me exhausted. For the future, I am going to try to get the majority of my school work and studying done on the weekends so that the school week isn’t as stressful. Something that has been impressing me a lot recently about my internship is how organized and professional the office is. All of the workers here are really good friends with one another, yet they still manage to get a lot of work done, be professional, and not let their friendships get in the way of their work. My expectations for the following weeks is that I am going to keep working on writing Rome’s key attraction pages. I am also expected to keep interacting and gain more followers on the Roman Foodie’s instagram. After fall break, I am going to be learning and taking over our The Roman Guys pinterest and posting on there. So far I love my internship and I cannot wait to see what the future holds. Arrivederci!

My Internship in Rome (Week 2)

My Internship in Rome (Week 2)

This semester in Rome, I was fortunate enough to get hired as a marketing intern for a company called The Roman Guy. The Roman Guy specializes in various VIP tours of different tourist attractions all around Rome, as well as several local food tours in different areas. As an assignment for my class ROST 370, I am required to reflect on my experience of working as an intern for this company.

Specific Tasks

This week at the Roman Guy, I had almost the same tasks as last week. I found good reviews on trip advisor and posted them to our website, I continued to edit blog posts using the blog life cycle, brainstormed and researched ideas for my companies study abroad blog, posting on our company’s instagram, and I completed my Underground Colosseum essay for our website. Information from my marketing class that I took last semester has been helping me a lot so far with this internship, making certain marketing strategies a lot simpler for me to complete because my professor taught me this previous semester.

Learning Objectives

One of my learning objectives is to attract and communicate with travel bloggers in order to help market The Roman Guy tours and blogs. I have started to work towards achieving my learning objective because I have been interacting with some bloggers on instagram. I will find bloggers in the area and reach out to them, or bloggers that already know our company I will post their pictures and give them credit to our thousands of followers and they will do the same in return. Although this is just the start, by the end of my internship I hope that I could attract a wide variety of bloggers in order to help market The Roman Guy.

Challenges

Something that I have recently found very hard for me to do is to write for several hours without losing focus. I can easily lose focus if I am working on the same project for too long. My coworkers on the other hand can sit and write for the whole entire day without any breaks. Some efforts that I have been making to fix this is that I set a goal for how much I want to write and a certain amount of time, and when I achieve that goal I give myself a small break and go for a walk around the office. I also switch up my tasks frequently, so that I don’t get easily bored of doing the same thing.

What impresses me about my internship

Like I said last post, the main thing that still impresses me the most about my internship are my coworkers. It amazes me that in the marketing department, all of the girls will sit on their computer for several hours straight without any breaks and just write for that whole entire time. All of my coworkers experience in their field really impresses me and also how well everyone works together as a team in the small office to be successful.  

Expectations for the Future

In the future, I am going to continue working towards improving my writing because next week I have my study abroad blog due. On this blog, I am researching the best places to see amazing street art in Rome. After writing about six places, I have to go to each of the places and take/edit pictures of the art on my own. After I finish this project, my next project will be working on a different Rome Key Attraction post for the Roman Guy’s  website.

My Internship in Rome (Week 1)

My Internship in Rome (Week 1)

Ciao! This semester in Rome, I was fortunate enough to get hired as a marketing intern for a company called The Roman Guy. The Roman Guy specializes in various VIP tours of different tourist attractions all around Rome, as well as several local food tours in different areas. As an assignment for my class ROST 370, I am required to reflect on my experience of working as an intern for this company.

Specific tasks

Working as a marketing intern for The Roman Guy is an interesting job because all of my assigned tasks frequently change and I am never stuck doing the same thing. For my first week, my job has been very writing intensive as I have been working on creating and editing blogs, writing an article about the Colosseum for our Rome Key Attractions Page, and posting on our company’s food instagram (The Roman Foodie). So far, classroom knowledge has helped me a lot because I am able to use an abundance of information that I learned about marketing from taking the class this previous spring semester and apply it to what I am working on at my internship in order to help market our content better.

Learning objectives

 

As an intern, I was required to create several learning objectives that I want to achieve by the end of the semester. One of my biggest learning objectives was to improve my writing skills for blog posts and various social media apps, and have the whole marketing department critique my work for improvements. Little did I know that my first week on the job I would already be making progress towards my learning objective. I am not the most confident when it comes to my writing, but I am happy that my internship had my beginning tasks be writing intensive because then that way I can have more time to improve on this skill throughout the semester. There is a lot more to blogging than what meets the eye. At our company, we have a checklist called The Blog Lifecycle where there are about 15 different extensive tasks that need to be completed in order to have a successful blog post. My first day on the job, I learned all about the cycle and this is what I am using as my guideline in order to improve my writing skills and create a successful blog post which will ultimately help me make progress towards my learning objective.

 

Problems and Challenges

Some problems that I have had involving my internship is writing for an extensive period of time. Sometime I have to be writing the entire time I am working which can be around five hours. At first it was hard for me to stay focused, but now I am getting used to writing for a long period of time and also finding out about the free espresso machine in our office made everything a lot easier. Another one of my challenges is using public transportation to get to my work. During my first week, I learned how to correctly use the regional train the hard way as I accidently got on the wrong train and it took me about 25 minutes outside of Balduina. This was scary, because I had no idea where I was and it was getting pretty late at night. When I asked several people for help, they ignored me or told me that they didn’t know how to help me. Luckily, I found this one extremely generous lady who helped me get on the right train and she even taught me how to correctly use the Rome transportation system so that I would never make the same mistake again. Now I always leave a bit earlier so that I can make sure that I have enough time to get to where I need to in order to prevent getting on the wrong train from happening again.

What Impresses me about my internship

So far, the most impressive thing about my internship is all of my coworkers, as they are all extremely talented and good at their jobs. The Roman Guy is an extremely small company that is very successful, so it is amazing to see how the whole staff works together to create great content and get more customers. I am very lucky to be working in the marketing department with my coworkers Lorna, Sian, and Francesca, because they all very experienced in the marketing field and they all inspire me in many ways. It is only the first week and I already have learned many new things from them that I can apply to my future career.

Expectations for the future

In the future, I am expected to keep improve my writing skills as I have to create about 10 blog posts total for our company’s Key Attraction Page. I expect this to be very difficult, because each post needs to be thought out and edited carefully. It also takes a long period of time to create just one post, so I am ready for this challenge that I will be facing in the future.

I am so excited for the future and to see how my internship will help me grow as an individual, and I will keep posting updates on my work. Arrivederci!