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J-term in Italy
J-term in Italy
J-term in Italy
January Term in Italy
Randolph-Macon College students enrolled in The Christian Heritage of Italy recently experienced firsthand the rich culture and beauty of Italy.
The January Term (
) course was taught by Darrell Headrick, who has served the Chaplain of the college and a member of the
Department for 28 years, and Senior Associate Dean of Students Kathryn Hull. Students spent several days on campus before jetting to Italy, where they explored Rome, Sorrento, Pompeii, Assisi, Siena, Florence, and Venice.
Hull says that seeing the country on foot made for a unique experience.
“We spent 15 days mostly walking the streets of Italy,” she says. “Our pedometer indicated we had covered some 90 miles from the day we landed in Rome to the day we left from Venice. Those 90 miles were full of education, adventure, and fun as we toured the basilicas, duomos (cathedrals), museums, and historical sites of Italy. Along the way, we enjoyed Italian cuisine – pasta, pizza, and gelato to name a few—and of course there were many ‘Kodak moments.’”
Sarah Kalasinsky ’15
minor, the highlight of the trip was seeing Pope Francis as she and her classmates waved their R-MC pom-poms. In one of her journal entries, she wrote:
“The papal audience was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Sitting in anticipation with 20,000 people was an adrenaline rush in itself. When Pope Francis entered Saint Peter’s Square, the whole crowd was overwhelmed with emotion. It was truly a life-changing experience.” Kalasinsky’s uncle, Sam Clay III ’66, and her cousin, Stephen Whitfield ’88, are also Yellow Jackets. “Sharing the bond of having the same alma mater as two people you look up to in your family is a neat feeling,” she says.
“I wish every student took the opportunity to enroll in a
trip at R-MC, for I have seen firsthand how much it broadens horizons,” says Hull. This was her fourth J-term trip to Italy. “It was exciting to visit the very places that the students had researched for the class. It was not just
about the history of Pompeii, it was walking the streets of that ancient city, with its marvelous ruins.” Travelers also toured the Roman Coliseum, visited the Roman Forum (and stood on the steps where Julius Caesar was stabbed), and walked the corridor of the Academia in Florence, where they saw Michelangelo’s
“We also saw the magnificent art works in the Vatican Museum of Rome and the Uffizi Museum of Florence, attended church services in the Basilica of St Frances of Assisi, and threw coins in the Trevi Fountain,” says Hull. “Add to that the experience and knowledge of our Chaplain and you have a wonder-filled journey through one of the most beautiful places in the world.”
Hull and Headrick had a unique experience in the Sistine Chapel while they and a hundred other visitors viewed the beautiful frescoes the Chapel is famous for.
“We turned to see the U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, getting lessons from a Cardinal as to what the frescoes signify,” recalls Hull. “It was interesting to note how many of the people around us snapped photos of the Secretary! Not tempted to do the same, Darrell and I stared in awe at Michelangelo’s
on the wall behind the altar.”
Caroline Eglseder ’15
minor, described in her journal how she felt about the sojourn in Italy. She wrote:
“I have felt like a sponge for the entirety of my trip, anxiously soaking up as much visual, spiritual and emotional information as possible. This trip has opened my eyes to what is beyond my own backyard.”
Headrick says that traveling with students is special in many ways.
“One of the main reasons that I continue to lead these classes is the opportunity to spend 24/7 with our students,” he says. “You get to know them in ways that are just not possible in a regular classroom. After every trip my friends roll their eyes when I say, ‘I think this was the best group of students ever!’ This year’s students were delightful, cooperative and engaged. They were well-prepared, intellectually curious, and wonderful ambassadors for the college. We received compliments about them from hotel and restaurant staff, tour guides and church officials wherever we went. One assistant abbess in Assisi said, ‘Rarely have I seen a college-student group seem to appreciate the holy places and respond with such reverence and respect as yours.’ I felt honored to be journeying with such outstanding young people.”
January Term at R-MC
J-term offers something for everyone. Students can spend January exploring the world and immerse themselves in another culture, a career, or an on-campus course. This year, R-MC celebrates 50 years of
Other students dedicate the month to internships. R-MC’s
Bassett Internship Program
connects students with internships in a wide range of locations and career fields. On campus, J-term offers for-credit courses across the curriculum, making it possible for students to immerse themselves for one month in a single subject or
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