My semester abroad.

Bucket List in Progress

Every year I make a goals list. This year I thought I would make a Bucket List. I’m sure you can never be too young to start checking things off.

  1. See the Northern Lights
  2. Learn to Drive Stick Shift
  3. Drive Cross Country
  4. See a European Soccer Match Live
  5. See the Sunrise on the Furthest Part of the East Coast
  6. See the Seven Wonders of the Medieval World(Tower of Pisa and Colosseum: completed)
  7. See the Seven Natural Wonders of the World
  8. Go Skydiving
  9. Ride in a Hot Air Balloon
  10. See the Kentucky Derby
  11. Hike the Alps
  12. Go to Auschwitz
  13. Go to the Four Corner States
  14. Walk to Canada
  15. Drink a beer at Oktober Fest
  16. See the Ball drop in NYC on New Years Eve
  17. Watch the fireworks in Washington DC on the Fourth of July
  18. Walk the Great Wall of China
  19. See an NFL game live (perferably a BILLS game)
  20. Go Camping in 20 Different States
  21. Become a certified masseuse
  22. Go to the Olympics (to watch of course)
  23. Sleep under the stars in Colorado
  24. Go to Mardi Gras in New Orleans
  25. Be Petey for a Game

To Be Continued…

The “Sperma” sweatshirt. Please read the Italy: Home of the “Sf” Blog for an explanation.

The “Sperma” sweatshirt. Please read the Italy: Home of the “Sf” Blog for an explanation.

Day Thirty Five: Crazy Asian Tourists

Photo of the Day:

The Duomo

Quotes from Marcello(my Quarters of Florence Teacher who talks in the 3rd person):

  1. "I go home and see IKEA, they go home and see a Raphael.” He was talking about the Taddei Family home. They adopted Raphael at a young age and he made a lot of paintings for them
  2. "We have more Davids in Florence, than Japanese tourists." A girl asked why there were so many different versions of the David.
  3. "David must have impressed my Florentine ancestors more than Indiana Jones, Spiderman, Superman, and Harry Potter." Also referring to the large amount of David statues. 

Overview: The weather has cooled down a lot. It has been t-shirt and jean weather! Fall has arrived. In my Quarters of Florence class we take notes for the first half of class and then we walk around Florence. While standing in front of the Duomo listening to a group present information on the Baptistery an Asian lady tapped the shoulder of a girl in my class. She turned around and the Asian lady’s husband snapped a photo. She then went to the next girl and her husband took a photo of them. We all looked at each other and laughed. Why do Asians take pictures of the most random things? (Future Jason Blog: be on the look out) I tried to grab a picture of the lady, but she walked away.

Day Thirty Four: Tea with Mussolini

Overview: Week three has begun! No crazy Mexican stories from class today. The weekend was pretty uneventful. On Saturday I walked around with Ashley and went shopping. On Sunday (yesterday) I went to IKEA for the first time. It was very overwhelming. It was very busy and they did not have anything I wanted. Today is the start of a new chapter of my study abroad experience. I had the first night of Cinema Club. We watched a movie called Tea with Mussolini about a group of English women that were in Florence during the beginning of World War II. It was a very cute story I recommend it to anyone.

Photo of the Day:

Song in My Head

Every morning I wake up with a song stuck in my head for the past week it has been the same song and same line. It is definitely symbolic I’m sure of it. The song is by Train and it is called “I Got You”. 


Hey, did you hear about the one that got away, they say he looked left,
she turned right-meant to be together but not that night,
it’s when fates running late, we tend to make mistakes,
we go round and round from love to love
it’s either way too much or not enough

The songs seems to say that they have each other hence the “I Got You”, but they are still on the hunt. I guess “I’ll be just fine sit back enjoy the ride”.

My ah-talian flash cards, and most of which are food words. Thanks Daniela I look like a fatty.

My ah-talian flash cards, and most of which are food words. Thanks Daniela I look like a fatty.

Who knew Renaissance Sculptures had cell phones? 

Who knew Renaissance Sculptures had cell phones? 

Italy: Home of the Sf’s

When you have a last name like “Sformo” it is bound to be butchered. Some examples:

Example #1: I was on my eighth grade trip to Cleveland I was proudly wearing my Spencerport Lacrosse hoodie. It had my last name in cursive on the front. We went to a nice family restaurant on the way home from Cleveland and my group sat at a table with a few random people. As I’m eating dinner the boy across the table asked me if my last name was “sperma”. I quickly said no and explained to him the spelling of my last name.

Example #2: Every time I answer the home phone the other end of the line asks “Is James Stormo, Storma, Stahformo there.” At that point I say “nope bye.”

Example #3: My girl scout leader for the longest time if not the whole time I was in Girl Scouts would spell my last name with an apostrophe. S’formo. Which I guess makes sense with a Rahhchester accent.

Example #4: My screen name when I was a kid was clever: so4moe. Yep my last name spelled out phonetically and numerically with my birthday at the end (I did not add because of security reasons). It was the age of AIM. I still continue to use it for an email address and a few other IDs. One of the IDs is for my bank account. In February I was making a new account and the man that was helping me asked me to enter my ID. He turns to me and goes “So you like MOE?” I was like “No it’s my last name spelled phonically.” He responds with “Oh, there’s a band called MOE and I thought you were “so for” them.” I certainly do not know who MOE is nor am I for them. Every time I go into the bank he says hello.   

There are a few more stories but I forget some pieces. Senior year of high school we were required to do a Family Genealogy project and paper to learn about our families origins. I learned that my last name means ‘loud’. If you know me or you know my family it fits. Now that I am in Italy I am able to use the Italian dictionaries and find what Sformo really means, which is “to knock out of shape”. Quite fitting as well.

While being in Italy I have noticed that a lot of items are spelled like my last name. In America there is not a word or thing spelled starting with the first two letters ‘sf’. In Italy everything starts with ‘sf’. I feel so at home. Here are some examples:

Sfumato: means “hazy” or “smoky”— as the background shades into the foreground

Sformato: a type of souffle

Sforamento: overrunning

Sfrattare: to evict

Sfruttatore: exploiter, user

Sfera: ball, sphere

There are so many other words that start with ‘Sf’ I feel like I belong.

Day Thirty One: One of The Museums

Photo of the Day (googled):

Overview: The school offers a museum pass for 20 Euro. I decided to get it because one of my suite mates is a art history major and my other suite mate is an art major. I get into about eight different museums for free, including the Acedemia, and Pitti Palace. Today we went to the Uffizi Gallery. We spent about two hours walking around and looking at pictures and sculptures. The birth of Venus was one of the famous paintings that was in the this Gallery. It was great. There was two Davinci paintings too. Im excited to use the pass at other locations in Florence. 

Day Thirty: My Week

Overview: I haven’t really written much this week because not to much has went on. My weekend started Wednesday at 1:15pm. I finished my homework for the next week Wednesday at 4pm. I am seriously bored! Today I went to the market again and made sauce for the week. I use the sauce to make pizza and pasta. Today I added red peppers, onion and zucchini it was so chunky and good. I wish I had a food processor to make it smooth.

Classes since Event Planning have been good. On Tuesday I had my Quarters of Florence class. Marcello (my teacher who talks in the third person) showed us the Northern, richest quarter where the Medici’s lived. I found out that the familys of the quartiere housed some greats like Michelanglo and Raphael. As a class we walked for about an hour away from where I needed to be. My night class on Tuesday is basically a review of everything I have learned in every other Communication class that I have taken in the past 6 years of my life.

On Wednesday I had my Food of Italy class. Again the teacher/master chef wowed me! The meal we had was out of this universe. I have a new love for hazelnuts because of it. For the first course we had a sausage risotto. For the second a porkchop with a white wine, creme and hazelnut sauce. For the third we had a hazelnut cake. It was a wonderful day of  food. Next week we are going to the market and out to dinner.

This weekend we plan on going to the museum, IKEA and the mall.