Moments seem so much better when talking about them in retrospect.
Yesterday morning, my class had to meet up at Cadorna Station in Milan at 3:30pm to visit La Triennale di Milano (a design museum). At 1pm, my roommate, a classmate and I left at one and decided to explore the area around the station before meeting with the rest of our class. During the actual exploration, there were awkward silences and unspoken disagreements about whether we should move on or stay ( a popular one between non-photographers and photographers). Since there was only three of us there was no chance of splitting off. Our time spent together felt a bit forced until we had lunch where we spoke of where we came from and then realized we lost track of time and were late for meeting the rest of our class.
When telling the tale of why we were late (we explored the Museo de Castel, dipped our feet in a fountain, stumbled on the Duomo, photographed Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and settled for lunch), it sounded for more exciting than the reality of the experience.
While walking through the museum, the guide explained cubism, how important concepts are in art, Andy Worhol’s inspirations, etc. As we walked through I found those topics a bit less interesting (as I have had a little bit of art history background from my art classes) so I focused on the use of the museum space, lighting and the flow of the artwork. By juxtaposing certain photographs of humans eating next to photographs of animals hunting brought new meaning. I let myself explore the spaces while most of the students stayed close to the guide.
I think I am definitely getting a different experience out of this trip than my classmates. For some odd reason, I decided to take a class that includes a lot of type of writing that I am not familiar with, with a group of students who seem to hold very different philosophies and values than I do, and learn a language where most other students already have some basic background from taking Spanish while I do not. Basically, I feel alienated. Like I mentioned in a post before, when placed in a foreign situation, people are forced to compare their current situations to their past. In this case, I sincerely miss my class at USC. My friends from USC are always working on their own projects or have incredibly contemporary experimental news article to discuss about and that excites me far more than well, I’m not sure what the students I am with talk about. At USC, they are all about doing, trying, and being unapologetically themselves.
It’s always been super frustrating for me to try to be put into new environments and try to make strangers my friends. I’ve never been great at first impressions and I am incredibly awkward when speaking to strangers. I am often quiet in larger groups. I start off reserved, which is almost laughable once you really get to know me. I guess I just miss familiarity.
True, it’s completely unfair to compare strangers to people I have spent a whole year building relationships with and I do acknowledge I was largely intimidated by most of my classmates when I first met them. I guess it’s still exceptionally early and two months is still a long time to let things fall into place.