In 1997 I suffered an injury at work, which left me unable to continue in that career. As a result I returned to school in 1999 enrolling in the Paralegal Studies department at CCRI. Being a second generation Italian-American brought up with many Italian traditions, I have always felt drawn to my heritage and Italian culture. Although my program of study did not require the inclusion of a language, I chose to study Italian as an elective. My experience studying the Italian language and the culture of Italy with Professor Mansella proved to be inspiring, enlightening, and most enjoyable for me. I continued to include as many classes as my schedule would allow, and will finish my studies at CCRI with four semesters of Italian language study in addition to my degree requirements related to legal studies.
In the summer of 2000 I used my abilities in the language to organize a unique trip through northern Italy. I had the opportunity to experience a side of the country not typically seen by the average American tourist. I experienced cities and villages, historical sites, and was able to interact with the people in the more out of the way places. I was most impressed with the attitude and sensibilities of the Italian people. Theirs is a culture that embraces beauty, art, and family. There seems to be a wisdom that promotes the importance of seeking a spiritually balanced in life. Unlike America, which is a very young country, Italians identify with a very long rich history. Perhaps this is the origin of the contrast I experienced, and the source of the wisdom I felt.
I intend to continue with my studies. I have been accepted at Salve Regina University where I plan to pursue dual Masters Degrees in Administration of Justice and International Relations. I hope to be able to apply my combined studies in a career in which I can help to promote a blending of our culture with those of other nations. As technology continues to improve our ability to communicate, and our view becomes more global in nature, we will be afforded the opportunity to learn from others as never before. I hope that I will be able to use my knowledge and appreciation of the Italian language and Italian culture to aid in that vision.