Thursday, August 25, 2011

Reflections on Siena from Barbara Combes Ingrassia '74, MLS '75

For Barbara Combes Ingrassia, learning and experiencing the rich culture and history from international experts was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Here she is sharing her thoughts on the trip:

"What an amazing experience! Spending time in Italy with Geneseo family was very special.

We discovered that we had so many things in common, in addition to being connected to SUNY Geneseo. We learned so much together on this trip and from each other. We looked out for one another and supported each other -- as members of a family would.

Dr. Ron Herzman teaching history on the spot where it happened
We experienced Italian life -- past, present and a peek into the future. We weren't just tourists seeing the usual sites. We learned so much in such a short time and reunited with Dr. Cook, Dr. Herzman and Dr. Doggett for special tours and lectures. It was a great privilege.

Our tour of Siena opened our eyes to Dante's role in Italian history and the relevance of the "Divine Comedy" today, and truly brought him to life. Dr. Cook skillfully guided us through the development of art from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. He gave us a private tour of Uffizi Gallery, including corridors that are not even open to the public. It was mind boggling! His careful explanations opened my eyes to a new way of looking at, and understanding, great art.

It is such an honor for Geneseo to have these two gifted teachers/scholars on its faculty. It was an honor to have had them for classes "way back when."

While we had been introduced to much of this material during our undergraduate studies at Geneseo, seeing it "in real life" as others have seen it for hundreds of years is such an important educational experience.

Wherever life takes us, we truly are connected to Geneseo."

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