06 October 2013

Tomorrow it begins

Tomorrow, the memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary, classes will, at long last, begin at the Pontifical Gregorian University (and, I believe, at all of the other Pontifical universities in Rome) where I will begin my studies in canon law.  This will be the 463rd academic year since the founding of the Gregorian University.

It should be prove to a most interesting time, given that classes will be taught in Italian (though not all of the professors are Italian) and the exams and papers can be taken and written in English (as most of the professors also speak and read English).

After spending a good deal of time today putting the class schedule in my calendar, I'm beginning to think that the most difficult aspect of the year will be keeping track of the schedule itself.  As with many things in Italy, the schedule is not consistent.  For example, for the first five weeks of the semester I will have no classes on Tuesdays; for the middle six weeks of the semester I will have no classes on Wednesdays; and for the remaining three weeks of the semester I will again have no classes on Tuesdays.  To make things more complicated yet, the classes themselves do not always meet at the same or even on the same day of the week.  And then there's also the fact the some classes finish before the semester ends only to replaced by new classes that do not meet during anything that might resemble the previous time slot.

It has been repeatedly said to me that "Ma Greg [as she is affectionately known] eats her young".  We shall see if this will prove to be true.  Thus far, I have found the Greg pleasant, even if frustrating on account of its typical Italian organization (the simple act of registering for classes took a little over a week).

Throughout the course of the first semester I will be taking the following courses:
  • General Norms I;
  • Faithful in General, Laity;
  • Sanctifying Office: Sacraments, Except Holy Orders and Marriage;
  • General Norms: Administrative Practice;
  • Worship and Sacrament of Penance, Administrative Practice;
  • History of Canon Law, Institutions, Sources and Sciences;
  • Methodology I; and
  • Latin Language I (which will, thanks be to God, be taught in English)
Throughout the year I will aim to keep the wise advice of Saint Bonaventure, who said: "Do not extend yourself beyond the point the mind can grasp, but neither remain short of it."  For your continued prayers in this regard I will be most grateful.

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