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When in Rome...

July 3, 2011

By COLLEEN MCCARTHY
sdnedu@bellsouth.net

A group of Starkville Academy seniors took the trip of a lifetime in May, soaking up the history and culture of Rome for a week after graduation.
The trip was a little bit different than the traditional senior trips of Starkville Academy’s past.
“I usually took the seniors on the senior trip, and we usually went on a cruise,” said Barb Adkins, a Starkville Academy english teacher. “But I wanted to do something different this year. We sat down and thought about where we might like to go, and I said ‘I’ve been to Rome, I’ll take you there.’”
Eleven students and eight adults, including Adkins and several parents, signed up to go on the trip. The students helped raise money for the trip by holding a pancake fundraiser.
They spent a week seeing the sites of Rome, including the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, the Vatican and the Coliseum. They ate authentic Italian food and even picked up a few Italian phrases.
However, there were some cultural differences, they said.
“It was fun, it was a great experience, but they don’t really do ‘personal space’ there,” said Hamilton McBride. “And the driving there is absolutely horrible. Get out of the way, or they will hit you.”
The group, it seems, made quite an impression on Rome, as well.
“You know that saying, ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do’? I think they started ‘When in Rome, stay away from the Mississippians,’” joked McBride.
Though they managed to squeeze in a lot of fun, Adkins made sure the students learned about the local history. Anna Catherine Andrews said her favorite part of the tour was learning about the Coliseum.
“It was amazing to be in the same arena where gladiators fought one another or even against animals for their survival. To what human executions would be so barbaric,” she said.
Overall, the students and parents all agreed it was the adventure of a lifetime, and they were grateful for the time together before they head off to college in the fall.
“We all got to have fun together, and found out that teachers are actually fun outside of school,” McBride said.

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