"WHEN IN ITALY..."
In the summer of 2005, a group of students, faculty and staff from Judson College embarked upon the trip of a lifetime. "Cultural Studies in Italy," Judson's first ever non-mission study class, became an immediate success. Group leaders for the trip, Ted and Eloise Whisenhunt of the Humanities Department, vowed to offer the study class every three years following that. They will leave for the much-awaited second Cultural Studies tour in the summer of 2008, accompanied by several new faces, as well as, a few returning veterans.
But... three years ago, Tiffany Jernigan from a small town in middle Tennessee, became one of several of the first "Judson girls" to experience life in another country during the original Italy trip. This is her story...
I watched a movie in high school about the life of Michelangelo as he painted the ceiling, and I was just fascinated. The Sistine Chapel is one of the rare works in Christian art where God has a face, and it was something I just had to see!
When I found out I could fulfill some of my credit hours for graduation by going with Judson's Humanities Department on the first ever study / travel trip to Italy, and that the Sistine Chapel was a stop along the way, I had to go.
There were 21 Judson girls and six chaperones that eventually made the trip across the Atlantic. We were there for 16 days in late April-early May of 2005. We went to Florence, Sienna, Lucca, Pisa, Venice, and Rome. Our chaperones were amazing! They were very knowledgeable about the language, cities, and customs.
Looking back, I realize that I got to see and do so many exciting things on that short trip to Italy. I met the terminal man (the man that inspired the movie The Terminal with Tom Hanks). I saw the Florence Cathedral and climbed to the top of the dome for a stunning sunset view. I went to my first catholic mass. I saw the sculpture of the David by Michelangelo. I saw numerous paintings by famous artists including those whose names are now immortalized for my generation by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-Raphael, Leonardo, Donatello and Michelangelo.
I climbed to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I crossed the Bridge of Sighs at the Doge Palace. I rode in a gondola down the Venetian Canals with the stereotypical striped-shirt-singing gondolier. I visited Saint Mark's Cathedral. I saw the Coliseum, the Pantheon, the Arch of Constantine, and the ruins of ancient Rome. I walked through the Roman Catacombs and climbed to the top of the Spanish Steps.
I daringly stuck my hand in the Mouth of Truth. And I ate lots and lots of gelato, which is Italian for ice cream and is a definite must for all who visit Italy. I went to the Vatican-which is a city-state in itself. I glimpsed the Pope from a distance, and of course, I saw the Sistine Chapel which was even more magnificent than I had contemplated.
Tiffany (first from top left) rubbing the Boar's nose
Going to Italy was not only a dream come true, it far exceeded my expectations. Fortunately, I rubbed the Boar's nose and put my three coins in the Trevi Fountain, so according to the tradition, 'I'll be back again!'"
*** TIFFANY JERNIGAN is a native of Beech Grove, Tenn. She is a 2006 graduate of Judson College, where she majored in biology and minored in religious studies. She served as Senior Class Vice President and President of Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society. She was a member of the "pig family" and a "W Girl," (even before it was renovated). She is now studying for her doctorate in physical therapy at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo.