My Story: My name is Desiree Rivera. I was born and raised in the Bronx. I am a student at New York University and the first person in my immediate family to study abroad in Europe. This fall I have the opportunity to spend the semester in Florence, Italy and I'm asking my community to join me on this adventure of a lifetime! I'm not simply asking for a donation. I'm asking you to cross the ocean with me and share in it. I promise to update you, share pictures and what I learn, and have you experience my journey with me through regular posts. By supporting me you will be making a difference in my education and affirming that dreams do come true!
My Roots: I come from a proud family where education is always encouraged. We were taught that education is the key and foundation of making our dreams a reality. My great grandmother, Teresa, was born in Fajardo, Puerto Rico in 1901 where she had few choices and had to leave school after the 3rd grade to work and help her mother. Despite this, she taught herself to read and in many ways planted the seeds of determination for us to strive for our dreams. Though I never knew her, her determination, work ethic, and vision were passed on to me by my grandmother and my mother. These women are my inspiration to go as far as I can in my life.
My Present Dream: I'm committed to being an example for my younger siblings and others; I want to show them that they can succeed even if it's not through a traditional path. Age should not deter someone from striving for their ambitions. No matter who you are, where you come from, or how old you are, you can also change course and fulfill your goals!
Want to know what I will be studying? Keeping reading! :)
Extensive Elementary Italian I: Students will gain understanding of the basic messages in simple oral and written communication. They will be able to acquire key information from listening and reading brief, simple, authentic material and have a fair understanding of the meaning of short standard Italian conversation in a limited number of content areas.
Modern Italy: This course has a primary goal -- to consider how developments since the 1800s have influenced the lives and formed the outlook of today's Italians. Topics will include the unification of the country, national identity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the First World War, and Italian fascism, World War Two and the resistance, the post-war Italian Republic, the economic "miracle", the South, the Mafia, terrorism, popular culture, and the most recent political and social developments, including Italy and the European Union.
Culture of the City: Italian Urban Life: This course, where cities are considered to be sources of cultural invention, explores through literature, history, social science and student experience, the evolution of high and popular culture, both modernist and post-modern. Emphasis will be placed on how cultures create bonds between specific interest groups, and how culture becomes the arena for acting out or resolving group conflict. This course will focus on Italian cities, including Florence.
The Politics of Organized Crime: Italian Mafias in a Comparative Perspective: This course will introduce students to the study of criminal organizations in Italy and abroad. Analysis of real-world data over the last decades, such as court proceedings and crime statistics, dismisses many of the accepted myths about Italian mafias. We will explore the organization of mafia groups, rules and codes, activities both in legitimate business and illegal markets, and their relationship to politics. This comparative approach will help students identify those factors facilitating the emergence, migration and persistence of organized crime across countries. The course will include a review of the legislative efforts and best-practices designed to prevent and control organized crime in Italy and in the United States.
*Descriptions are courtesy of NYU Florence 2014 Courses
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