Raquel’s Page

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Hey lovely people! I’m Raquel Ross and I am from Oakland, California. My major is business with a double concentration in both management and marketing. I am currently a resident assistant, accounting assistant in the business office, Black Student Union president (BSU), secretary for Black Women Organized for Political Action (BWOPA) and a member of Pacific Islander’s club. By studying abroad I will have more opportunities to see more of the world. I want to learn about different cultures, taste different foods from around the world and create my own path of learning. There is a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson which says, “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” This quote has encouraged me to step away from fear and to create my own story, live my own life and create a new path; my path specifically. Thank you so much to my donors!!!

8 Responses to Raquel’s Page

  1. Raquel Ross says:

    What I studied in the Arts of Rome course that I look forward to viewing and analyzing in Italy is Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. He created a lot of beautiful and amazing paintings within his lifetime. Caravaggio created paintings that are different in comparison to other artists but he did tend to use techniques from other painters. The painting we looked at created by Caravaggio seem to have some similarities between one another. Some similarities consist of the facial expressions, hair, dark colors, positions of the body and movement. Most of the paintings have serious facial expressions and others had fear or concern across the face. In each of the paints, the people had at least one strand of hair that was curled out towards the right. I’m not sure if this has meaning or if it was just a way for him to create the characters’ hair. Caravaggio seemed mainly focus on using dark colors in his paintings. The dark colors in the background helped to bring focus toward the center piece which was lightly surrounded by a light color. In his paintings there is always an area of soft or smooth color. The mix of dark colors and the minimum light colors which is the focus causes the paintings to look so beautiful and places focus not only in the center but in other parts of some of the paints. The positions of the bodies were either relaxed or strongly focused. When I say focused I am referring to the position of the body depending on the depiction of the images. In the painting, Boy with a basket of fruit, the boy was calm and relaxed. The focus of the painting was centered and emphasized by the dark colors in the background and the light colors at the top of the painting. Another example is in the painting, Narcissus, which depicted the young boy as focused and curious about his reflection in the water. The light colors at the top and the dark colors at the bottom differentiated the real person compared to the reflection. Caravaggio paints realistic painting which always seems to have a primary focus even when there is a lot going on in one image. Compared to the other paintings we have seem so far, Caravaggio’s paints are different and I think all of the art we have studied to far is beautiful in different ways.

  2. Raquel says:

    The book I chose as my “pre-travel” book from our traveling library is “Caravaggio” by Patrick Hunt. This book describes Caravaggio’s journey towards becoming a well known artist. He was born by the name of Michelangelo Merisi in the Lombard region in Caravaggio near Milan. During that time “Baroque Rome was the ultimate city where an artist could flourish with the right connections.” I chose to read this book because I really enjoyed learning about Caravaggio and his style of painting. I’m so excited to see the painting of the ‘Boy with a Basket of Fruit’ while I am in Rome.

    • Kulwinder says:

      Hi Raquel,
      how exciting to read about a painting then actually see it, I can only image the feeling. I would love to hear more of the culture, the living style and day to day life of the citizens of Italy. I ask, because when I visited India for the first time, many years ago, I realized how much we take for granted living in America, for example having to take a bath with a cup and bucket, hand washing clothes and having to drink raw, fresh milk for the cow that was part of the household. :-)

      • Raquel says:

        Hey Ms. Kulwinder,
        I appreciate your interest in my trip to Rome. Traveling to India sounds like so much fun. I can’t imagine having the bathe with a cup. Before my trip I already knew that I was really privileged but I did not understand to what extent. Back home I am able to eat all types of foods from various places. In Italy, our food choices include a piece of bread with some spreads for breakfast, pizza, pasta, a sandwich or salad for lunch or dinner with a nice glass of room temperature water or a cold glass of wine. Everything here is much smaller compared to things back home. For example, the food portions such as cans of coca cola, scoops of gelato, and even the pizza is really then. The bathrooms, buses, and cars are really tiny. It took a couple of days to get use to the major differences but it was easy to adjust. Surprisingly, I really appreciate the smaller food portions because I can avoid over eating. I have been blessed with this opportunity to discover more of the world and understand that not everyone is like me nor do they think like I do but we all live a great life.

        • Kulwinder says:

          Hi Raquel,
          Yes, we are a “Super-Sized” country when it comes to food, and people. Though it sounds like the Italians eat the foods we are told to avoid, i.e. bread, pasta, pizza, etc…and they are probably thin and fit, is that what you see? I was mentioning to your Mom, that once you return to America, you will want to move to Italy, you seem to adjust and take in your environment to the fullest and live the moment. What do most people do on the weekends, are the shops closed on Sundays. I remember in India, everything was closed on Sundays, as it was a rest, family, church day. Please continue to share.

          • Raquel says:

            Hey Ms. Kulwinder,
            Yes!! This is very true. We are constantly told to avoid carbs and take in fruits and vegetables, while the Italians eat as they please and stay fit. I think it is because everything is fresh and unprocessed. I definitely would love to continue traveling and exploring more of the world! I am currently considering moving away from home for Grad school but that is a different story. We continued our lessons on the weekend but I noticed that the weekends are more relaxed and quiet. It is true that most of the shops are closed on Sunday which was something to get use to. I would love to tell you more about my experience and show you many of my pictures if possible.

  3. Laurice Henry-Ross says:

    Raquel! I am so proud of you and extremely excited for you and your classmates. This is a great opportunity for you guys. Enjoy it! Be thankful for the opportunity and blessing that was given to you. Be safe, yet adventurous. As a little girl you would always say, “Mom, I’m want to study abroad”. You pursued that dream and now you are in ROME!!! Blessings to you. Much gratitude to your donors.

    I am excited to see more and read more about your adventures. How’s the weather? How are you feeling? How was class today?

    • Raquel says:

      Hey Mom!
      I am eternally grateful! I still can’t believe I am walking theses ancient grounds of history. I feel like I am officially living by the quote, “when in Rome, do as the Romans do” . The weather is humid and sunny, very beautiful but one day it rained cats and dogs with a bit of thunder and rain. I feel great, very enlightened. Class is good everyday! Love you !

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