Minoring in Italian greatly influenced my experience at F&M, so much so that I am currently a PhD student in Italian Studies. As a F&M college student the unpredictability of class discussions (especially the occasional one on Hartman! or even better, outside the Villa Borghese in Rome) in Italian courses stole me away from my preconceived path of studying neuroscience. As noble as it may have been to want to cure the world of brain disease, I realized that the human aspect that attracted me to the biological and psychological sciences was predominately more present in my Italian Studies courses. On a very simple level this can be said of all foreign language classrooms - to communicate is to understand and be understood. So the famous question: Why Italian? Italy, a relatively small geographical place, is an incubator for questions of identity politics. From the individual to the national level Italian Studies courses explore questions on topics such as gender, sexuality, race, religion, citizenship, disability, biopolitics, and migration. Pursuing a minor in Italian Studies at F&M opened many doors for me: it led me to create my own major in comparative literature, to pursue a MA in Italian Language and Literature at PITT, and to publish as an undergraduate. Most importantly though studying Italian at F&M gave me the opportunity of full immersion in Vicchio, where leading a class discussion I realized I wanted to be able to teach Italian literature for the rest of my life. My experience in F&M's Italian department remains the foundation for my own professional and academic endeavors and its professors my mentors and inspirations.