Italian Perspective

By Enrica Nicoli Aldini, Columnist

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This is my very last “Italian Perspective” column in The Dickinsonian. Nine months have gone by and I shall now turn to wrapping up this really exceptional year with the school paper—and with Dickinson too, because much of what I’ve written on these pages was inspired by what happened on campus.
When I started off my year at Dickinson as an Overseas Student Assistant last August, little did I know that I would collaborate with The Dickinsonian on a regular basis, and that this collaboration would represent such a highlight of my experience here. I knew I wanted to write for the school paper to foster my passion for writing and my interest in journalism, but I couldn’t possibly imagine that writing for the paper would become such an integral part of my Dickinson year.
So it’s now high time for saying thank you—for saying grazie. First of all, I want to say grazie to our efficient, smart and insightful Opinion Editor Christina Socci. My collaboration with Christina was delightful; she was always available to answer questions and she would readily send back my column with her edits. Although my written English has improved dramatically in the past two years, sometimes I still fall in the trap of using very baroque and long Italian-like sentences. Christina was able to hone my Italian-influenced English while still keeping my original argument intact. Being an editor means so much more than correcting grammatical flaws or cutting a long piece; it requires entering the mind of the original writer and improving the piece altogether without altering its essence. Grazie Christina for doing that for us week after week.
For my duties as Staff Writer, grazie to our Editor-in-Chief Matthew Korb and News Editor Emily Fineberg, who kept in touch with me regarding news stories to cover on campus. Grazie because even when I was reticent about picking up a story for fear of not being able to fit my reporter duties into my weekly schedule, you always picked at me and assigned me a story.
I discovered so much on campus by serving as a reporter: so many people, so many stories, so many unique initiatives, and so many interesting talks that I was gladly forced to attend. The most memorable time was probably the coverage of the night of the Presidential Election on campus. It was hard to be unbiased, but it was my voice in the end that announced in The Dickinsonian the name of the next president of the United States.
My sincere grazie also goes out to Adjunct Professor in Journalism and Public Speaking, Richard Lewis. His fall semester class on Journalism played a crucial role in getting me closer to The Dickinsonian and made me understand how much I love writing and the extent to which writing represents an essential part of my personal and professional life.
I would also like to say grazie to Adjunct Professor in Political Science and passionate Italian-American Gabriel Marcella. Our occasional lunches were very enlightening and encouraging with regards to my interest in writing and journalism. Thanks to professor Marcella, I was able to publish an Op Ed on the online version of Harrisburg’s Patriot-News, which was a very unique and thrilling opportunity.
Last but not least, grazie to the United States and grazie to Dickinson students. Observing you and using my column to analyze the data of my American people-watching sessions has been an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Above all, grazie to those who gave me both positive and negative feedback about what I wrote. If you didn’t read me or didn’t like me, it’s fine. One writes first and foremost for his or herself and in terms of that, I can safely say that writing my “Italian Perspective” has been a truly satisfying experience.