A Very Classy Groundhog

groundhog_toastThe story goes that students at the University of Dallas wanted something to celebrate. The president said, you can celebrate Groundhog’s Day, for all I care! So that is what they did, 50 years ago.

Celebrations for Groundhog weekend on the Irving campus begin Thursday, and include a 5K, constant showing of the film Groundhog Day on Friday, a rugby game, a powder puff game, a party in Groundhog park, and more.

While our Irving counterparts were celebrating Punxsutawney Phil and the UD community at the park, the Rome class made their own fun in the quiet town of Assisi. Some students went on a wild goose chase for the Irish pub that closed down 5 years ago, but some friends and myself opted to go to a small restaurant, order a couple bottles of wine, and shoot the breeze.

The conversation wove its way through many a topic, but the most memorable part revolved around finishing the phrase, “Before I die, I want to ___.” Various answers were thrown around, the most popular of which was to “live.” Which is profound, sure, but too vague to be my answer. So, I tried coming up with a better answer, but couldn’t.


A Groundhog bonfire was organized once we got back to campus.

There’s things I want to do, but I’ve learned the hard way that the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Plans are fun to make, and being excited for something is important, but not planning has its merits as well. You have to find the right balance between planning and living well. They compliment each other. Don’t get too caught up in planning, then you have no time to live well, and you’ll be disappointed when things don’t go according to plan. On the other hand, if you don’t plan at all, I’m not sure that you can live well, unless you pick up good habits after a day or two. In which case, I highly doubt you are human.

So maybe “live” is the only real answer to the question.

Sorry about that, it just really wouldn’t be a UD Groundhog without a little bit of philosophizing.


A Letter of Intent

I, Maria Buckner, am embarking upon my first international adventure in a week. When I say study abroad, people ask the courtesy question of where? and I say, Rome, and I gush about how excited I am, and then I make some vague claim that I will try to keep in touch.

This is where the magic, I hope, will happen. In order to soak up the world, and squeeze every last drop out of my semester in Rome as I can, I need to write, and this is where I will do a majority of it. So, welcome, welcome to all newcomers to Climb Ev’ry Mountain. I’ve been here since April of 2012, off and on, quietly, anonymously soaking in the world.

Now, as you can see from the first line, I have gone public. And my intention is to post once a week. I followed a lot of the blogs of classmates who went last semester, and posting was sparse. Understandably so, seeing as the University of Dallas Rome program does not have time or room for fluff. My schedule involves 15 credit hours, a volunteering gig tutoring Italian schoolchildren in English, and a work-study job. Other priorities include running/hiking/walking/generally moving, deepening my interior life & growing in my faith, and being a good friend. Actually climbing a mountain over there might be cool, too. But this blog isn’t fluff, and hopefully my roommate & fellow blogger, Allie Sue Goes Abroad, will help hold each other somewhat accountable.