Tellus: (tel’us), n. 1. [Latin] earth, soil, and the land; a country; the world. 2. a collection of Willamette University student’s insights, stories, photos and thoughts from their experiences studying abroad.

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Otium cum dignitate

Otium cum dignitate. Leisure with dignity. This was the very first phrase I learned in Latin my first day of college. It describes a way of life for the ancient Roman elite: one should always work hard, and if one takes leisure, it should be a dignified activity, something that improves the mind such as reading and studying. Our professor proclaimed that this should be the model by which we lived our lives. Over the next two years, I fell in love with the Latin language and the Classical studies as a whole. Yet in visiting Rome, I did not realize how much I would be affected by the birthplace of the language I had so vigorously studied. I was overcome upon entering the Roman Forum, where all the great orators and politicians of the past had spoken. And, of course, I was taken in by the Colosseum. I was struck by how, having this experience abroad in London, visiting other places I had never imagined I would go, I was also expanding the bounds of my worldview. By doing this traveling, I was learning. I was experiencing a pure form of otium cum dignitate. I immediately made my friends snap a picture to capture the moment. It is one of my favorite and most precious experiences from abroad.

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