By Kellie Bessette
Photo courtesy of the author
For the fall 2017 semester, Florence University of the Arts has added several new courses, one being titled "Love Letters of Great Men and Women." This course explores the evolution of love and relationships from ancient Roman times to modern day. Using the words of notable poets, novelists, and philosophers, students have the chance to develop their own understanding of love and its expression.
Valerie Santana, a student from The University of San Francisco, is currently enrolled in "Love Letters of Great Men and Women." When asked what intrigued her to take the class, Valerie responded, “I wanted to see romantic love through a literary perspective.” With three weeks of the class completed, Valerie shares that the subject is thought provoking and the class is going very well.
"Love Letters of Great Men and Women" meets every Wednesday and is taught by Professor Melissa Rossi whose approach Valerie describes as energetic. “Professor Rossi is engaging, she likes to keep everyone involved and dedicates the majority of the class to open discussion.” The weekly lessons are structured into two parts; a lecture introducing a new era, followed by the analysis and discussion of two or three love letters written during that time period. In preparation for the following class, students are assigned poems to read and are occasionally required to write a journal entry analyzing the piece. Valerie comments, “The journal entries are unique because we can include our opinions and personal reactions.” Students can find well composed lesson plans in the syllabus. Valerie explains, “The syllabus is extremely helpful and Professor Rossi is good about following the schedule.”
Love has a vast history; however, Valerie is most excited to read love letters from World War II because of the tension the war put on relationships. In regards to her fellow classmates’ opinion, Valerie comments, “I believe everyone enjoys this class because we all have a voice. Everyone shares and contributes to the conversation.” Valerie states that she would definitely recommend this course to future FUA students.
The romantic city of Florence is the perfect location for the students to learn about the heritage of love. There are countless antique bookstores throughout the city where old love stories are just waiting to be discovered.
Future editions of this course can be consulted at the FUA academic schedule.