Member Spotlight – January 14, 2016 Rosa Cuppari
I sat down with our new membership secretary Rosa Cuppari to talk about her recent study abroad in Jordan, Philodemic, and the many other cool and interesting things she does.
Q: So what were you doing in Jordan?
A: I studying Arabic in Amman, taking a course in dialect, which is what people speak everyday, and I also took courses for my major, STIA and my certificate, Arab studies.
Q: And how did you enjoy your time there?
A: It was so spectacular! I was overwhelmed by the generosity and how open and welcoming people because the Middle East has quite a reputation as being contrary to Western culture, especially with me being a white female. Certainly, people did stare at me when I walked down the street and I did have to wear long sleves and to be covered appropriately. But at the same time, I walked into a store my first week and someone said, ‘Oh, it’s your first time, take this for free!’ People would just invite you to dinner in the street – the cultural difference was for me, mostly in how welcoming people are and how generous they are with their time and resources
Q: Do you think that you will try to bring some of that back to Philodemic?
A: Yeah, hopefully! Anyone is welcome to come talk to meet me. I’d like to make it more a family affair and I like meeting and talking to people. That culture of friendliness is something I’d like to bring to Georgetown and more specifically to Philodemic, because in Jordan, when you see somebody, you spend 10 minutes talking to them. I had some great friends there and I want to be more of an active listener to people here, which is an important part of being a good friend.
Q: How do you feel coming back to Philodemic after being away for a semester?
A: I’m excited to meet the new members, I’ve heard the freshman are fantastic. I am a little overwhelmed with my new duties, for instance trying to prepare my keynote today and my audience has changed. Philodemic has also been undergoing some institutional changes and mindsets are now shifting. I am definitely going to have a lot of catching up to do.
Q: What do you like to do for fun?
A: I like to read. I am also a member of the triathlon team, so I like to go on runs or ride my bike. It is very refreshing and you get to see a lot of DC. I also love going out to explore the city, so I am always down for treks into the city. I also like to eat and cook.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do in DC?
A: Eastern Market! Ah, it’s so cool. You don’t even need to buy anything but just walk around and see all the vendors and their stalls. It’s best to go in the summer or fall when it’s nicer out and you can walk around, there’s a ton of great brunch spots. Museums are great too – I try not to look at every picture for 5 minutes because I’ll be there all day. You need to do museum a day or you get tired out.
Q: What is your favorite Philodemic memory?
A: Hm… I haven’t thought about this in a long time. Ice skating last year – it was a spontaneous outing – I saw you! I liked the spontaneity of it all – we found 10 people and decided to go and it was a lot of fun.
Q: Is there anything in Philodemic, a debate or event that you would like to do but have never gotten the chance to?
A: I was thinking yesterday that it would be nice to do a non-senior silly debate. By this, I do not mean just cracking jokes, maybe incorporating fun dress up themes – I have a Jordanian head scarf I was going to wear for tonight’s debate, but I’m not sure how that would go over. I think it would have enriched my full approach to the debate. Perhaps we could do it in a more casual setting.
Q: Anything you would like to add?
A: It’s nice to virtually meet you all and I’m really excited for this semester!