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The McDermott Scholars Award covers all expenses of a superb four-year academic education at The University of Texas at Dallas, in concert with a diverse array of intensive extracurricular experiences, including internships, travel, and cultural enrichment.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Life in a Castle

Anna Skydiving on one of her weekends!

This summer, I got the chance to live in a castle in the mountains of northern Italy, of all places. I could not have imagined somewhere more magical or surreal to spend a month of my life. Named Schloss Brunnenburg, it is situated in Dorf Tirol, a small German-Italian town near the border between Italy and Germany. Every morning, we would wake up to a magnificent view of mountains and valleys all around. When it got rainy, which it often did for the first half of our stay, the clouds would descend and envelop the tops of the mountains, which was so beautiful in its own way. In addition to being an architectural museum, the castle was home to a family that farmed, made wine, and ate delicious organic food. For the first time in my life, I got to see what it was like to work for a day in the vineyard, feed and play with piglets and goats, and eat an egg straight from the hen's nest.
However, it wasn't just the architecture of the castle that enchanted me. I loved the people who lived there, too. In fact, they were descendants of the late Ezra Pound, none of whom my friends seem to know by name, funnily enough. We got to have tea with Mary, Pound's daughter, in the afternoons, and that was a magical experience. She is such a cultured person, and I have a lot of respect for her. I also got to befriend Brigitte, her daughter-in-law, and India, the girlfriend of one of Brigitte's sons. They brought me along on their daily chores and very kindly showed me the ropes. By the end of the month, it was hard for me to leave Schloss Brunnenburg, not just because of its surrounding beauty and serenity, but also because of the inner warmth and peace that came with living there.

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