Rosali Nodarse: Miami as Text 2023

Rosali in Miami (Photo by Rosali Nodarse/ CC BY 4.0)

Rosali Nodarse is a third year in FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY pursuing a degree in Biology while following a premedical track. Rosali aspires to go to medical school after graduating college and being perhaps practicing medicine in different countries. Her hobbies include reading, working out, and going to new places whenever possible.

Encounter as Text

“Embarking on an Italian adventure”

Image by Matteo Angeloni from Pixabay

College are the years where people have the chance to learn about themselves and grow, this simultaneously relates to the idea that when a person they can become more well-rounded and learn about themselves. As a premedical student who decided to stay home for college and spends most of her time studying, I don’t think I’ve given myself that opportunity to do that. In a year I graduate college and that does not mean that I will no longer have the opportunity to grow but it does mean that I would have ended my undergraduate career without doing anything memorable that I can tell my descendants about. I heard about the program through a friend who is also going, and she talked about it for about 5 minutes, within that time frame I knew that a month in Italy was an experience I was not willing to pass up on. 

I chose to do Italy because I don’t see much value in going to a place taking a picture just to have the ability to say, “I was there”. In my opinion experiencing a new place should entail learning something about that place that makes it so unique. Whether that originality is gathered from the history, food, music, or culture. Each location has something different, and they have something to learn from, luckily for me and everyone else going on the trip Italy has all those categories. A lot of the history originated within Italy, whether it be the Roman empire, the first banking system, or forms of government, Italia’s past has contributed to our everyday lives in ways we may not even know. As a person who has always liked history, I think it is so much more interesting when it can be associated to something we commonly encounter so it does not feel like an abstract occurrence. Growing up in an education system that does not prioritize history, I feel that at times students are deprived of learning exactly how interconnected different cultures and countries truly are. Although it may not be what everyone is interested it is something that does interest me personally and there is no better way to learn that then studying about Italy in Italy for a month. 

I have had the opportunity to travel to other countries with my family before and have thus far tried of trying to understand the location and grow familiar with it before I arrive and mostly when I am there. However, sometimes it can be hard and overwhelming to know where to look and what is truly worth seeing, not just a “tourist trap”. Which is what making this study abroad opportunity so extraordinary. Professor bailey organizes an itinerary in which the group visits the locations that will provide the most history and memory of Italy. Besides picking the best destinations he also lectures while at the locations so students can appreciate the beauty of where they are and carry new knowledge with them for the rest of their lives. That way if I visit the location again with loved ones, I can share with them the information. I look forward to learning as much as I can in those four weeks and doing it alongside people who have a similar love of travel as I do.

Ancient Rome As Text

“A society with Influence” By Rosali Nodarse

            Image by Leonhard Niederwimmer from Pixabay

The impact that ancient Rome had on history has long been studied, due to their unique structure of handling political and social affairs. Following the Roman empire many governments have imitated Roman policies within their own governments. The United States being one of the easiest to compare. These similarities have been easy to overlook because it is not mentioned when studying history, instead the two governments are studied as completely different entities with no contrasts. Prior to watching the HBO show “Rome” and reading Shakespeare’s “Julius Ceaser” I had no accurate knowledge of how the government worked. One of the biggest similarities is that in the show a lot of major decisions had to be taken to the senate like the United States Senate, which was one of the three different branches of government established by the founding fathers. Roman influence is not limited to political sectors of society, in fact it can easily be seen in architecture. Starting from the iconic buildings with steps leading into a building, the pillars that are so common throughout the streets around Washington D.C. This architectural design of the colosseum can be found in almost every city in the United Sates. In the form of the traditional football field, with a center space for the game and a multitude of seats that surround it in an oval shape with multiple exists throughout making it easier for audiences to enter and exit. Many statues made to represent important people in American culture will depict them in a form that it looks as if they are descendants of Romans or are wearing Roman attire. One of the simplest people this can be seen in is many statues of the first president and a founding father, George Washington. Things as simple as how he is posed on a horse resembles common military poses found in Rome. Undeniably, Roman’s continuing to influence basic aspects of everyone’s lives thousands of years after their rise. 

            People have always spoken about how far advanced the Romans were for their time. I was not able to see the full extent of that until watching HBO’s “Rome”. As mentioned before the political side had something to do with that but their advancement went far beyond that. Their advancement also had to do with their family dynamics. Although not perfect because women were still seen as “unworthy” of participating in government issues, they were capable of divorcing and having a say in social aspects beyond their husband. In current day divorce is possible in the United States, but it is heavily frowned upon or even illegal in many parts of the world. In the later years of the Roman empire, women began to have the ability to manage their own finances, and own property beyond their husband. Seeing as years after women lost that power once again the Romans were further along than the societies that would follow years later. Women could also have lovers without her character being questioned because it was not a rare occurrence. This lifestyle did not come without its drawbacks because all of these “powers” that women held all depending on their position in society. Women who were from a lower social class did not have those same freedoms and did have to exhibit more “wife-like” qualities. Even though I have appreciation for roman’s pioneering beliefs, I would not prefer that over current times in the United States. Since in current society people are free to make money and somewhat rise in social class, which was a luxury that was not present before. Women are also capable of not only managing financials but also voting to have a say in political reforms. Senators are elected by citizens instead of them just being aristocrats and wealthy heirs. There are some changes that can be made to modern society to improve upon, but it is slowly approaching the liberties that romans had and surpassing in other aspects.

Historic Miami As Text

“A City with a Forgotten History” By Rosali Nodarse

Image by Tom Shaefer from Wikipedia

            I have lived in Miami since I was three years old, and it is the only city I have ever known. However, during the lecture I was faced with a sense of embarrassment when I realized that I knew only slightly more about my city than a tourist. Miami has amazing beaches, eating locations, and entertainment for all age groups. It is known for that; however, these characteristics have found a way of burying the rich culture that lies underneath the new sky rises. The history and “melting pot” characteristics are what sets Miami apart from every other city in the nation, and the sad part is that it is not known by many. The education system also did aid in this discovery seeing as any information that was taught about Florida began when colonizers arrived. Meanwhile, years before any colonizer, Miami was already populated with the Tequesta people. The Tequesta made this land their home around 500 BCE, the land was perfect because the Miami River served as a good source of water and the warm weather made it possible for them to have crops despite the season. Years later, this would be the same reason that people traveled down to Miami. In 1895, a women named Julia Tuttle sent preserved fruits to Henry Flagler, this showed Flagler that despite the rest of the country losing crops because of a freeze, Miami was not affected. Quickly after Flagler constructed a railroad to Miami beginning the exchange of crops and quickly after incorporating it into a city. To this day, Flagler continues to be a common name heard throughout the city since it is the name of a street. However, Julia Tuttle’s name was somehow lost throughout the history. Many northerners began to move down shortly after Miami was incorporated and so began to explosion of diversity throughout the years. 

Miami has served as a site of refugee for different people for many years. Starting with the “Wagners” a family who moved to Miami in 1855 seeking a place where they could live happily despite being an interracial couple in a time where that was considered illegal in places. This family welcomed another group of people, the Seminoles, who were being hunted by American troops to get them to abandon land in Georgia they had inhabited for decades. Most recently major waves of migration arise from Caribbean and South American groups. The Freedom Tower is perhaps one of the best examples showing that Miami is a “sanctuary.” The Freedom Tower became a location that provided Cuban Refugees emergency help in the 1960s. For over 60 years, Cubans who have escaped the Communist Regime, that inhibits them from having their own beliefs and opinions, have had the opportunity to enter the Freedom Tower and receive some type of aid or information that eases their passage into a new country. The freedom tower was the biggest shock for me throughout the lecture, because we learned so much information that undoubtedly changed my perspective. However, I immigrated to the United States from Cuba at the age of three. Eighteen years later is when I found out what the Freedom Tower was for and what it symbolized despite driving past it several times. I would place myself as one of the many people who sought refuge in a marvelous city that somehow, can take in distinct cultures and mixing them all together to feel all those cultures feel like one. A place where authentic Venezuelan, Haitian, Cuban, and Nicaraguan food can all be found within a one-mile radius. Where it is completely acceptable to approach a person in Spanish, English or any other language because people make their best efforts to understand others. One of the only cities that were founded by women when they weren’t even capable of voting and charted by people of color when they were being belittles by society. These qualities make Miami the place it is, although it is not perfect the history of the city is worth its residents knowing.

Italia America As Text

“Are all punishments Fair?” By Rosali Nodarse

Image by Sergei Tokmakov, Esq. https://Terms.Law from Pixabay 

The United States Government was founded in 1789, it was a time where the country attempted to separate itself from unjust British rulings. At the same time the French Monarchy was falling apart. This poses the question, where did the founding fathers seek their inspiration from when founding this new government? They sought inspiration from the Roman empire founded in 753 BCE. This idealism of the Roman government is what led to one of our most important documents in the United Sates government to this day, the constitution, more specifically the 12 amendments. A set of laws which all citizens of the nation must abide by to remain in good standing with the judicial system. However, like much of the American government that was not unique. In fact, the Roman’s came up with this idea, “The earliest and most important legislation, or body of leges, was the Twelve Tables, enacted in 451–450 BCE during the struggle of the plebeians for political equality.” (Britannica) Both the constitution and the twelve tables were meant to protect citizens that did not have wealth and power to protect them. This document did not fully complete that purpose. The ancient roman government was undeniably advanced but there were still faults present within its system, “In the Roman system, the penalty for a given crime depended on your citizenship status and your social class. In general, punishments for the senatorial and equestrian orders were milder than that for the ordinary citizen.” (Life in Roman Empire) For Roman’s typical punishments would be enslavement or torture, for Americans the typical punishment is jail time, which would be considered milder than any punishment executed by Roman’s.

            The United States government there is no set directory of a time range that is related to each crime. Undoubtably, a crime should be dealt with in a manner that would deter other civilians from committing the same crime. However, the issue lies when Judges are assumed to be fully unbiased to societal beliefs and they will always give a “just amount of time” for the incarcerated. The possession of any drug is illegal and so considered a felony, however, is should addicts receive harsher punishment than a rapist? In 2021, there was a case in which a 20-year-old, Belter, walked away from a court with 8 years of probation instead of any jail time, after assaulting and raping four women. However, there are thousands of people who spend upwards of 10 years in jail because of possession. Although both are crimes, one involved physical and emotional distress to civilians, while the other was a crime that affected only the user. Belter was believed to receive a lighter sentence because he was highly privileged, and his parents could afford the lawyers and anything else to reduce his time sentence. Despite the judge having to retire shortly after the trial Belter was still able to walk away and could no longer be retried or resentenced. This is an issue that was also present in Roman societies, sometimes people were sentenced for a crime they did not commit because they were giving their word against someone of a higher class and societal standard. The Roman empire fell over a thousand years ago and these problems are yet to be fixed in a newer government established 200 years ago. Crimes should have a range for incarceration time that may vary depending on the unique situation and that decision should be decided by more than one person. One person is not fully capable of looking beyond their own ideals, beliefs, and greed’s in a way that they will be impartial will all equally. Which is why it may also be helpful if the jury also has a say in the incarceration time of the defendant. The Roman Government provided many marvelous things for Western government; however, newer forms of government should take the good order and improve upon the bad ones. 

Work Cited:

ABC News, ABC News Network, 

“Crime and Punishment.” Life in the Roman Empire, 29 Mar. 2022, 

“Law of the Twelve Tables.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 

“Roman Legal Procedure.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 

Vizcaya As Text

“Did Vizcaya create the legacy of Miami?” By Rosali Nodarse

Cut Virgin Mary Painting (Photo by George Coba/CC BY 4.0)

            Throughout history, society has measured people’s “value” through their social status. Things such as property and materialistic goods were a great way of showing others one’s own social standing. In 1912, James Deering understood this and set out to build a unique home in a waterfront location with yearlong summers. The house was completed in 1916, where it soon became a visiting destination for people who lived in colder climates. The property had a barge in which parties were hosted. In fact, the house didn’t have much that did not relate to an indulgent lifestyle. This can be seen when entering the library, at first glance it looks normal with a desk and shelves full of books. However, when looked again the books are notably fake, and just make up secret door leading into another room where guests were entertained. This poses the question, when building the estate did James Deering simultaneously create the legacy that Miami would be known for years later? Miami is a destination for people who desire to spend nights at clubs and always have something to do. This is very similar to how Vizcaya was first seen when it opened. When first entering the interior of the house guests are greeted with a statue of Bacchus, a symbol of wine and pleasure. Deering lived up to this by always being seen with a cigar and a drink in hand. Perhaps, Miami’s nightlife environment was not related to Deering in any way and may have come much later, but there are several parallels that could indicate otherwise. 

Beyond the legacy of long nights and constant events Vizcaya also has something in common with the city it is located in. Not much care was given to the history it holds. Before, building the property Deering and Chaffin traveled throughout Europe to find articles they wanted to have in their new home. One-of-a-kind pieces were acquired but were not treated in a way that would deem “proper.” Many would think that a Neapolitan painting should be hung and not be touched only admired from afar to appreciate the detail, especially if the piece held religious value. However, Deering did not feel the same way, in one of the rooms of the estate pipe organs would be shown through the wall. Deering felt the best way to hide this would be to cut a priceless Virgin Mary Painting in half to hide the pipes. He also took pieces from all parts of the world and used them without regard for the history they hold. For example, in the living room a baby’s sarcophagus was placed to be used as a cooler. Not much attention is given to this when touring the house neglecting how it ended up in a wealthy man’s house or what may have occurred to the body that one’s inhabited the sarcophagus. Throughout history, the city of Miami has done similar things in the sense that construction will occur over sites that have historic value without providing historians the opportunity to extract pieces and try to get bigger insight into the history of those who inhabited Miami before Europeans arrived. The unpleasant aspects of history Miami has a way of “writing” over to pretend it never occurred. For so long this had not seemed to be a problem except that it does not provide value to what had occurred in the past and to those who lived before. Touring the house allowed me to compare the city I call home and a house I had never visited before. The building is undeniably breathtaking which explains why people decide it to be the best venue for large parties or taking pictures. However, the pictures do not do the structures justice, it does not consider all the artists that were able to take part and let their creativity lead the way, from painting fake marble, to changing breast sizes on the barge for a more conservative appearance. It also does not consider the immigrants from the Bahamas who took part in creating the contrasting landscapes. Being able to learn about the history of the house and how each aspect of the house came to be, made all the difference in understanding the importance of the estate and appreciate the beauty that came from its chaotic planning. 

Renaissance As Text

“The Start of Our Knowledge” By: Rosali Nodarse

File:Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci.jpg

Paris Orlando, CC BY-SA 4.0

The Renaissance was a period in history that rose after war and death plagued the streets of Europe. It started a new wave of knowledge in which men sought explanations from science and these newfound interests translated into the artwork of the time. The renaissance first began in the 14th century in Italy. It illuminated people’s intellect with philosophy, literature, art. Humanism was the main ideal surrounding the Renaissance, since it was the belief that man was at the center of their own universe and achievements such as education, classic arts, literature, and science. This was the time where some of the greatest authors and scientists became widely known and paved the way for centuries of future generations. The structure in which people are educated to this day is still heavily reliant on what rose from the Renaissance. Artists like Da Vinci began to examine the human anatomy and create images that would be used in future references. 

As a biology major that is on a Pre-medical track most of my classes study different aspects of humans. Seeing as I am currently taking Anatomy, Leonardo Da Vinci created the “Vitruvian Man” during the 14th century. This was one of the first painting to picture humans in way of studying them and not just portraying physical appearances. Not to mention that prior to Da Vinci deceased peoples were not studied or dissected, which held back the knowledge that physicians as to what was occurring within the body and how it could be improved. After he began to perform the dissections the social and legal restrictions on cadavers became more lenient when it had to do with scientific purposes. This knowledge was what informed doctors that common techniques such as bloodletting, a procedure when blood was drained out of people in an attempt of “removing” the illness, were in fact causing more harm than the sickness itself. 

       Physicians also began to separate some of their beliefs away from the church. Despite it being hard to separate science from beliefs, doctors became more open to the idea that perhaps illnesses and cures were not only decided by religious figures and perhaps illnesses could be remedied using not only herbs but also other compounds. Paracelsus was one of the figures who believed that God provided a cure for any illness. He began to study inorganic compounds to check for their affects against toxicity. He began to see each disease for its own characteristics that would require their own remedy instead of trying to treat ranges of illnesses with one singular cure. 

Even though the renaissance has no lack of fascination what captivated my attention the most while learning of the renaissance was the fact that it improved communication of the great minds in society. This communication caused them to share their findings which could be evolved by another figure. Additionally, education became such an important topic that people were not only good at one thing, but they also excelled at multiple things and these different talents aided in facilitating their discoveries. For example, Da Vinci may have been able to dissect the cadavers but if it weren’t for his artistic abilities, he would have never been able to depict them in such a realistic way that could be used and understood by others. 

The Renaissance did have a lot to offer, however, much like everything else in life it does not come without its flaws. This being the lack of women influence. All the advancements were made by men because it was the only people in society believed “capable”. If women would have been included perhaps there would have been more evolutions by adding a new perspective into the mix. Some of the best discoveries in modern society have been led by women if not heavily aided by women. The ideas that rose during the renaissance will long be appreciated by society in all aspects and sectors.


A&E Television Networks. (n.d.). Renaissance period: Timeline, art & facts. Retrieved April 9, 2023, from 

Renaissance Medicine. Renaissance Medicine and the Increase of Anatomical Knowledge. (n.d.). Retrieved April 9, 2023, from 

Departure as Text

“Embarking on an Italian Growth Journey” by Rosali Nodarse

Image by Michelle Raponi from Pixabay 

            Sixteen weeks have passed since the class first begun. It can be hard to notice changes that take place daily, however, when looking in retrospect a lot has changed for me in the past 4 months. I am in this class to break away from the daily routine that dulls so many people’s life. I want to appreciate different lifestyles. This class has given me an appreciation for art and how different perspectives can be expressed. I want to grow that appreciation for distinct views on society. My purpose for being in this class has not changed. I want to view new places and have experiences that will change I see myself, preferably in the best way. When I first approached the class, I was very motivated and excited that has changed for me. As the days approach I realize that I will have to leave my family, those who I care about, and the comfort of being in a place where I feel accustomed and safe. My family is very close, and we have never been apart from each other for more than a weekend. I now must leave them for an entire month. 

            When I think of Italy, I think of a location that holds all the culture that the United States lacks. Not necessarily because America has no culture, but simply because public schools did a better job of explaining Ancient Roman history than it did its own country. I would love to walk the Roman ruins and get a feeling of what society was like that many years ago. Throughout the semester we have learned how everything descended from Roman society. That has increased my desire to visit roman structure because their influence and architectural talents were valuable and unique to say the least. When compared to my daily life the roman culture seems clever. A society where walking from place to place is common in order to enjoy street beauty and appreciate every moment of the day instead of simply rushing from point A to point B in order to complete the latest task. Besides the history, like any tourist, I am looking forward to the foods I will be trying. Things such as authentic gelatos that are not composed of mainly sugar. With ingredients that are not preserved and are made fresh. The food that is so commonly overpriced in the United States despite being reheated when served, can be found in any corner of Italy made authentically how it was created. 

            Despite the nerves of having to plan everything from the trip, backing and coming to terms with the fact that I will be leaving behind all my comforts for a week my excitement for the trip has not altered. I know that it is undeniably a once in a lifetime opportunity to be able to fully experience Italy, its history, and its culture, without getting caught in the “tourists traps”. I have had the opportunity to visit it with someone who has gone so many times before and can share all their knowledge with me to be carried down. It is truly a privilege and I plan to take full advantage of that and not waste a moment that could be used for exploration and new knowledge. 

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