Wednesday, September 17, 2008

First week of classes!

Today was day four of classes, and the end of our first full week. Thank god for no classes on Friday! I am realizing quickly that this quarter is going to be extremely work intensive because of all the classes I am taking, I might be in way over my head. At the same time, I am completely stoked for each class.

Monuments of Greece, taught by the amazing Michael, who sort of looks like he should be in a museum, but is a hardcore archeologist genius, is going to be fantastic. Tuesday, we went up to the Acropolis and the Theatre of Dionysos to see the Parthanon and other buildings like the Temple of Athena, Caryatids, and so on. It was scorching hot and Michael threw so much information at us I could hardly keep up but it was so beautiful and breath taking to see so much history being preserved right in the in the center of a high traffic, busy city like Athens. From the highest lookout point you could see to the edge of the city and further. I can't even describe how incredible that sight was, I'm still in shock that that actually happened. The next excursion for that class is next week when we are heading to Crete for a long five-day weekend, and I can't wait to see what is waiting for us there!

SO Excited to be at the Acropolis

Almost all of us AHA kids at the Acropolis

As for our Greek Language course, oh man! That class is going to be really rough for me I can tell already. Our Professor, Yanna, is so spunky and sort of all over the place, but I'm sure once we get the basics down it will get easier. I am trying to quiz myself constantly as we walk through the Plaka and when we go out, just to learn the alphabet is a challenge! Today we learned some basic sayings like “how are you?” and “I want” just so we feel less like idiots while we wander the streets and go to stores or restaurants.

I am also taking Modern Greek History and the Balkans, which I can already tell will be the most difficult for me, even as much as I love history. I am excited because this is the first upper level non-US history course I have taken in college so far so we will see how it goes. Despite the fact that it is a three-hour class first thing in the morning Ekavi, our professor, keeps a good pace with her lectures so it’s easy to keep up. Plus, how amazing is it to be learning about Greek history in GREECE….pretty much rocks my world.

Eleni is the name of the Professor of the Cross-Cultural Communication course that we are all required to take. I’m not sure what all we are going to be talking about in this class yet since we have only had one day of introduction, but I hope it helps with the adjustment into such a different culture. Hopefully soon we won’t be constantly blocking the crazy traffic and waving with palms out, offending half the city, and soon I hope to be able to order something else to eat besides a Gyro. I’m just hoping she will teach us how to not continuously stand out as ridiculous Americans, and that in three months we might almost pass for locals? Well, maybe not that far, but we will see. 

The class I am most excited about so far is Alena’s Greek Persuasion class. She is the most enthusiastic professor I have ever had, and she makes everything seem exciting. For the class, we are going to be learning about the different methods of Persuasion, linking them back to the persuasive origins in Greek History. The major project for the class is to write a paper using the techniques we learn in class about an issue that currently exists in Greece today. She gave us some interesting topics to choose from and I think Tori and I are going to team up and write about the overwhelming amount of stray cats and dogs in Athens, and propose a solution of some sort. My favorite part about the classes is the small setting of all of them. I don’t think I have ever taken such small classes before, and it’s rare for a Professor to know me be name as well as everyone else in the class which is something I really appreciate. Especially in Alena’s class we have a really great group for discussion I can tell already. Overall, I am stressed by the amount of work I have after only one week, but it is a lot of credits and the time actually spent in the class is limited, which is nice.

Not to mention all the fun I’ve been having outside of class of course! I am finally getting the hang of the neighborhood, considering I haven’t gotten lost in a couple days. Last night a bunch of the girls hit the town and it was so much fun. We went to a beautiful restaurant that is all white with subtle blue on the tables and chairs, (very Greek) for drinks and appetizers and then hit the club. The people of on this trip have been a riot already, and I think we are planning a trip to Mykonos the weekend after Crete. So much to see and do! Tomorrow we are hitting up the street market for some fresh produce, (Caitlin and I are on a mission for potatoes) and then we are heading to the beach, which I haven’t been to yet, but apparently it is a good time!

That’s just classes, so I’ll try and update more again soon. More pictures to come too!


Abby said...

ah all those classes sound amazing!!! and you better find yourself some potatoes friend...and mash them all up! love and miss you!

efrosini said...

sounds amazing!! have you seen any babies smoking yet?? so excited for you that your profs sound so cool!! i love when they are that into the subject that they teach... it just makes you that much more interested too!! i was telling basil about your blog... he said that you NEED to go to mykonos... its beautiful!! love you!!!