About ten minutes ago I received a nonchalant call from my Dad in Salem, "There's an express package here I just had to sign for..." Gee, Dad, maybe my VISA. Collective sigh of relief from the audience, it was! As the day of my departure draws near, (17 days) I am perfecting my 8 page packing list (don't worry, I'm just very thorough) and anxiously awaiting my flight back to Oregon so I can actually start putting things together. I've also been working on a document full of easy recipes as my culinary repertoire is currently dependent on the availability of a toaster and microwave, two things I will not have in Athens. Anyway, my cooking adventures should make for humorous blog posts later but I thought now, before the grand excitement of arrival, would be the perfect time to give you all some background on my program and the courses I've selected.
My program is a relatively small American school in downtown Athens. I'm not sure about the total number of students this term, but usually it averages around 100 per semester I believe. The school offers courses in a variety of disciplines such as religious studies, philosophy and political science, all within Modern Greek studies, Byzantine studies, and the Classics (which is my bag). I am taking a wonderful assortment of courses, which I am quite proud of. First, I am taking Intermediate Greek: Homer, a natural progression which will also most likely be read at Willamette, but how much cooler is it to translate Ancient Greek in Greece? My next class is Advanced Modern Greek for Classical Greek students. I think this will be invaluable because it is very helpful and more rewarding to know the language when living in a foreign country for a substantial amount of time. (When I was in Greece for three weeks two summers ago, I never felt like I was out of the loop as most people we encountered knew English, but I know that my experience would have been even better if I'd known how to at least read the street signs). My third class is Ancient Greek Architecture from Archaic to Roman Times as Reflected in the Monuments of Athens, probably the longest title of any class I've ever taken, but I'm really excited for that one! My last class is Modern Athens: History and Culture of the Greek Capital. I'm happy with the variety of classes I chose and can't wait to let you know how they're going!