so so so excited to be here

I realized that I haven’t really made clear on this blog how completely THRILLED I am to be here. I just love it. I love the new things, the new people, the new everything. I love learning at an institution that is 150% committed to its students, and small enough to reach out to every student. I love discovering more about myself as I push myself to do new and different things. I love ME- the adventuresome, laughing, self-sufficient me I’ve never really had a chance to  get to know. I am so grateful for this experience- the good and the uncomfortable- because I know I will be such a better, stronger, and more educated person for it.

It’s been a busy couple of days. Did I talk about orientation? Maybe. Anyway, I thought orientation was great, even if everyone else thought it was cheesy. All of the important people said their piece, and I became EVEN MORE excited for classes to start. Which they did! Today! And they are fabulous so far. T/Th are my light days- just Aegean Art & Archaeology and Modern Greek- but I liked starting out slow. The archaeology class is going to be really fabulous. The professor is interesting and engaging, and the material is fascinating. How did one civilization accomplish so much?? I’m excited about Modern Greek too. We just conquered the alphabet today, but I feel like this language will come more easily to me than others because I am surrounded by it. I feel very committed to do well, not just for the grades but because I want to LEARN as much as I can. This was the fire, the inspiration, that was missing last semester. I am so glad it found me again.

It’s been a great couple days food-wise too. Last night I went to a taverna dinner with other students I hadn’t met yet and a professor (they split the big group of kids who wanted to go into smaller groups, and professors and staff took charge of the groups and took us to different tavernas in the city). Tavernas are small restaurants that serve very traditional Greek food. I wish I could have written down the Greek names of everything I sampled, because we ate “family style”- tons of platters were ordered and passed around, everyone taking a little bit of everything. It was tasty but very different from any cuisine I am used to. I dutifully tried everything, but there were some things I was less than a fan of. Still, an excellent experience all around. It was lovely talking with other students and the professor for hours.

Tonight- tonight!- I cooked dinner. That’s right. All on my own. Not just for me, but for two of my friends too. I made baked chicken, rice, and steamed veggies. Nothing crazy, to be sure, but a fully balanced meal, very healthy, all cooked and presented by moi. It was pretty fabulous. Maybe this cooking for myself thing won’t be so bad after all. Especially when we eat together. Eating alone is just less than fun. We think we will establish some sort of a cycle, different girls hosting at their apartments on different nights. Sounds spiffy to me!

I think that’s everything. I told you, it’s been a busy couple of days! Oh, wait, that’s not all. Also, after lunch and before Greek, we went for a walk in the national gardens, which are conveniently across the street from the college building. We also found the parliament building, complete with fluffy-toed guards, and the fantastic ruins of Zeus’ temple. And Hadrian’s Gate and excavated Roman baths. All on our break in between classes. I love this city! Pictures very soon on my flickr.

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