Thursday, September 3, 2009

..and so classes begin

Last night we were all split up into numerous groups to go to a taverna dinner with two professors. We ended up eating in Pangrati square which is pretty close to the academic center. We had so many amazing things: taziki, an eggplant dip, fried goat cheese with lemon juice, ricotta cheese dip, greek salad, fresh bread, peppers marinated in vinegar then grilled, stuffed peppers, a mixed grill of lamb, baklava, house red wine, and much more. Greeks don't start eating dinner until about 10, which is super late compared to the United States. The children are also up, running about till about midnight, even on school nights apparently. Siestas are taken VERY seriously here, which occur from 2-6, allowing Greeks/especially the children to stay up so late.

Today is my first day of classes. I woke up around 7:30 to make it to my 8:30 archaeology class (I have 830s on tues/thurs, and then on mon/wed, I don't have class till 12:20). My first class (archaeology) seems like it is basically going to be a tour every class period. We never meet at the classroom, instead we meet on sites (the acropolis, Agora, etc.) We are only in class one day, and that is for the midterm. The professor is a young woman, who seems like she will be a lot of fun and relaxed.

The last class I had yesterday called International Relations: The Mediterranean Dimension, I think is going to be my favorite class. The professor is a young guy from Cyprus called Phillipe who got his undgrad/grad school in the US. I think the topics of the class are going to be extremely interesting and it is going to be conversation/debate based. In his introduction he exclaimed, "and by the way I love Hilary Clinton! I think Bill was the best president recently, possibly ever, but I think Obama will pass him up." This actually started a great conversation of the bat (mostly guys denying Hilary's awesomeness).
Another thing the professor told us, is that the current prime minister of Greece (who is behind in the polls), has called an election. This means that there is going to be a prime minister election October 4th! This means that Athens is going to be the political hotspot for the next month, which I find super exciting. Apparently this means that there are going to be many demonstrations and protests. Can you imagine if the presidential election in the US only lasted a month!?!? That would be crazy...
After my first day of class I went back the apartment and my roommates and I had our first night of cooking dinner. We cooked pasta, fruit salad, a pasta salad, and fresh bread with feta and olive oil. Then, I realized I greatly need to practice the alphabet. I posted it below to show you just how ridiculous it is to learn. It is the only country/language that uses this language. lucky me
Α αAleph AlephAlphaἄλφαάλφαa[a] [aː][a]1
Β βBeth BethBetaβῆταβήταbv[b][v]2
Γ γGimel GimelGammaγάμμαγάμμα
ggh, g, y[ɡ][ɣ], [ʝ]3
Δ δDaleth DalethDeltaδέλταδέλταdd, dh, th[d][ð]4
Ε εHe HeEpsilonε ψιλόνέψιλονe[e]5
Ζ ζZayin ZayinZetaζῆταζήταz[zd]
(or [dz])
later [zː]
Η ηHeth HethEtaἦταήταe, ēi[ɛː][i]8
Θ θTeth TethThetaθῆταθήταth[tʰ][θ]9
Ι ιYodh YodhIotaἰῶταιώτα
i[i] [iː][i], [ʝ]10
Κ κKaph KaphKappaκάππακάππα
k[k][k], [c]20
Λ λLamedh LamedhLambdaλάβδαλάμβδαλάμδα
Μ μMem MemMuμῦμι
Ν νNun NunNuνῦνι
Ξ ξSamekh SamekhXiξεῖξῖξιxx, ks[ks]60
Ο οAyin 'AyinOmicronοὖὂ μικρόνόμικρονo[o]70
Π πPe PePiπεῖπῖπιp[p]80
Ρ ρRes ReshRhoῥῶρωr (: rh)r[r], [r̥][r]100
Σ σ ςSin SinSigmaσῖγμασίγμαs[s]200
Τ τTaw TawTauταῦταυt[t]300
Υ υWaw WawUpsilonὖ ψιλόνύψιλονu, yy, v, f[y] [yː]
(earlier [ʉ] [ʉː])
Φ φorigin disputed
(see text)
Χ χChiχεῖχῖχιchch, kh[kʰ][x], [ç]600
Ψ ψPsiψεῖψῖψιps[p
Ω ω

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