After 11 weeks on the Classics FSP, I think I now can only articulate my feelings using Homer quotes. Actually I don’t really think that, but I’ve definitely been conditioned to thinking about and understanding the world around me in respect to the beliefs and cultures of the people who inhabited what is now Greece (with particular emphasis on those who existed in the period between 2000 and 300 BCE). Oh god I also just quoted one of the programs five stated goals. I think I’ve been brainwashed.
But in all seriousness, I never could have imagined how amazing of an experience I would have had here in Greece. From hiking up Mt. Juktas to taking the walk down to Monastiraki, from sitting atop the Propylaia to exploring the crack of Hades, from cursing the Americanization of my gyro (who puts mustard and ketchup on gyros anyway?!) to walking across Thessaloniki to eat at Pizza Hut, from Crete to Istanbul and everywhere in between, from thinking it would never end to not believing it was our last day… the range of experiences and emotions I’ve been lucky enough to have this spring have been as varied and as many as the sites on our itinerary… and the simile makes an appearance. Thank you Homer.
I’ll miss the FSP. I’ll miss coming home to Athens, waking up in the morning and peeking outside my window to make sure the Parthenon is still standing. I’ll miss the hikes and the ferries and the buses and the clarity of mind that comes with simply watching the Greek countryside go by. I’ll miss the hair product and the terrible pick-up lines that come with it – and god knows I’ll miss Greek fashion, balloon pants and all.
I’ll miss FSP lingo and all our inside jokes. I’ll miss my 13 classmates, 2 professors and 1 TA who are all just… phenomenal. While I’m lucky enough to be on campus with most of them for at least another year, Reed just won’t be the same as the beautiful country we have been privileged enough to call our classroom for the past 77 days. Plus my classics jokes, however terrible, will cease to be socially acceptable. So, in the immortal words of the Odyssey (last Homer reference I swear!):
“And the sun set, and all journeying ways were darkened.” (III.497)