Finally, an update! I think I’ll start with last Friday. This was the day of our first hike of the semester, and magically when we woke up all the clouds and rain of the previous week had disappeared, giving the new students their first real taste of Greek sunshine. Waiting for the bus to take us to Lefkes where we would start our hike, I climbed down to the water and stared into the brilliant blue. I will never get over how beautiful the water is here.
As the bus took us out of town, up the mountain, and past the thousand year old olive trees, I felt the same excitement I felt last year on our first hike. I couldn’t wait for the new student to see Lefkes! They had no idea!
When we got there, John passed out treats (as he always does), and read to us from his journal. It’s the only remaining entry from the 7 years he spent on the Navajo reservation in his twenties. All of his other journals he has burned. He makes us promise never ever to do this. We start off on our first hike, really a walk (each hike gets longer and longer), stopping to sit on the old byzantine road (everyone has to sit on their own stone), flop down in a field of chamomile (we stuff our pockets full of flowers to make into tea later), and to pick oregano and sage.
We get to a grove of olive trees and John says we can stay or go a little further with him to investigate whether or not flowers are growing in a certain spot yet. I ran off after him because it’s one of my favorite spots on the island: a little shelter with a spring that comes out of a wall. There are no flowers yet but it’s still beautiful. We make our way back to Lefkes for our first taverna meal with the school.
It was a perfect day. That evening I went to the cultural center with some friends to hear my art history teacher play the piano before a movie. I love Fridays!
Saturday I went to Lefkes again with a fellow student who has rented a car for the whole semester. Our painting teacher came along too and we spent the morning writing, taking pictures, and painting. That evening we had a grill/potluck with all the students. What a feast! So many talented chefs in this group. And this semester we have 9 ovens between us, instead of the 2 last semester!
Sunday I went on a walk with a friend, and eventually gave into the call of the water and waded in! We found some lovely shells and even some hermit crabs scurrying around under the water. I took the shells home and made a monoprint of a particularly beautiful one. I really like monoprints but I’m definitely still getting the hang of the press and how much ink to use. I’m really happy I’m taking printmaking this semester though. After that it was church and then a guitar and flute concert with a few friends.
Monday was a really busy day– unfortunately my photography teacher is really sick, but another student and I taught the new darkroom students how to develop film. We also had Digital photography and baked scones in our shiny new oven!
Yesterday I had printmaking in the morning. We’re only doing printmaking for these first 3 weeks, then it turns into bookmaking. Because of this we’re moving really really fast through the techniques. The first week we did monoprints and we’ve already moved on to etching! I’m having some more problems with this because you can’t just roll more ink on and start over if you mess up, you’re actually engraving a piece of metal. I’m trying to work on it in stages. Hopefully in the next few days I can start printing it in its first stage! Yesterday I also downloaded my Greek Literature homework (first 4 books of the Iliad) onto my ipod and walked and walked and walked around listening to it. I wound up at the “far beach” and sat there with my toes in the water listening and trying very very hard to concentrate on the book. I actually understand far more than I thought I would! Listening to the Iliad in Greece is an amazing feeling. I made it back in time for art history. For the first time Jeffrey is doing an overview of…well pretty much all of art history instead of concentrating on Greek art only. Pretty cool! Yesterday was the first day of slides; we covered cave paintings and very small stone sculptures. For the first time, art history is not a boring lecture in a dark room, it’s actually fascinating to me! You don’t need a 3 hour college class, you just need 1 hour of Jeffrey! I absolutely love it. I’ll have to do a separate post on my classes….
Today I started working on a website that I need to create for VCU. We also had a view camera class because Liz is still sick and we couldn’t have photo history. After that was digital and Greek Lit! Now I’m here, trying to get this out so I can go to bed! 🙂
I’ll try to update soon, but for now, kali nikta!