As the semester wears down (ha! not likely…) people around here are getting ready for the Christmas break: most will fly home to North America, others are adventuring elsewhere in Europe, and some are staying put and eagerly awaiting family members to arrive here in Athens. Since our final trip we have been stationed here at Loring Hall and on top of our already-packed schedule we have definitely crammed in quite the line-up of celebrations. While we are here, our schedule looks a little something like this:
Mondays: Seminar on the Derveni Papyrus with Richard Janko 2-5pm; Greek lessons 5-7pm
Tuesdays: Athens/Attica seminar in the morning (this usually involves a museum or a site – for example, we have done three sessions at the National Museum, one at the Acropolis museum, and three on the Acropolis so far); and then we usually have something additional in the afternoon – last week we had a Wiener Laboratory workshop on pottery. After this there is almost always a lecture or some other event to attend – there is ALWAYS something to attend!
Wednesdays: These are our ‘day trip’ days. We’ve been on two of these so far, the first to Marathon and Ikaria, the second to Eleusis, Acharnes, and Dekeleia.
Thursdays: Athens/Attica seminar in the morning (see above) and then Jeremy McInerney’s seminar on Greek Epigraphy in the afternoon (2-5), followed by Greek lessons (5-7) and then almost always a lecture at 7 or 7:30!
Fridays: Athens/Attica seminar in the morning and then (relative) freedom until Monday!
Among this hectic schedule, we have managed to squeeze in some pretty incredible non-academic festivities. First there was American Thanksgiving, where something like 116 people squeezed around tables set up in the Saloni and the Dining room. I’ve never seen so much food in one place in my entire life.
Sorry for the bad phone camera pictures – on the left is Colin cutting the turkey, and on the right is a mini-reunion. Neither of these really showcase how many people were there, or how much food was actually consumed, so you’ll have to take my word for it!
The sunday after Thanksgiving we celebrated Hanukah (my first ever!) – Morgan and Marya cooked a latke feast for everyone, lit a makeshift menorah and sang a beautiful song. Here is the menorah with the pilgrims (Thankshanukah, once in 7000 years, naturally):
The weekend after this we threw a bachelor/bachelorette party for a wonderful couple here who are getting married over the Christmas break (talk about busy…) – these pictures are definitely SFW, don’t worry…
On December 10th we had a Christmas tree-trimming, which I’ve recently learned is a term Americans use. I’m used to calling it Christmas tree-decorating…you know, what it actually is…but to each their own, and we definitely all spoke the same mulled wine language that night!
Finally, this past Saturday we held a Sinterklass Secret Santa – so, we all drew names and had to buy someone a present AND compose a poem. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that a group of extremely smart, well-educated overachievers would blow my mind when it came to poetry composition. There were songs, beat poetry, Latin metrical verses, haikus, and limericks. It really reinforced how funny, sweet, and thoughtful everyone here is, and how much we are like a weird, dysfunctional little family.
And with that, I’m off to sing classics- and archaeology-inspired Christmas carols before packing up and leaving for the airport at 3am. I can’t wait to get home and see my friends and family (and to hug Rex and Rocky for about 6 hours straight) but the holidays here warm and homey and wonderful and, true to ASCSA spirit, nonstop!