Friday, May 25, 2012

Greek Tragedies with Study Abroad Students

The location of the Oracle at Delphi
Until this summer, I had never been outside North America.  Thanks to the international study abroad program at Vol State and TnCIS, I am about to finish my first drama class, which focuses on Greek Tragedies.  When I saw all the negative hype in the media, I was hesitant with my choice, but I am so glad Vol State alumnae Samantha Hearn and MariAngel Zumbado talked me into selecting Greece.  They both attended and assured me that it was not only safe, but one of the best experiences they had ever encountered.  

Although the economy is bad and we have seen some protests, they have all been peaceful.  The Greek people have been exceptionally friendly and accommodating.  The food has been fantastic, but most impressive is the constant exposure to architectural structures built thousands of years ago by the founders of western thought. 

The Parthenon
We spent the first week in a small village named Tolo and took a field trip to Mycenae ~1650-1200 BC, which is thought to have been the home of the General of the Trojan War, King Agamemnon.  We followed up by hiking the 999 steps up to the Fortress of Palamidi in Nafplion. 

The second week was spent on the island of Crete where we visited one of the oldest known palaces in Knossos.  These people had flushing toilets by ~1500 BC and hot and cold running water.  This is possibly the home of Greek/Minoan mythology, starting the stories of Zeus, King Minos, and the Minotaur.
Palace at Knossos

We are finishing our drama class in Athens.  This gave us the opportunity to visit the Parthenon, Delphi, and the Temple of Zeus.

Temple of Apollo
We are studying with students from community colleges all across Tennessee.  I encourage anyone who can to take advantage of the study abroad program.  I have made new friends and experienced diversity in culture that I never knew existed.  Some of these skills should prove invaluable in my future.  This has definitely been a life-changing experience.

Volunteer State Community College

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