today started off kind of rough with my body waking me up every few hours in a wine-induced haze from going out with the professors last night. i eventually got out of bed around 11:30am and got ready for my day, AKA lazing around the apartment with everyone else until our 2pm meeting with the professors about officially picking classes for the semester (which starts tomorrow, by the way).

a local bottle of wine that’s made here on the island. we drank many of these while out with the professors last night. i also learned from kat, a previous HISA student, that there are 3 or so vineyards and wineries here on the island that offer tours and tastings. hell yes!!


2 pm came and we all met up on the rooftop garden/patio of the apartment building and sat in a circle to discuss our options. each teacher gave a brief intro of their lessons and talked for longer than necessary about them because they’re all super intense and passionate about their subjects. i ended up picking:

  • cycladic art and culture (with cameron):: an in-depth study of the art, architecture, beliefs, and way of life of the people of the eastern aegean sea with lots of field trips in order to get a hands on experience and sink into the subject
  • philosophy of life (with barry):: a discussion based class focusing on what causes us to believe and act the way we do and looking into all the different factors that make us who we are today
  • manual black and white photography (with.. well actually i can’t remember her name):: i’m having this class one-on-one with a wonderful teacher who grew up here on paros, aiming to gain a new photographic experience as i learn to fully develop my photographs from start to finish
  • modern greek (with.. a local greek woman):: an intro course to the modern greek language so that i can further immerse myself in the culture and people surrounding me
  • women’s studies: when the goddess ruled (with sigrid):: an in-depth study of the creation of the goddess and her importance through time as both a symbol and as an object of worship and female empowerment

this is the patio up on the 4th floor of our apartment building that we all sat at to chat about classes. you can see the sea in the background!!

so after we all chose classes a group of six of us headed over to the beach for the day. we spent hours laying around chatting and sunbathing and even more time swimming in the crystal clear, ultra salty and bouyant aegean sea. it was amazing, even when we went out where the water was far over our heads we could still see straight down to the bottom where little schools of fish would sometimes pass by.

this was my view from the beach today, a lovely shot of the main town parikia and the lovely blue water


as the sun began to set we headed back to the apartment to change, shower, and then all head out for dinner (which i guess i wasn’t very clean and tidy about because somehow i still have sand alllll overrrrr the floor in my room, which is now getting in my bed as i cozily sit here to write this!!). we ate at a place on the water and spent another few hours drinking wine, sharing food, and actually having some really personal conversations that i never would have expected.

all in all it was a really chill day and i got to know the other students way better, which is always a plus. everyone in the program seems super nice, even if they’re a bit much to handle at times. i’m so glad that we all hung out today because i feel like our chats at the beach and at dinner are really drawing us all closer. granted, it’s nothing like what i have with jessica and danielle, but nor do i want it to be.

i’m so damn excited to start classes tomorrow, even though i only have one and it’s not til 2:30pm. at least i’ll have time to get up and go to the grocery store and walk around the island a bit before i head over to the school. not going to lie, i’m a bit worried that i won’t be able to find it; damn you pirate-proof streets!! i’ll be leaving early to get there for sure because i’m almost positive that i’ll have to ask for directions. oh well, it’s my art and culture class with cameron (who’s turing out to be one of my favorite teachers here) so it’ll be worth it to hear what he has to say.

i find myself staying up super late here as i try to adjust to the locals sense of time. everyone wakes up around 8am and heads to work around 9am, then there’s a period of rest from 2pm-6pm (similar to a siesta in a latin country), and from there people finish up at work and head to dinner by 7pm. dinner is a big deal here all over europe, but especially here in greece and over in italy as well; it wouldn’t be out of the norm for a supper to last 3 hours or so. once people are done eating they grab a drink and head out for the night, eventually returning home somewhere around 1am or 2am. whew, lordy. i love the long dinner and the time of rest during the day, but it’s still quite an adjustment to make. at least i’m trying!