today has been pretty basic and chill. woke up pretty late since i ended up skyping with my lovely family and then watching a movie til like 2am. when i did finally awake i had to rush to get ready and head off for my first modern greek language class.

i knew it was going to be hard and that i would have to push myself (since i’m awful at just spanish and i’ve been taking that for 6 years), but i guess i didn’t think that i would be this lost my first day. pretty much everyone in the program is taking the class and today we all sat in a circle tracing the greek alphabet in upper and lower case (which was a lot harder than i expected). super, i now officially feel like a lost kindergartener. hopefully by the end of my three months here i will be semi-proficient at it, but i guess we’ll just have to see.

had an hour break until my philosophy class so 3 or 4 of us went to a nearby cafe to grab some food. we sat seaside and ate our sandwiches and crepes and drank our waters and coffees like pros, because after all, we have been here almost a week.

the philosophy of life class was pretty interesting. barry teaches it and we basically just went around the table talking about what your lives have been like, how our parents raised us, what influenced us as we grew up, etc. barry went one by one through the circle and each time a person would answer a question he would ask another, unyielding and forever curious about our pasts. some people’s answers surprised me for sure, but i think mine really freaked people out which made me chuckle.

everyone else was either raised in a household without any kind of religious upbringing or with a strict form of christianity being pushed on them whether they liked it or not. as such, none of them are very religious at all. when i started describing my stable family situation and my religious upbringing within the liberal UCC where i was encouraged to ask and explore everything they all looked shocked. they were even more shocked when i told them that, due to the liberal christianity that i was raised in, i still hold dear to it and it’s still a huge part of who i am today.

none of them could believe it. one guy even looked at me with bewilderment on his face and told me that he had never really known anyone who was spiritual or religious and that this was so weird from his perspective. thanks guys. i’m pretty sure that they now expect me to never drink any wine and randomly burst out in fits of uncontrollable jesus praise and preaching (even the teacher looked nervous and surprised), which couldn’t be farther from the truth. my religion is mine, and far be it from me to push that on anyone. granted, i love religious discussions and chats, i have them with my family and friends all the time, but i would never want to preach at someone and push my own beliefs on them. they all look nervous around me now like they’re expecting exactly that, great.

when exactly did religion become so uncool? i don’t understand it, it’s at the core of every human being and yet as soon as someone comes out and says that they have faith in something (no matter what it is) everyone gets really tense and uncomfortable.

oh well, at least the people who matter in my life understand it. so thanks family and friends for always being there for me, and not treating me like a crazy person because i love interfaith studies and religion in general. especially danielle and jessica, i appreciate your constant and unwavering support more than you’ll ever know. the fact that we can speak deeply and openly about this kind of stuff is rare (as i’m learning ever more over here) and i’m so glad that i’ve found that with you. i miss you both. lots.