it is now, mid-november, that the winter season has finally hit the island of paros. the clouds are constantly rolling in hiding the sun behind their grey masses, the wind picks up and tosses my hair about as i walk to class or the grocery store, the aegean itself becomes rougher as waves crash upon the rocks, and gradually more shops and restaurants are closing their doors for the season. as all this happens the island transforms itself into a more brooding and wild place, a place much different from the island that i arrived on.

at the same time i can feel myself yearning for home and my family and friends there. i have three more weeks here on paros: 2 weeks worth of classes and then 1 week for set-up and our final art show. once all of that is over i shall then jet off to rome for a week and then finally return to ohio super late on december 16th.

i think that as the atmosphere here changes it aids in my own transition as i start thinking about returning to my home university and my hometown. i would have a much harder time leaving paros if it were still 75 degrees everyday and i still spent my days lounging by the sea soaking up the sun. it’s almost as if, as my mind prepares to go back to the real-world, the elements here on the island adapt to become the physical manifestation of these’s a weird time here on paros.

we’re all currently getting ready for our thanksgiving meal with the professors on thursday, hectically trying to decide what side dishes we should make and how on earth we can find all the ingredients we need here on the island. i’ve changed my mind 6 or 7 times and have finally decided on just making pasta salad loaded with fresh veggies. easy way out? not necessarily since i’ll have to make my own italian dressing because it’s not sold on the island. ohhhh paros!

classes are also starting to wind down. in philosophy i’m working on our semester paper about flashpoints, those moments in time that change who you are as a person and how you’ll live out your life. it’s quite an interesting paper to write and i’m thoroughly enjoying how introspective and descriptive i can be with it! in my goddess class we’re all working on our final ritual which will be preformed in a week or so. photography is filled making final prints, deciding on what pieces to put in the show, and picking colors to mat the photographs on. my greek language class is, as usual, completely hopeless. we all pretty much fail at it, but the teacher just laughs at us and continues on. in my cycladic culture class i’m working on my final travel journal, putting the finishing touches on it with various photos and clippings from my journeys during the semester.

as all this winds down we’re all forced to begin thinking of the future. some of the HISA students are coming back next semester, but most of us shall continue on at our home institutions and dive back in to the world of “normal” classes with tests and papers and readings to do. going back to heidelberg after my semester here will be a shock i’m sure, not only back in a cold place and a small rural town with no ocean, but also going back to classes with a heavy work load. all of my time management skills have gone out the window here! i’ve become so used to discussion based classes where nothing is off limits that going back to a world of structured academia is going to throw me off my game i’m sure.

but i’ll worry about all that when i get back. for now i plan on making the most of my last few weeks here and enjoying every moment of it.