Just came back from marble-carving workshop after the pre-departure meeting for the upcoming field trip to Cyprus and only just finished unpacking this morning from last week’s school trip to the Peloponnese.

Word to the Wise: Pick and choose which optional activities to be involved with. Do some, it keeps you sane, but not all, because too much makes you go crazy as much as too little does. Take a break from Athens (or wherever you are) every now and again, but do not always be going somewhere and doing something outside where you are. Take a break to enjoy Athens (or, again, wherever else you are).

I’ld definitely recommend Athens, though. After all, where else could you convince your professor that, no, we shouldn’t have class right now. That, instead of reviewing verbs and pronouns today, we should all go outside, to the Panathenaic Stadium (a.k.a. THE Modern Olympic Stadium) which is next door to our academic building, and watch Greece hand the Olympic torch over to South Korea. Which was amazing, by the way.

I didn’t see any tortoises during our class visit to the Kerameikos yesterday, but the mother cat did show up to fend off the large dog cornering her kittens when I gave my presentation. Another student was already dragging the dog away (this dog had traumatized some of my classmates with his hunting prowess during a previous class presentation and no one wanted a repeat) but Mama cat was still all for going at him, so our professor had to keep her away for her own safety, and to present less of a distraction as I spoke, presumably. Otherwise the thing went well enough.

While I still have not quite got all my papers organized, I have them all in one pile and ready to organize (ah, any day now… yeah, right ;P .) However, I did (finally!) get around to re-arranging my bedroom furniture the way I had been thinking of doing since much closer to the beginning of the semester than I would like to admit. “Furniture” sounds much more impressive than it is, as there are really only four or five pieces in here, depending on how you count: my bed; the super-lightweight, standard desk; a rolling office chair to go with the desk; a ladderback chair for no apparent reason, but I like it much better (great for storing/displaying scarves and belts); and the little metal wastebasket, which stays under the desk and out of the way.

I have not got around to cracking my walnuts yet, but I have managed to shell some hazelnuts, which are also fairly hard, if much smaller. I thought for a while and even tried asking my good ol’ friend Google for help, then I looked at the counter in my kitchen, which is made of marble (of course! I am in Greece after all). Hard, sturdy surface? Check. I grabbed a plastic grocery bag, checked for holes, and loaded in a small handful of the little nuts. Overarm, sidearm, both seemed to work, as long as I got up plenty of momentum to give those nuts a good, hard smack at the end of the swing when they collided with the marble counter-top. This was fairly effective, however, I had to take out the cracked and opened nuts after every swing before I smashed them to pieces, instead of opening more on the next go. In the end, I filled the bottom of a small bowl and had a tasty, if horrendously noisy, addition to dinner.

Next time will probably be my last post from home. How crazy to think how little time is left! Although, I could be wrong and I just might (although not likely) post again before I leave.

Question 1: What will I miss most/least about Greece?

Question 2: What have I missed most/least about America?

Question 3: How will I cope with not going someplace new every/every-other weekend?

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