Welcome to the adventures of one student as she blogs her way through the experience of a lifetime.
This is what I spend a very large amount of time on Paros doing. It might not seem all that exciting, but anything done in the company of friends is worthwhile in my eyes.
The difference between here and home, though, is that here I can write on the beach while looking out at the sunset, or sitting outside Dodoni's cafe and people watching, or on the roof of the school building. I have so much freedom here that students in Boston don't have, despite how great Emerson is. It has been less than a month and already I can write some of my deepest feelings for class, knowing that everyone will see it as a piece of writing and not a piece of social ammo with which to judge me. I trust my writing class and even the peers I have who aren't in it, because everyone is able to freely think and express themselves. I'm definitely not the only one here who is growing, either; everyone seems to be coming into their own writing genre and voice, and really getting a feel for the perfect word within a moving sentence.
This week, as I started to cover in my previous blog, I've started working on a prose poetry memoir. It's hard for me, as a person who is quicker to say a robotic "I'm fine" than anyone, to actually delve deep into my experiences, but much like my philosophy class, I've found that bravery comes out of sharing pieces of yourself with the rest of the world, and hoping that they will understand. George tells me that I do my best at writing when I am the most honest, because facts and the truth are not the same thing, and the truth is really what matters. (This is what I was talking about when I said I need to write down everything he says.)
Outside of my writing class, I'm learning how to improve at cooking for myself. Despite how much I would love to eat 3 gyros a day and call it a good idea, it would be a disservice to my thighs and a very disappointing waste of all the fresh foods that are available on Paros. There are bakeries that have fresh baked loaves of bread every single day, and a fish market with fresh fish to take advantage of. There are small markets everywhere with fresh fruits and vegetables, including one that is outdoors in milk crates behind one of the churches until siesta begins and one that operates off the back of a donkey. Sometimes the language barrier is hard not to be afraid of, but the language of fresh food can speak to anyone.
I've gotten very good at vegetable and rice dishes, with the occasional addition of sausage or substitution of pasta. Last night, I chopped up some onion and garlic, sauteed them with sliced sausage and barbeque seasoning, and ate it over spaghetti with tomato sauce. Not the most exciting meal in the world, but it definitely beats the Easy Mac dinners we college kids get so good at. This is not to say that there aren't lazy days that we still don't want to eat out for, which is why it's great that they have Ramen Noodles (not Ramen brand, but I know a block of instant noodles with a flavor packet from a mile away) at the big supermarket. I also ventured into making crepes myself, because there are not that many ingredients and they're a much more versatile food than people give them credit for. Who knows, maybe I'll be a master chef by the time I leave.
This weekend was a blast. First, almost all of the HISA students went out for St. Patrick's Day, decked out in green and ready to dance the night away. We went dancing at Entropy, where we all did a made up jig to some Irish music and made friends with plenty of English men who now live here. Then we moved on to Saloon D'Or for more dancing and more fun, and we met up with some of the kids from the Aegean Center, another art school on the island.
Then, on Sunday, after quite the rowdy night of partying, we all went hiking to the highest point on Paros. Half of the group woke up early and met Cameron for a walk through Parikia and up the mountain, but the rest of us (and my body thanks me double for being in this group) were driven to the top of the mountain and hiked down with everyone else. There were so many beautiful views and little farms and orchards, and it ended up taking us about three hours to hike down, during which we sang plenty of Disney songs, especially the Sound of Music.
Well, that's all, but tune in next week for what happens in Naxos.
TTFN, Ta Ta For Now!
Molly is a sophomore Writing, Literature, and Publishing major at Emerson College in Boston. When not at school, she lives in Woodbury, Connecticut. She is extremely excited to study in Paros, Greece, especially because she is half Greek.