I just finished my second week in Athens, and it has definitely been interesting!
I have continued to learn in my Greek language class, and while my understanding of the language has definitely improved, I have started to wonder about my ability to ever become fluent for a few reasons. While I have definitely become better with the language, I question whether what I have learned by the end of the summer and what I will learn in the next school year’s classes are enough for me to become fluent. I also have a very hard time making out any words when a person is speaking in Greek. Because they go so fast, I usually can’t even make out what sounds they’ve just used. When my professor speaks Greek to me, I can understand it, but only because she is speaking very slowly so that I am able to pick up the words, which is must slower than Greeks actually speak. While this does bother and frustrate me since I was hoping to eventually become fluent, I can only do my best, so wherever I am at the end of the summer or next school is where I will be happy with since I will have given my full effort.
Besides my learning journey with Greek, I am finding myself incredibly exhausted. The first week was much more crazy than the second week, mostly because I was receiving a ton more homework. However, almost every time I went to class, I was the only student who completed all the homework, and the other students told the professor it was impossible to do all of it. Since then, the homework amount has decreased, and I have been able to get an appropriate amount of sleep. Although, while the first week was much more intense than a week at Michigan (which says a lot), the second week has been as intense as a week at Michigan, yet I still find myself more tired than I was at Michigan. I think this is probably because living in another culture and trying to learn and use a language all the time has made me more exhausted than I would normally be. While the first week I was more than happy to use the language whenever I could, it has now worn me out mentally, and I sometimes struggle to remember things that before I could do in a second. However, I think that just proves how much effort I have put into this.
I have also continued my research with my professor. She is leaving at the end of the week, so this will be our last time together until July. I am honored that she trusts me enough to leave the project in my hands, and I will do my best to prove my abilities to her. We have had a great time getting to know each other throughout the project, and she was even nice enough to take me on a walk across Athens. I was in this professor’s class about Athens this past semester, so it was definitely a surreal feeling when we were walked past the places and monuments we discussed and learned about in class. It was nice of her to show and explain the city to help me grow more settled. I said this in the last post, but I will definitely miss her presence, wisdom, and guidance.
In my research right now, we finished organizing all the letters based on who they were from and to, and this week we focused on documenting other information about them, such as their dates, what type of writing artifact they are (a letter, note, envelope, etc.) and what their contents hold.
It’s amazing to see the similarities and differences from week to week!