Posted by: Joseph J. Skarzenski | July 7, 2009

Still adjusting

JTG Session 1 on the rooftop of the Uindy Cultural Centre with the Acropolis in the background

JTG Session 1 on the rooftop of the Uindy Cultural Centre with the Acropolis in the background

With class starting at 11 AM, students were up bright and early this morning to enjoy some of the favourite local places for breakfast and coffee. From tiropitas and doughnuts to frappes and Greek tost, it was an enjoyable breakfast for many first timers. Soon enough we were off to class at the Uindy campus. Thankfully, the campus, apartments, and local eateries are all located within a few blocks of each other, making it very easy to get around the area.

Class day was mainly an introduction to the material we will be covering in the next two weeks. Dr. Dimitriou informed students about the three main influences (Byzantine, Ottoman, and Modern Greek) that should be kept in mind when analyzing and discussing Greek culture. He continued the lecture by briefly going over some of Greece’s more recent history. We learned about the Smyrni Catastrophe, and the League of Nation’s response with the Treaty of Lausanne. We also discussed Greece’s involvement in World War II, and the significance of Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas’s decision to say “Oxi” to Mussolini and the fascist force. The lecture then turned to more modern issues that Greece faces, such as the English possession of the Parthenon marbles, the FYROM name dispute, and new wave of illegal immigration. It was a very insightful first day of class, since Dr. Dimitriou gave us the “bigger picture” at the end of his lecture, asking students to consider all of Greece’s history and tradition when they analyze a person’s responses in the interview assignment.

Enjoying lunch at George's

Enjoying lunch at George's

From class we went directly to George’s for lunch. After eating, Dr. Dimitriou made his daily announcements. We received a revised schedule of events for the next two weeks. Following lunch, most returned to their apartments to continue settling in. Some decided to go to Glyfada for the afternoon to enjoy the beautiful beaches of Greece.

By 7 PM, we were all back at the university campus to start our walk to the Uindy Cultural Center. The local AHEPA chapter HJ1 graciously hosted a

Vasilis Kiritsis (Vice Chancellor for Enrollment and Student Affairs) speaking to JTG students

Vasilis Kiritsis (Vice Chancellor for Enrollment and Student Affairs) speaking to JTG students

welcoming ceremony for the session 1 group. Mr. Vasilis Kiritsis (Vice Chancellor for Enrollment and Student Affairs) formally welcomed the group to the Uindy Athens campus. After he shared some very fond words about the JTG program and its students, we received a presentation from AHEPA representatives of HJ1. Mr. Stavros Vlachoyannis discussed some of the recent and upcoming projects by the district, including an annual marathon.

Mr. Stavros Vlachoyannis of District AJ1 speaking with students

Mr. Stavros Vlachoyannis of Chapter AJ1 speaking with students

Following the welcoming remarks from the Uindy administration and AHEPA members, we went to the roof of the cultural centre to have dinner. The rooftop features a fantastic view of the Acropolis and Roman Agora. The area was the perfect place to converse and socialize with each other. Students had the opportunity to casually speak with Mr. Vlachoyannis and also meet the Daughters of Penelope district governor of District 25.

It was an amazing second day for session 1 students. Between the great, interactive class discussion in the morning and the fantastic welcome ceremony, students are staying very busy. On thursday night, JTG students will be seeing the professional dance group Dora Stratou (and may even get the opportunity to learn a dance from them before the performance)!

Below is a link to photo’s from today.


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