Monday, September 3, 2012

On leaving

Well, hello there, blog!  It's been awhile.  I've decided to attempt to start this thing up again since I'm about to set off for a year in Greece at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens.  I'll be living in a dorm-type environment, and our group of 13 Regular Members will take trips to explore Greek sites, research and make reports, take seminar classes and Modern Greek lessons, and participate in excavations at the site of Corinth.  The American School is a longstanding tradition among Classicists and archaeologists who work in the Greek world, and I have been told by many prior members that it is one of the best years of their lives.

All that isn't to make it easier to leave, though.  In the last week I've moved out of my home of three years - longer than I've lived anywhere since high school - and packed up all my possessions (except the furniture which my subletter is using) and put them in either a storage unit or the trunk of my car.  (Shout out to my champion moving team of Michael, Ryan, and Justin - you guys were rock stars, and I was in too much of a daze to thank you properly.)  I've been anxious about moving out and becoming a vagrant ex-pat for several months now, and the process of putting everything into boxes made it all extremely real.  On one hand, I felt bad about being so attached to things; but on the other hand, as a student of material culture, I of all people understand that things aren't just meaningless objects, but rather markers of identity, lifestyle, personal choices, memories... they have important, real, immediate significance.

The kitchen of my apartment.  These things were the hardest to pack up, because the ability to cook for myself and my friends represents autonomy, recreation and relaxation, taking care of people (and myself), and most of all, delicious things to eat and enjoy.  Oh, and relinquishing my collection of spices!  Penzey's, I'm coming for you when I return. 

Putting all my things into boxes to go into storage for a year felt like putting myself into storage for a year.  The Kate who will come back from Athens will be a different one than the Kate who packed up those boxes last week - she'll have seen and done new things, made tons of new friends, become more itinerant, and have gone to Delphi and Knossos and Vergina.  And she'll be 30.

I intend to blog this process both as a document of my own journey, and as a way to passively stay in touch with family and friends without obnoxiously flooding their inboxes with bcc mass emails.  And all you out there - don't be a stranger.  Find me on skype, or send me emails of your own adventures, big and small.  One of my greatest concerns is losing friendships and connections to people in the States while I'm on another continent.  Only you can allay this fear! 


  1. Oh, I am excited that this is all happening, and I can follow you on this here blog! Excellent.

    Good luck!

  2. I never deleted my bookmark, Kate. It's been here waiting for you.

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  4. You're welcome! Delphi is pretty cool, but I'll miss your kitchen.

  5. I will miss you and your kitchen things! I even had some of your zucchini bread for lunch!

  6. Yay! You're back, at least at your online home. I'll be excited to read along during your year-long adventure. Stay safe over there!