College of Arts & Letters
Arts & Letters 662
SDSU Students Travel to Greece
26 SDSU students (a group with included 10 majors from our Department) traveled in May and June last summer on a whirlwind 3 week excursion to Greece. The trip -- an upper division course offered through SDSU College of Extended Studies -- gave our students a chance to get up close and personal to the sites (and the sights) of their beloved studies. Led by Professor Joe Smith, our students absorbed the content of a "Classical Civilization" syllabus as it really should be experienced. Everywhere the group journeyed, the emphasis of their explorations was upon seeing the wonderful complexities and intricacies of how ancient monuments must be approached and "unpacked" in a very, very modern setting.
The trip gave our students time to explore Athens for a week and see all of its most famous landmarks, sites, museums, and diverse neighborhoods by bus, foot, and rail. They took day trips throughout Attica to see Eleusis, Marathon, and Sounion. They journeyed north as far as Delphi, went south to see the Mycenaean sites of the Argolid, and squeezed in a day at Epidaurus. They took an overnight ferry to Crete for a final leg of their journey which even allowed an excursion to Santorini.
This trip offered daily chances to take in the colors, the tastes, the business, the bustle, and summertime ease of modern Greece. Our trekkers were eager to practice their modern Greek phrases, to try all manner of food, and find out where Greek undergraduates go for fun. They would return from their explorations with stories of very hip shopping plazas or sleepy old tavernas or dicey clubs or even encounters with the nice young policemen in Syntagma Square at the end last spring's "severity protests."
So many of the students who came back from the trip described it as a life changing experience and faltered when grasping for the right way to express the importance of the trip to them. In the time since the trip, the sojourners have continually expressed to Joe how important such travel experiences are to a complete undergraduate education and that the Department needs to keep sending students abroad and that, at soonest opportunity, we should be planning the next classical trek to the Old World. The Friends of Classics, particularly Executive President Jeanette Rigopoulos, were supportive in seeing the trip through from inception (with lots of advice on where to go and what to expect) to fiscal support, seeing to it that our Classics Majors had sufficient travel money in their pockets. The Friends generously offered $500.00 scholarships to each major signed up for the trip.
Umanisti is the student organization of the Department of Classics and Humanities.
Umanisti is the Italian name taken by the medieval scholars who established the humanities as independent university disciplines. Founded in 1970 as the Classics Club, the organization changed its name in 1990 to include students of Humanities.
The purpose of Umanisti is to promote the study and appreciation of the humanistic heritage that originated in classical Greece and Rome. This was reaffirmed in Renaissance Europe and extends to all ages and civilizations that value the great achievements in history, letters, and the arts.
Umanisti holds meetings and organizes and sponsors study groups and such events as lectures, films, outings, and symposia either independently or with the Department of Classics and Humanities, Eta Sigma Phi, The Friends of Classics, or other such bodies that foster the humanities.
The motto is HVMANI NIL ALIENVM, from the Roman playwright Terence: Humani nil a me alienum puto (I consider nothing human alien to me).
The initiation fee is $5. The Faculty Adviser is Professor Joseph Smith. E-mail us at email@example.com.
Eta Sigma Phi
Eta Sigma Phi is the national undergraduate Classics honorary society founded in 1914 http://www.etasigmaphi.com/.
Each fall qualified students of Greek and Latin are initiated into Zeta Gamma Chapter, which was chartered at SDSU in 1989. Initiates must have at least a 3.50 GPA in second-year Greek or Latin courses, a 3.50 in courses that satisfy the Classics major or minor, and an overall 3.00. Initiation fees are donated by The Friends of Classics. Professor Emeritus E. N. Genovese is Archon Basileus (Adviser, firstname.lastname@example.org).
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While every effort is made to ensure that this information is up-to-date and accurate, official information can be found in the university publications.