Sunday, October 7, 2012

Life Update...Part 1's been quite some since I posted anything, let alone a life update. As I mentioned in my last post, I went on vacation recently. The first half I took for the first year residency at Antiochian Village for the Antiochian House of Studies' St. Stephen's Course. (Note: The Course is really great, but I am taking a year off of it for personal reasons, and will re-evaluate next summer whether I want to continue it or not. This is not the fault of the Course, but is simply due to the circumstances of my life at the moment.) The flight -- on Southwest, of course :) -- across the country was beautiful, if predictably and happily boring. It was interesting to see the clouds hugging the ground, and the sharp division between the Bay Area, which was covered, and the central valley, which was decidedly not.

Once I got to Pittsburgh, PA, there was a bit of a wait while the rest of the people who were taking the shuttle from the airport to the Village. Then we took a two hour drive, with one stop for snacks, to the Village. Once we got there, we registered, and they also served pizza. It was pretty good pizza; nevertheless, it was still the worst food we had all week. (In other words, it was good, but it only got even better from there. :) ) For example, here's a picture of lunch the next day:

Apparently, the gazebo in the backyard is somewhat of a landmark there....I had a friend of mine from St. Timothy's ask me to take a picture of it. So here you go, Jon (taken through the screen of my hotel-like, well-appointed room):

Anyhow, in the mornings we had an abridged version of Orthros.  The iconography in the chapel is all hand-done (probably by the iconography students, if I had to guess, although I never confirmed that), and is rather unique.  The figures are all strictly canonical, in the Greek style.  But the backgrounds and decorative work are airbrushed gradients and other items.  They are incredibly beautiful, if not entirely mainstream.

After Orthros, we had breakfast every day, then class.  All the main track classes were held in the same room,

after which lunch, more classes, dinner, more classes (except Wed., when there was a social, involving cheese, veggie platters, chips, and beer, wine, and harder liquors, including rum, whiskey, vodka, and gin), then bed.

There was no curfew per se, but rest assured that we weren't all up partying all night.  With a schedule like that, and myself being among the youngest in attendance (26 yrs. old [at the time]), we were all more than willing to hit the sack after that last class, around 11 p.m.

Come Friday morning, we had Liturgy for the Feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist.  Then off to the airport.

I left Pittsburgh and went to Baltimore.  What I did after that, I'll relay in Part 2.

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