Περιπέτειες με τη Δημοκρατία (Adventures with Democracy) – Greece

Early Monday morning, after the sun had started to rise, Mrs. Hamilton’s fifth period class started their Democracy field trip to Greece. We all met in her class room, anticipating the wonderful experience. To our surprise, Mrs. Hamilton instructed us to close our eyes and count to ten. Confused, we followed her instructions due to the fact that she is a fantastic and beautiful teacher. After finishing the count ten, we heard a high-pitched squeal that lasted for several moments. The sudden humidity overwhelmed us; the sweet smell of freshly baked bread enveloped the group. We opened our eyes and to our astonishment we were standing on the sidewalk. The street sign read, “The Panathenaic Way.” I struggled for a moment to recall where I had heard this before. In bewilderment, I remembered that we had learned about this street in school. It was the name of the street that led from the Agora to the Acropolis. We were in Greece!

Our class got lunch at a nearby bakery. Ambra and I shared spanikopita, a Greek specialty.Victoria, on the other hand, ordered something that we were accustomed to, ice cream. The waitress explained, in a heavy accent, that the spinikopita was a savory pastry filled with spinach and covered by phyilo doe.

After we were properly stuffed, we began our tour at the Acropolis, an impressively sized hill. This is where the important Ancient Greek buildings were built-in order to keep them safe during times of war. The Greeks certainly did think ahead.

We toured the Agora; directly translated, this was the market place for the Greeks. However, it was also the center to all daily life. The Agora encompassed political, economic, social centers and many other buildings.

After traipsing around in the almost unbearable sun, the class was relieved to escape it for a few hours as we visited The Museum of Greek Leaders. We learned or attempted to learn about the four main Ancient Greek leaders. After the long day, focusing was not our first priority.

Weary, we retired to our hotel. Ambra, Victoria and I ordered room service. I ordered fries which I thought would soothe my home-sickness. Ambra ate my french fries (she really likes them) and I was left to eat ice cream, not that I was complaining.

I realized that I was really missing my mama. Forgetting about the time difference, I made a money efficient Skype call. Victoria and I explained Greece to my sleepy-eyed mommy. I knew she was jealous, she loves to travel and more specifically to eat exotic foods. I get my good taste from her!

We wished her good night and went to our lavish beds. We needed the rest for Rome!

Ancient Greeks Contributions to Democracy:

The idea of three branches of government

Written laws

Pay government officials

Right to vote

Citizens can write laws

Representative assembly

Federalism (distributing power between a federal and state government)

Idea of democracy

Citizens are equal before the law

Plato: Direct democracy leads to mob rule

Aristotle: Reason is why people can participate in government

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