Spartan spends school year overseas in Greece


Evvia Townley-Bakewell (11) smiles as she stands in front of the Temple of Zeus in Olympia. She spent last year exploring places like this in Greece with her father.

Many people dream of missing school to travel to foreign countries. Last year, this dream was Evvia Townley-Bakewell’s (11) reality.

Townley-Bakewell’s father is a professor at Rhodes College. Last year he was given a sabbatical, which is a period of paid leave given to a university professor for every seven years that they work. He applied to the American School of Classical Studies in Athens to teach a seminar and ended up taking a group of grad-students and his family to Greece.

“We spent most of the time in Athens but we traveled around some too,” Townley-Bakewell said.

Some of their other destinations in Greece included Chania, Thessaloniki, Ioannina and Heraklion.

While she was in Greece, Townley-Bakewell and her younger siblings were homeschooled by her father. She was also able to attend Greek classes and enjoyed learning a little bit of the Greek language.

“I’m not fluent, but I can read and I can understand what people are saying and I can speak pretty well…” she said.

Townley-Bakewell thoroughly enjoyed every part of her trip. One of her favorite experiences was getting to go inside the Parthenon in Athens. Another was visiting an archeological museum in Thebes where she got to touch artifacts. She says that this trip sparked her already growing interest in classical history.

“You can’t ignore the history that’s all around you. It’s in parking lots, it’s in hotels…” Townley-Bakewell said.

Although Townley-Bakewell thinks that it is nice to be back at White Station, she also finds it stressful.

“It’s nice seeing my friends again and falling back into muscle memory. At the same time it’s very different from last year. Last year I had a lot more time to walk around and think and do more of my own thing while I was learning.”