Aaron Blair ’08
“One of the most exciting opportunities in the Classics Program is the study abroad programs. As a Classics major at Southwestern, I was lucky enough to be able to participate in an archeological dig in ancient Lycia of modern day Turkey. I found myself completely immersed in the Turkish language and culture almost as soon as I arrived. Looking back on all of my experiences in Turkey, some of my fondest memories include dancing at a Turkish wedding and sharing traditional spirits and meals with local villagers, who had been working by my side in the trenches day in and day out. I also enjoyed my time learning and working at the dig site. There, I was able to personally conduct the excavation of areas in my site, such as an ancient ceramic manufacturing center. I learned how to record archeological findings, to identify and clean pottery sherds, to take elevations, and to input all of this information into a complex digital database. On my days off, I got the opportunity to go on trips to dozens of ancient sites, to swim in beautiful coastal towns, and to participate in the exhilarating Turkish night life. I made friends with people from all over the world, and my experiences on this trip were absolutely life changing in every way.
“My studies in the Classics have also helped me in my aspirations to become a lawyer. I have been able to learn about and translate texts of some of the world’s greatest orators and thinkers, such as Cicero and Socrates. I have been able to see how art, ritual and language are vital aspects of law and politics. The intense Classics program has taught me how to work hard, write, research and think about the world in an entirely new way. I have used these skills in an internship with the Austin based law firm McDonald, Mackay & Weitz, LLP. for the past 3 semesters. My work involves researching cases and observing government proceedings in Austin, as well as writing reports and memos for the firm.
“I feel more than prepared to meet the challenges ahead of me in Law School and in my career thanks to the rigorous training I have received at Southwestern.”