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Felices sumus! - Impressions and Expressions of Ijon
November 9th, 2003
04:28 pm

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Felices sumus!
Remember my utter delight in Prof. Ben-Porat's class last year? Sadly, she's retired now and does not teach any more.

So, I've had this fantasy wherein I'd walk up to her, prostrate myself at her feet, hug her knees with my left hand, and touch her chin with my right hand (cf. Thetis and Zeus), and beg her to take me under her wing, i.e. to agree to be my tutor on an agreed topic, meeting over coffee once a week or twice a month.

My inspiration and source of nerve in dreaming up this arrangement is Prof. Ben-Porat herself, who once told me of just such an arrangement she's had as a young Ph.D. student with one of her illustrious professors at UC Berkeley, which was "the best seminar I've ever had".

ravell shared that fantasy with me, and we kept talking about writing her an e-mail and boldly suggesting it to her. This morning, I met her at TAU, and she greeted me warmly and asked how I was doing. I smiled and said I'm doing exceedingly well, and all is well except for her not teaching a seminar this year. She smiled, and I continued: "So I was planning on hugging your knees and grasping your beard1 to plead with you to be my tutor." She burst out laughing at my silly allusion to the Iliad, and said "Well, I suppose I could try growing a beard, but how about we just skip ahead to the private seminar idea?" I was speechless, and she continued "Yes, why don't we meet tomorrow morning? Let ravell know, and we'll choose a topic tomorrow." It's really happening! My fantasy is coming true! I smiled happily and thanked her, and said goodbye.

I don't deserve all this good fortune. But I'm not complaining! I'm so pleased I could burst.

Now I need to figure out what I would most like to study with her. I'm thinking intertextuality, generally, but I need to come up with something specific.

1 [no, she does not have a beard; she is, as a matter of fact, one of the most beautiful older women I've ever seen]

Current Mood: excited
Current Music: Paul Simon -- Rene And Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After The War

(9 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments
 
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From:antinous
Date:November 9th, 2003 06:50 am (UTC)

Well well well - that's great!

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And also - a lovely picture.
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From:unfilthy
Date:November 9th, 2003 07:31 am (UTC)

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This sounds absolutely incredible. Nothing as pleasing as having one of your heroes take you under their wing.
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From:jdm314
Date:November 9th, 2003 07:39 am (UTC)
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That knees and beard thing shows up all over. I kind of wonder if it is not, in part, a word play (between γόνυ and γένειον), though both words are not always mentioned explicitly.

Intertextuality! Woo!
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From:shunra
Date:November 9th, 2003 08:05 am (UTC)

Ask and it shall be given, you know...

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...teachers, the really good ones, love nothing more than having the chance to teach someone who really loves to learn.

They'll go to great lengths to do so, some even to the point of growing a beard. :-)

(I'm so happy for you, that your studies are as magical as you had hoped they would be.)
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From:cinamon
Date:November 9th, 2003 08:14 am (UTC)
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That sounds so... so... Ah! Perfect!
Makes me wanna take that seminar as well.
Congrats you two. :)
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From:atzbacher
Date:November 9th, 2003 10:48 am (UTC)

מחיקה / תומס ברנהרד

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אחרי השיחה עם תלמידי גמבטי, שעמו נפגשתי בעשרים ותשעה לחודש בפיניצ'יו - כותב פראנץ יוזף מוראו - כדי לקבוע את מועדי השיעורים בחודש מאי אתו, הייתי גם הפעם מופתע בשובי מוולפסאג מן האינטליגנציה הגבוהה שלו, אף נלהב במידה מרנינה, עד שבניגוד להרגלי ללכת מיד דרך ויה קונדוטי לפיאצה מינרווה, ובהיותי מודע לעובדה שזה כבר ביתי הוא ברומא ולא עוד באוסטריה ומצב רוחי משתפר והולך, כיוונתי את צעדי דרך הפלאמיניה ופיאצה דל-פופולו ולאורך כל הקורסו אל דירתי, ושם קיבלתי בשעה שתיים בצהריים בערך מברק, שהודיע לי על מות הורי ואחי יוהנס.

***

אכול קנאה למשמע הסמינר הפרטי נזכרתי במערכת היחסים האינטלקטואלית בין פרנץ יוזף מוראו לתלמידו גמבטי. הו תהנו לכם יוונים קטנים.
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From:morin
Date:November 9th, 2003 11:49 am (UTC)

It seems the right teachers

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Cross your path when you're ready, or when you need them.

Good luck :)
From:pelig
Date:November 9th, 2003 12:19 pm (UTC)

נבלות, אני מקנא נוראות.

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From:ukelele
Date:November 9th, 2003 02:22 pm (UTC)
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How wonderful!

There is terribly interesting intertextuality stuff with the Hellenistic poets and late Republic/early Empire poetry (eg Callimachus and Catullus, book 3 of G. Valerius Flaccus's Argonautica and book 4 of the Aeneid, not to mention Theocritus and a huge chunk of later English poetry). Of course, you have to slog through the Hellenistic poets in order to do that, which involves some hideously difficult Greek, too many eruditer-than-thou allusions, and far too many sheep.
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