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TAU Life, vol. 1, issue #2 - Impressions and Expressions of Ijon
October 23rd, 2002
02:04 am

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TAU Life, vol. 1, issue #2
Still enjoying every minute at TAU. According to most experts, that's abnormal. Well, okay, perhaps I felt a bit frustrated at that mandatory English Reading Comprehension class where we are made to read Gender Studies texts ("Feminist social theories", stuff by Adrienne Rich, the works) -- it just seems a waste of my time. But other than that, I'm happy.

Prof. Ben-Porat, of the Lit. dept., asked me to e-mail her my lesson notes after each lesson of her course, for our mutual benefit. I get the bonus of her attention to my notes -- corrections, clarifications, comments -- and she gets some indication of how her lecture was received, what might need further elaboration, etc., as well as a potential basis for handouts or future teachings aids (so she suggested). She asked this of me at the end of the second lesson. I sent her the summary of the very next lesson, which was yesterday. Today she wrote back, with polite praise of my notes, and asked me to keep on sending notes after each lesson. I'm glad this turns out well.

The Greek language is treating me nicely so far. I'm acquiring some feel for its morphology, and that's a good sign, and I have no trouble following the grammar in class. Of the twenty-one students who showed up at the first lesson, there now remain eighteen. A grade sheet for last year's mo'ed gimel (what's the English term for that? Basically, a third opportunity to take an exam, following either failure at or inability to attend the previous exams) results for the year-long course of Classical Greek for Beginners (the one I'm taking now), and none exceeded 70 (out of 100). One was 23, two others were in the 40s. Oy...

I'm trying very hard not to fall behind on my reading duties. I need more time.

Went to the university bookstore after my classes, to buy a folder and some paper pads. Following a sizeable purchase two weeks ago, I had declared a moratorium on book purchases. In an exemplary display of my famous iron will, I picked up a folder, some paper, ignoring hundreds of enticing books and obvious traps in glossy hardcover. But then, woe of woes, whom should I chance upon but Corruption Incarnate himself, ygurvitz, leering at me from the corner of the Ancient History bookshelves. For extra effect, he was accompanied by the insidious Baron ravell. I felt a cold hand gripping my liver and squeezing. I knew it was all over.

I fought bravely, I struggled with all my might, but the trap was firmly shut around my ankles. How could I face them and say I'm studying ancient Greek when I don't have a copy of Herodotos? Or Thucydides...? Or Polybius...? Or Plutarchos...? You know the rest of the story.

I had planned to keep working at 70 percent capacity. I was completely unrealistic. If I'm lucky, I might be able to squeeze in about 30 percent. Sigh.

But life is good, and I must finish my Greek exercises for tomorrow morning's class.

Current Mood: happy
Current Music: They Might Be Giants -- Hot Cha

(10 comments | Leave a comment)

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From:ukelele
Date:October 22nd, 2002 02:03 pm (UTC)
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"Make-up test"? I'm not sure; I've never heard of something that maps to quite that concept you describe.

And as for the feminist social theory stuff -- I think my rants about certain such items of *cough* scholarship became a running joke in my history seminar last term ;). I'm all for asking important questions through new approaches, but you don't get to answer the questions at the same time on purely theoretical grounds...arrrrrgh!
From:freedomrider
Date:October 22nd, 2002 11:32 pm (UTC)
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In a "Make up test" they check how well you powder your nose, put on lipstick, and such. It's damn difficult. I failed.
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From:ijon
Date:October 23rd, 2002 04:10 am (UTC)
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Yeah. After the last lesson, I asked to be exempted from that class, and was told that I very well may be, the decision to be given at the next lesson, Monday. So I'll have to read at least one more article -- "Where Feminism Went Wrong", by John M. Ellis.
From:windesbraut
Date:October 22nd, 2002 02:23 pm (UTC)

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You and I seem to have the same troublesome addiction: Book-Buying!
I too have stopped going to my university's bookstore [it's linked w/Barnes & Noble], simply because every time I go there I spend money.
Last week I went to buy a greeting card and walked out with two books and a graphic novel.
Oh well, if I had to be addicted to something it might as well be that!
[User Picture]
From:ijon
Date:October 23rd, 2002 04:25 am (UTC)

The Truth

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Here's the stark truth: I want to live in a library. None of the libraries I know would let me live in it, so I've resorted to transforming my own room into a library.

advantages:
  • I get to live in a library.
  • I can listen to my kind of music while reading.
  • All books are constantly available, I never have to book a book (heh) in advance.
  • All books are actually books I want to read, or have already read and would probably love to read again. No time-wasting distractions.
  • I get to sprinkle little moose figurines and fluffy things on certain bookshelves.
  • The first thing I see when I open my eyes in the morning is shelf upon shelf of wondrous, interesting books. Bookshelves are my favorite decoration. It's bliss.
disadvantages:
  • I'm seriously out of shelf space. I'm already renting, free of charge, some space in kritzit's old (now mostly unused) room, and in our basement, how shameful, are 27 volumes of the Complete Works of Mark Twain (Oxford University Press), still in the Barnes & Noble boxes they arrived in.
  • My (future, theoretical) kids, wired post-internet critters that they're likely to be, may not appreciate the wonder of a library as their inheritance.
  • I buy books faster than I read them.
From:windesbraut
Date:October 23rd, 2002 07:35 am (UTC)

Re: The Truth

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This all sounds frighteningly familiar and good. My stack of books to read is almost as tall as I am!
From:ex_aurealis993
Date:October 22nd, 2002 09:42 pm (UTC)
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The way of interaction that your professor's using is interesting! I've never heard of a way like that, and I believe it works. I'm interested in the different customs of teaching (in case I will teach someday myself), and would like to learn more about interaction between student and teacher. I've had better and worse teachers myself, and realized there is one factor uniting the good teachers: the interaction on the lecture. I think it's really important.

- Jenni

P.S. Oh you silly bookworm. *sigh* :
[User Picture]
From:ijon
Date:October 23rd, 2002 04:40 am (UTC)
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Yes, I'm very curious to find out what sort of interaction it will turn out to be. I'll probably be writing about it more, in future issues of "Tau Life". :)
[User Picture]
From:ravell
Date:October 23rd, 2002 09:35 am (UTC)

it should be stated that the ijon is'nt an inecent good boy jerusalem

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and he's smile, when he payed for the books is the proof. you should have seen it.
[User Picture]
From:ygurvitz
Date:October 24th, 2002 07:15 am (UTC)

Come now, let's be reasonable

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I merely said that any person of sense and taste will prefer Thucydides to that old windbag, Herodotos, who will have to spend a few more centuries in Tartarus, atoning for his sins in creating anthropology, or, rather, in legitimizing it.

To which you reacted "I don't see a copy of Thucydides here". So I procured one for you. Am I to blame? Then there's the Polybius. You merely asked if there was one in that section, and I pointed it out. I told you not to buy it, or the Plutarchs, going to the lengths of bad-mouthing some of those really bad bios they kept for the third volume, of inconsequental kings of cities with a population of 222 people. Did it help me one bit? Goodness, no.

Me, I say what I always did: don't eat what you can't swallow. Go shopping when you're near the end of your reading list.
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