Saturday, April 14, 2007

Salad days

My two-semester-long Latin course came to an end yesterday afternoon in a dusty, depressing and cramped classroom on the fifth floor of the Hall building, where I and my fellow classmates wrote our final exam. I think I did about B- to C work. Towards the end of the course I had lost motivation and had a terrible time making it to class on those Mondays and Wednesdays. I think this is because I accidentally let it be known to my teacher that I'm quite decent at language learning, especially languages where there is no speaking involved. It happened that I was placed in the super special group of advancedly nerdy Latin-learners, along with Joshua and Mark. No girls allowed. The good thing about this was that I enjoyed bullshitting with Joshua and Mark. They're really great guys, and none of us were taking Latin for any particular reason while the rest of the class were classics majors. Why do classics majors always have to act like they were dropped off at school by the Starship Enterprise? They all talked about comic books and action figures the whole time, which is amusing at first, but only at first. Anyway, the bad thing about being in the super group was that the teacher knew the three of us flew through our regular classwork and so would always bring in photocopies of things like the Satyricon or Catullus (the excerpts he brought in always seemed to be very perverted in content, which made me a bit uncomfortable, as I think the teacher got off on making us translate perverted Latin texts) or something like that. The three of us didn't care about Latin at all, but there we were doing extra work.

So I slacked off towards the end. But the strange thing was that, in the run-up to the exam when I busted some ass studying, I started to enjoy Latin, now that I know all the declensions and conjugations. Not that is doesn't take me fucking forever to read in Latin, but I can at least read it. It is a awkward and clumsy language, closer to a form of torture than communication, but it is kind of satisfying to figure out a line of Latin, like solving mathematical equations.

Before, I was saying that when the class is over, I would shit on my Latin text, set it on fire and piss on the ashes, but I don't have that urge anymore. I even referenced the thing this morning while trying to figure out an Ovid quote I found in a footnote in the Critique of Pure Reason.

But the class is over, and it feels good.

I also registered for fall and winter classes yesterday. Having an entire year of life planned out for you is a bit dreary, especially when it happens in a matter of minutes just by entering some course codes on a badly-designed website, but so it goes. Here's what is in store for me for the next year, school-wise:

Summer: Introduction à la littérature francophone

Fall: Correction phonétique; Textes littéraires; Deductive Logic; Presocratics and Plato; Introduction to Ethics

Winter: Initiation au français ecrit; Communication orale; Aristotle and Romans; Introduction to Metaphysics; Introduction to Epistemology

Should be a grand ol' time. I'm also going to take a preparation course for the permanent residency interview, where I'll have to prove that I can speak French, read French and comprehend spoken French like a pro. Scary. Danica and I are trying for Canadian permanent residency so that we'll get the universal healthcare benefits (right now we pay for health insurance through the school and it is damned expensive) and I'll be able to pay Québec tuition rates for school (which I pay now because I am a French major, but it would be nice to have the option not to take six credits of French every semester.).

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