If all goes according to plan, at the end of this coming semester I will hold in my hands a bright, shiny new Master’s degree with my name on it! My last requirement is a practicum, and the Fates must be smiling on me, because I’ve worked out a way to fulfill that requirement while also…studying ancient Greek! Somehow timing and patience and a few lovely professors have given me a two-for-one deal.
This is exciting, and also, I must admit, just a little harrowing. I took three semesters of Greek two years ago, so I’ll basically be picking up right where I left off, except for that unfortunate, you know, complete lapse in studying. I’ve dabbled here and there but it has certainly taken a back seat, especially when I became a full-time graduate student. And since I’m supposed to be assisting with the course, not merely attending, I don’t think a fake-it-til-you-make-it approach is going to suffice. Classes start in 11 days, so I have joined the ranks of probably countless generations of budding scholars – I’m cramming for Greek.
This reviewing/learning process presents some unique challenges, and unique opportunities. As part of my “assignment,” my Greek professor has asked me to keep a detailed journal of my process, something I was interested in doing anyway. She says that there’s a hypothesis, purely anecdotal, that she and most of her Classics colleagues have: if you stop studying a language, you can pick it back up pretty easily after a year; it starts getting harder after that; and after two years, you’re toast. Square one. Considering I am right at the two year mark, almost to the day, it should be, as she put it, “interesting.” I’m the subject of my own applied linguistics research! (Do I get extra credit?)
I’ll be posting occasional updates over the next few months as to how things are going. In the mean time, wish me luck! And Happy New Year!