Sunday, September 24, 2006

'Tis a silly question . . .

This being my last post from this side of the pond, I thought I'd pose a question to you, dear readers, for discussion.

Monty Python. Fully half of my Classics profs have at some point gone off into a MP tangent that related to and perhaps assisted in illustrating part of the lesson. My medieval mythology prof also did this (and if you knew her, despite the fact that it was an Arthurian legends class, you'd be a bit shocked at how long she re-enacted a MP scene also), as well as others I'm probably forgetting at the moment. Homo Edax and In the Middle both recently included MP in their blog posts.

Thus, my question: is it actually a requirement that Classics profs and other profs in related fields (e.g. mythology, medieval studies) learn/memorize Monty Python and incorporate it in their lessons (be they lectures or blog posts!)? If you're a student, have you had similar experiences? If you're a teacher/prof, do you use MP as well?

I'm assuming the answer is "yes," because who doesn't love MP? But feel free to prove me wrong. ;-)

My friend, incidently, got me some HOLY GRAIL the other day. [chorus of "ahhhhhh!"] In fact, she presented it to me directly after we watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Yes, be jealous!

Edited to add: Oh, and something more relevant/useful: free Latin readers with animal movements and sounds. Adorable!! I just got that from the Latinteach list.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Ahoy, ye maties!

Arr! It be Talk Like a Pirate Day, maties! Aye, and a little parrot told me that the University of Maryland's Latin Day be comin' up soon--November 14th! There be an October 25th registration deadline, though. Arr!

Arrrrr, and the best part be the Latin Day t-shirts that say: "Timete Testudinem" (Fear the Turtle!)

Though that slogan be quite lame! Turtles be not fearsome creatures! Aye! Silly people, them land-lubbin' slogan-makers! But, of course, it all sounds better in Latin! Aye! Though I'll tell y'all good piratey blog-readers a little secret! "Timete testudinem" was to end last year's Latin Day--until they ran out of time! Arrr.

And now, perhaps, our fearsome Greek pirate cap'n Homo Edax will entertain us further with some Greek Piratese!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

I'm alive! Sorta!

In case you haven't noticed, updates have been spotty and will probably continue to be until I settle down in England. Right now, I'm focusing on all the things I still have to do in my last week in the U.S. And it's a lot. Although, I did at least get to enjoy one more Classics dept function at my undergrad university this week. It was quite by accident but, as always, filled with fun and amusement. (Although, there were no brownie stand-offs this year. Certain people must have learned not to get in between me and the brownies. :-D)

Anyway, I've been meaning to thank Tropaion for the mention and to add a permanent link there in this blog. Hopefully, the permanent link will happen soon.

Also, hearing about a replica of the Argo being made to sail Jason's journey (from the Classics-L list), I really do have to wonder. I've always thought that if more people really knew about Jason & Medea, there would be fewer Jasons in the world. But still, people wish to make his journey, even if he was a pansy hero who needed Medea to save him and who then proceeded to abandon her. Bitter? Me? Naw. ;-)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Beam me up, Scotty!

There were other things I'd intended to post, but seeing as it's nearly 6AM and I'm still up (I was studying Greek, honest!), I figure I'll just stick with this.

It looks like Cambridge Schools Classics Project will be beaming up Latin to inquiring minds who wouldn't otherwise have a Latin teacher. That's kinda cool, and yet, real in-the-classroom teachers are cooler.

I like that somebody's trying, though. And I like that the demand is actually higher than the supply of Latin teachers (or so it would seem? Or maybe it's just that Latin teachers aren't affordable. hm). Anyway, Latin is being forced down the throats of poor, unsuspecting young students spread far and wide, and that makes me happy.

You see, if I ever have a child I shall brainwash corrupt it with Latin at an early age. Thus, hopefully, it will be saved the pain of figuring it out at a later age (because any child of mine would just naturally regret not learning Latin earlier :-P). Of course, it would probably cringe at horrible grammar mistakes at an even earlier age and be even more of a pain in the ass than its mother. In short, it might not be saved any pain at all. hm. Oh well!

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Parthenon, Mary Beard, and visa trouble, oh my!

If you haven't already read about it, here's an article on a piece of the Parthenon being returned. I've read about it in a couple places, but thanks to Aine Bina for that link.

Also, Mary Beard is writing about Et Tu, Brute? as it's being applied to modern politics. She also mentioned a couple posts ago that she will be in a BBC drama-doc on ancient Rome. I think it promises to be interesting!

Lastly, on the personal grad school side of things, just when I thought all I had left to do was study more Greek and pack, I got an interesting call from someone in another state. She tells me the British Consulate sent her my stuff. It's as if the universe wants to constantly keep me on my toes. Eheu. But I am very grateful to this person for having the honesty and kindness to track me down to let me know and for sending it back to me.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

More on Canongate's The Myths Series

Realizing one only has 20 days left in the country is somewhat disturbing. Over a third of those days are going to be at work. The rest of the time is going to be spent hitting Greek harder (hopefully) and trying to actually get ready for this move. The prep and the work are cutting into my Greek time a lot more than I was expecting. This is seriously unfortunate.

On the bright side, I discovered another of the books in The Myths Series today. I guess it was out earlier, but I missed that too. It's David Grossman's Lion's Honey ( link at the bottom of the post, along with the others).

I just wish they'd have published a better list of books for the series at some point, so I don't have to actually go to the mythology section of the bookstore to go hunting for books about the same size and shape as the previous ones in order to figure out if they're really part of the series! It seems to me better promotion could have been done with this series. Anyway, these are the titles I've discovered so far (verified by this list on Canongate). The links lead to my reviews:

-Karen Armstrong's A Short History of Myth
-Margaret Atwood's The Penelopiad
-Jeanette Winterson's Weight
-Victor Pelevin's The Helmet of Horror
-David Grossman's Lion's Honey
-Alexander McCall Smith's Dream Angus (coming out later this month)

And I think Dream Angus is coming out after I leave the country! This could be vexing. I hope the UK covers match the US covers. Eheu!

There is also a boxset (which only includes A Short History of Myth, The Penelopiad, Weight, and Dream Angus) that comes with an essay by Philip Pullman called "A Word or Two About Myths." I'm not sure this is actually available separately!)

Monday, September 04, 2006

Playing catch-up

My apologies, I've been a bit busy the last few days. Anyway, these are just a few updates I've been meaning to do.

I got this one from the Classics-L list. Apparently Harvard has a service for searching a number of language dictionaries, including Latin, Greek, and Sumerian. It can be found here: Pollux: Archimedes Project Dictionary Access.

Also, a few days ago, there was a bit on a very exciting Etruscan sanctuary discovery:
-Italian (if you can read it)
-English (not as detailed as the Italian, from what I gather)

The last one is just hilarious: Towards Proto-Cow

Lastly, I've changed the graphic, yet again, but if you enjoy staring at shiny moving Medea, you can still stare at her here for the time being.

Friday, September 01, 2006

A little quiz fun

Got this one from a friend, and while I usually don't post quizzes (I have before, but only rarely), this one was actually really good. Or maybe I just like it because it's a pretty good mix of Classical mythology and MBTI. Although I'm not sure I'd classify Thomas Jefferson as an INTP. I'd also like to see how they pair up the rest of the types with mythological figures!

It would also sorta make more sense if Socrates were the one annoying people in the questions rather than Plato. Oh well.

The Oracle

0% Extroversion, 100% Intuition, 27% Emotiveness, 90% Perceptiveness

Heuristic, detached, and analytical to a fualt, you are most like The Oracle. You are able to tackle any subject with a fine toothed comb, and you possess an ability to pinpoint nuances and shades of meaning that other people do not have and cannot understand. Accomplishment and realization of ideas are, for you, secondary to the rigorous exploration of ideas and questions -- you are, first and foremost, a theorist. You hate authority, convention, tradition, and under no circumstances do you accept a leadership role (although, you will gladly advise leadership when they're going astray, whether they want you to or not). Abstraction and generalities are your interests, details and particulars are usually inconsequential and uninteresting. You excel at language, mathematics and philosophy.

You are typically easy-going and non-confrontational until someone violates one of the very few principles that you deem sacred, at which point you can fly into a rage. Although you possess a much greater understanding of process and systems than the people around you, you are always conscious of the possibility that you've missed something or made a mistake. You don't tend to become attached to particular theories, and will immediately discard mistaken notions once they're revealed to be incorrect (but you don't tolerate iconoclasts who try to discredit validated theories through the use of fallacies and bad data). Despite being outwardly humble, you probably think of yourself as being smarter than most other people. That's because you are. In fact, in your dealings with people your understanding of their motives is so expansive that you know what they're going to say before they say it, and in world affairs, you usually know what is going to take place before it actually does. This ability would make you unbeatable in debates if only you were a little less pensive about your own conclusions, and a little more outgoing.

Famous people like you: Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Adam Smith, Thomas Jefferson, John McWhorter, Ramanujan, Marie Curie, Kurt Godel

Stay clear of: Apollo, Icarus, Hermes, Aphrodite

Seek out: Atlas, Prometheus, Daedalus

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
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You scored higher than 0% on Extroversion
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You scored higher than 90% on Intuition
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You scored higher than 4% on Emotiveness
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You scored higher than 79% on Perceptiveness

Link: The Greek Mythology Personality Test written by Aleph_Nine on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test