August 29th, 2003

Fishy Circumstances

Worldcon Day 2

I've never done so much academic networking at a convention before. I had no idea attending would prove so useful in this way.

I was only there for the afternoon, but the afternoon featured more good panels, including one which was an evidently rare dialogue between authors and filkers who've written songs using those authors' works (all of whom were authors whose work I knew, no less). The session was a third authors reading from their own works, a third music, and a third discussion of the way song can deal with material so differently from text.
Fishy Circumstances

A poor parody in honor of Latin

Twas the last Latin class of summer
Left behind in morning's dew.
My fellow Policraticans
were increasingly few.
Specularii were baffled
that they had come so nigh,
to discerning the future
'till we all gave up with a sigh.

So soon may we all pass it,
That exam for which we toil,
and like diviners and seekers,
see the language as clear as oil.
When the peril of declensions
we've truly overflown --
Oh, who would want to conjugate
a deponent verb alone?

Explanation: For the past few days, the PhD latin class has been reading excerpts from John of Salisbury's Policraticus. Today's passage was on the evils of future readers who work their magic with mirrors, much like the evil queen in Snow White. In order to read the future through a mirrored surface, they either used polished basins or else nails with oil on them. We couldn't tell if nails (the same word is used for hoof) meant anything other than literally fingernails.

The exam is in a week.