September 23rd, 2003

Fishy Circumstances

Latin update

I didn't do too badly on the Latin exam. Not well enough to pass even by the first set of pass marks, but close enough I stand a very real chance at passing next year. I was recommended to work on my own, rather than find a tutor. Part of it is that what I need at this point is more experience with Latin, reading, reading, and more reading. Part of it is that I'm quite capable of doing grammar drills with myself. The professor I spoke with though was willing to cover my one real worry in working by myself: how will I know what to do with a particularly knotty grammatical construction? He's willing to read over an email or two a week from me with questions on whatever texts I choose. He recommended a few, and between those and some of the recommendations I've had in the past, I should have plenty to keep me occupied for a few hours a day for the rest of the semester.

Every time I have a meeting like this, the fact that my program does not require me to pass this exam comes up. I'm a self-respecting medievalist who's studying for her degree at Toronto, so how can I not pursue the Latin PhD exam at the Centre? The Centre Latin cult (no mockery intended) is infectious to be around, and very pragmatic. Most Western European medieval texts were written in this language, so it's one I need to know. It's important enough that other departments around campus are starting to require their medievalists to pass this particular exam. Thanks to this persistance on my part, I merited a verbal pat-on-the-head; which is nice, if unnecessary. I'd do it anyways.