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I didn't finish all my Latin in time for class, but, having gotten sidetracked by gerundives, we never made it to the end of the passage anyways, somewhat to my relief. I feel so uncomfortable about the prospect of being called on for partially prepared material. I don't have the excuse of sight-reading, nor the confidence of having finished preparing. Knowing the vocabulary is rarely sufficient.

My orientation to ITER was today. I learned yesterday that ITER can not only be the name of the Medieval and Renaissance bibliography database I'm actually working for, but also it's the name of a fusion reaction project due to be built in Japan, Canada, or Europe. A professor and I had sixty seconds of crossed wires yesterday, culminating in him asking whether my fellowship was federally funded, or perhaps from the U.S.? If I was being funded by the fusion reactor project, I'd probably be getting a great deal more money out of the arrangement than I am. Please note I am not complaining about my funding here. I'm just saying there's more money in fusion reactors, generally speaking, than in bibliographic databases. At least to begin with, and possibly all year, I'll be working on cataloging Journal title histories and numbering deviants: here's an example of the sort of thing which comes out of this work.

I came home early (after saying goodbye to Zag) to watch the Slayers TRY dvds I rented yesterday. Just doing my UTARPA homework.

Tonight C. and I have having dinner at Cat's. Very kind of her to invite us.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 19th, 2002 12:36 pm (UTC)
You work for ITER?
*wipes rabid foam from her chin before continuing*

Oooo, I'm jealous! Your job helps you keep up-to-date on your reading!

Sep. 19th, 2002 12:44 pm (UTC)
Re: You work for ITER?
I thought it would when I was awarded the thing, but I'm working for the FIS branch of the project, not the CRRS end (where many of my friends are working). This was a source of much confusion for me at first. The people working for ITER via CRRS (Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies) are the ones who do "Data Entry" as they call it: writing up abstracts for the database and generally getting to read journals in their fields for pay. Nice arrangement. I, however, have been assigned to ITER via FIS (Faculty of Information Studies? Science?). The group working for FIS does things like trace the history of journal titles and numbering irregularities, edits what the CRRS ITER people do, and any other random projects which come up. The two groups divide up their workers between 'em. In other words, I could be doing something much more relevantly informative, but nevertheless, it doesn't look as if it'll be a bad job. Certainly less all-consuming than a full-year TAship is!
Sep. 19th, 2002 12:48 pm (UTC)
As for all this Latin...
I have recently heard truly horrible things about the U of Toronto MA Latin test. Is it all that bad? I've never formally studied Latin: I've been teaching myself, which makes me truly worry about a grammar-intensive test-a-thon.
Sep. 19th, 2002 12:57 pm (UTC)
Re: As for all this Latin...
How challenging the Centre's latin exam is completely depends on how much Latin - especially Medieval Latin - background you have. Or how quick on the uptake you are with languages. Many people can go from no Latin at all to passing the MA exam after 2 years of Latin at the Centre, which is fairly intensive - the class meets 4 days a week. The best way to find out how you think you would do on a Centre exam is to try to take it yourself. There is a sample copy available online at the Centre's website: http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/medieval/ - also, the administrative assistant, Grace, has all the past exams on file in the office. The pass mark, fyi is usually around 70, but what that actually means requires a bit more commentary. Again, I could send you copies of the sheet which explains how it's all marked if you want to know that much more about the exam. The degree to which the exam is challenging does vary a bit from exam to exam. This year, for example, everyone told me that the MA exam was easier in the spring than it was in the fall.

If you pass the MA exam, it basically proves that your grammar is fairly competent, you have a reasonable amount of vocab under your belt, and you know how to detail with the vagarities peculiar to Medieval - as opposed to classical - Latin.
Sep. 19th, 2002 04:02 pm (UTC)
Re: As for all this Latin...
Y'know, I may just be blowing smoke out of a pipe here, but those passages didn't look terribly difficult if you've had a decent amount of Latin study (admittedly I wouldn't be able to do a full translation at the moment, rusty as I am, anyway) -- I guess it's the finer points of the translation that wind up making a difference? Understanding those vagaries of Medieval vs. Classical and pegging the nuances in the translation?
Sep. 19th, 2002 08:07 pm (UTC)
Re: As for all this Latin...
They aren't meant to be excessively difficult. Most of the penalties in the marking is for the details, though. Every year, there's at least one, if not more, incoming students who pass the MA - this year we had one who passed the PhD first time around too. Also, they generally try to give at least one particularly easy passage and one particularly challenging passage every year. If you have at least 2 solid years of college-level or equivalent under your belt, you'll usually make at least a near-pass on the MA exam.

Or else if you're a language genius - one student entered Basic a few years ago and a year and a summer later passed the PhD. So yes, it's possible.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )