The muscle beneath my right eye has been twitching constantly for three days now. It vexes me. Keep this in mind.
I attended my first class of LAT102 -- surprise, surprise, Latin -- and I shan't mince words: it was a fair disaster.
First, the class consisted of seven or eight students -- a drastic cut in size for me, as I had spent the past year and a half in classes of minimally two hundred students. I had long ago eased myself in the joys of faceless anonymity, free to come and go and slack as I pleased with nary a soul the wiser. This sudden intimacy gave me an acute discomfort.
Second, it turned out the students had spent December studying for a quiz, which was given straight away after a bit of holiday chit-chat. I was also assigned the quiz, so it might act as an indicator of how much I knew.
Third, it turned out "next to nothing." I had forgotten far more than I estimated since June of 2003. Pluperfect? Passive indicative? I was staring so hard at the pages that my eyes quite honestly began to water. For about thirty minutes of the next fifty, I felt like crying.
After all but one student had completed their tests and jaunted off, the professor stowed away my paper, and talked.
"Well, I know it may seem a bit bleak now, but don't despair. You just need to read through the book to see what we've been doing, and complete a few exercises to see where we are right now."
If I needed to do that, why didn't they let me take LAT100 in September? Fuck.
"We were supposed to do twenty chapters last term, but we did twenty-one."
Oh, yay. "Uh huh." Nod.
She leaned in. "You see, there are a few students here who took two years of Latin in high school" -- like myself, for whom this half-course was recommended instead of the full course, designed for those with no Latin experience -- "and they say they're really glad they started at the beginning of the year because it's so different from what they did before. It's much more systematic here. Much more detailed and thorough. We also focus much more on English-to-Latin translation," she added, "which is harder."
I stared at her.
"But it's OK," she reassured me quickly, having caught the shadow of dread that had fallen over my face, "it's not impossible to catch up." She smiled hesitantly at me.
Yeah, it's not going to be impossible but it is going to be a monkey's rash-tastic ass, isn't it? Fucking hell.
My cheek chose that moment to give a spastic twitch, and I thought her eyes briefly flashed with alarm for her children and her children's children.
I nodded and smiled.
posted at 5:26:26 pm
2. As "Americana" defines itself as artefacts of American culture, "Gloriana" consists of the artefacts of my culture.
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