Wednesday
Mar092005

« In Hiding »

I'm not too terribly sure I have much new to report that isn't already familiar stuff here, vis a vis the disaster zone that is about to be America in the 21st century. But however, let me bore you with my take on reading more Greek literature than I ever expected, all within the last few weeks.

My humanities class so far has been interesting but sometimes over my head. I am so used to reading and digesting non fiction that when some fiction is put in front of me, I am lost. Reading books has always been a hit and miss proposition for me. Some I can totally bury myself in (my second reading of The Mists of Avalon was done in nine days, while the first took a few years) and some I have to read a few lines over and over before the words even register. Such has been my experience lately with the ancient literature in my class. First off, the Epic of Sundiata was like learning a new language, with all its place names and people names, but also the multiple names that even one person would have. I just was lost trying to do that. The Epic of Gilgamesh was easier but still I got lost in the names and places.

Then we got on to sections of The Iliad, The Odyssey, and now we have more Greek work to read. At least with The Iliad and Odyssey, there are a great number of sources for getting background and analysis or even movies to help bring things to life, but some of these other works are coming up a little less fruitful. I'm sure the info is there, it's just not here. This week alone, the reading list has been Oedipus Rex, The Women of Troy, and Agamemnon. Next week, there is even more Greek to come. At least I have a vague familiarity with the Greek concepts and characters, but for me, plodding along through the flowery literature is cause for mad cases of ADD, which usually isn't a problem for me. I get real shifty wherever I sit, doze off, scratch, and other things. It's more than just a sleeper topic for me, I get antsy. Then for my breaks, I go to the computer and look up some stuff that might help me get a grasp on stuff. Last night alone, I had to reread 550 lines of Agamemnon which I had read a few hours earlier but had no real comprehension of, and even after the second reading with notes, I still felt unsatisfied.

Last week I took the first test in class, and while we had a week to prepare for it, with the test questions scattered among various questions in a study sheet, I still don't know that I did too well, and that has been a bummer for me all week. Usually I can do real well in the stuff that isn't math and science, but this time I just feel like I got it all wrong. It was only five essay questions (and as you know, writing isn't the problem for me), but I think I missed the nuances the instructor was going for. I got the basic facts right enough, but the whole reading task was to get at the nuances of certain characters and ideas, and I think I might have left too much of that out of my answer. I shall see about that tonight when I get the test back. It's been a bummer ruminating on that all week.

Also a bummer is simultaneously reading about the collapse of mighty powers. In the last two weeks, I have ping-ponged between the story of the fall of Troy, and the accumulating bits of evidence about the falling of America. Geeze. Aint been nothing but a good time over here.

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