Before I delve into my first real day engaging in Latin, I want to reminisce briefly about an episode of Futurama I once saw; the episode in question had Zapp Brannigan tooting on about strategy and how the element of surprise is killer; he then proceeds to press a button and sudden drop all of his troops into a hostile war zone without warning. Latin, today, was a lot like that episode– I was the unexpecting soldiers. Latin was the surprise.
Okay, maybe I am being a bit overdramatic. And, in any case, Latin, much like the bouncing balls of Vergon-6, didn’t get the best of me.
Even so, it almost feels like today was a surprise attack since it was so intense. Sure, I signed up for this, but did I really? Of course, I did! In fact, it was less an ambush and more of a protracted offensive that I myself ordered; sure, the Latinate bouncing-balls may think they had the upper-hand, but it was actually I who did all along!
To speak in English, I completed most of two days worth of work today. No small feat since it took most of the day. This entailed watching close to forty-minutes of video lectures, taking careful notes to those lectures, completing mini-quizzes on those videos, signing up for and acclimating myself to a couple of new educational websites (Quizlet and VoiceThread), practicing Latin words, reading a poem aloud– crash-course style– and then reading the first real chapter in Wheelock all while learning more about Latin sentences and figuring out translation and annotation… whew, giving it my all for that without getting discouraged was a tough affair!
In sum, I had a busy day today.
The homework that was due today made me extremely nervous. Everyone else in the class had already completed that homework yesterday, so by the time I logged in, my activity was more closely akin to a lonely testament than a scholarly contribution. Additionally, it seemed as though everyone else– or almost everyone else, at any rate– was better able than I and just took to the material easier. Sure, they had that extra time to practice but they still seemed to take to it with ease whereas I had such trouble; still, I reminded myself, they may have had some Latin in high-school which they might have drawn upon. I, meanwhile, have had no such luck, I was starting from scratch.
But, I pressed on. I listened to my peers work, double-checked my pronunciation, and gave it the old college try. Was my attempt perfect? No, far from it; but, I still received full marks for that assignment. Receiving full marks made me feel quite happy. Furthermore, it gave me the additional oomph to press on with my study; I started Wednesday’s work today and am nearly done. Tomorrow, I look forward to practicing more and, hopefully, continuing to pull ahead.
Before I began my work today, I was anxious. Anxious about not succeeding, anxious about not understanding things, and simply anxious about being no good, about being unable to learn. Now, however, though I know much still lies ahead, I am not so anxious; the topics in my textbook are much clearer and I have a path to bettering my skills. So, it was much like that episode of Futurama I mentioned earlier– a bomb in your chest may seem absurd, but it is not as bad as it seems; really, it is just a minor irritant.
Well, that is all for this rambling entry. Tonight was much closer to an actual journal entry but tomorrow I will, hopefully, get to pontificating on some actual Latin. See you then!