The Unexamined Mid-September

So . . . my main target is Westminster, but they only do church history from the Reformation on for PhD work. If I get in, I’m going to push that as far back into the Middle Ages as possible. I still want to go there: they’re the closest to where my theological home is, my people, the RBs.

I’m going to, while in Louisville, visit the former dean of Central Seminary and ask his advice in all this (what will he make of my theological home? It is what it is–as the obvious is nowadays put; when he wrote a huge NO right in the middle of one of my exam essays back in days of yore, I think he figured out what I was and he was still friendly afterward). That’s one of the great things about retired teachers: they have time. Trying to talk to certain entities, say, employed faculty at the place you want to go to who are over busy, can be demanding.

* * *
I’m enjoying Latin, and I think I’m effective with my students. At least I think they like me, and that’s the chief thing, isn’t it?

I’m figuring them out–HA! I think that’s an enormous success. They are not crouching and muttering. They try perkily. I recommend teaching at a semi-homeschooler type of school for all who are starting out in a subject of some uncertainty.

Had one of them giggle uncontrollably when I tried to explain why I think the transitive verb ‘carry’ it is used intransitively (Susan carries, for example; it means she has a gun, which is indicated by aborting the direct object, concealing it, as it were). Or maybe she was laughing because I said they were not safe at school because I brought no weapon. There are still things about them I need to figure out.

* * *
I had reason to paint recently, but now that has withdrawn in a sunset of glowing success. I’ll probably go back to writing diligently. The GRE beast is this Friday, and after that it is the slow grind through intermediate Latin toward advanced. I don’t know if I should charge ahead or consolidate more, but I’m leaning toward charging. I’m not a stickler, I’m a user. I was taught always to look things up and I always do when careful work is required, so why stick too closely to mastering forms rather than breaking through into fluent reading? It’s the teaching makes me hesitate.

Speaking of Latin, I now have enough Latin books to take one for each student to practice pronunciation with, rather than dull stuff in the textbook (they have rather bizarre texts like the pledge of allegiance, I suppose the idea is that the wording is familiar in English). I have a student who can’t make the sounds correctly when he tries to read them. Not sure what the deal is, but maybe some personal attention will help. I can let the quickest one have the Virgil, the Harry Potter reader do the Harry Potter, then there are the Hobbit and Boethius; probably Boethius for the pronunciation chap, and a Bible for the Catholic. So on Monday, after we take care of Business, they’re going to work on pronunciation individually while I rotate them through and see if I can individually attend especially to our chap. He’s a whiz at grammar.

* * *
Note on the weather: it is sometimes in the afternoons so clear, so brightly sunny, the grass and leaves so green and whole, the skies so blue, and shapes so definite in the clear air that it is like living in Narnia, or Minnesota in June. I did not think such things were possible in Ohio. One walks under the honey locusts marveling. One looks into the shallow and clear Olentangy and sees each individual rock of the riverbed. And all the while the walnuts are showering yellow leaves like windblown magic.


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