Sunday, February 27, 2011

Classical Craziness

Today, on my way out the door from church, I'm checking my email.

(I know, I know... that's horrible. But my life demands it. And hey, at least it wasn't during church.)

And, surprise! I have a paper due tonight that I somehow forgot about, and one that will be posted in a forum for others to comment on as their weekly assignment. Pfft. Great.

"What, oh what, is this paper on?" I think as I get in the car. Logging onto Black Board, I see that I have to write a Ciceronian analysis of one of Frederick Douglass' speeches, "What, to the slave, is the fourth of July?" Using Cicero's De Oratore as a basis.

Normally, this would be when the panicking and hyperventilating sets in. But, I have read Cicero's De Oratore, and I have read that speech by Douglass (thank you, AcDec!).

My family went to eat at this really good Jewish delicatessen (I was tempted to order in Hebrew, but I restrained myself) with some friends from church, so during lunch I pieced together the essay in my head.

This, everyone, is a classical example (pun intended) of why Classics matter. They just do, and come in handy every now and then... especially in classes where a previous exposure to them helps you out.

Now, I'm watching a foreign film that I have to present to my Hebrew class tomorrow (do I sound like a procrastinator? I'm really not. I've watched it before.), and writing down vocabulary words for every word I do not understand (yes, this was my assignment. Facepalm), such as "drugs" and other lovely phrases that I'm pretty sure will not be vital to my future trip to Israel, oy ve. It's called the Schwartz Dynasty, and I really do not understand a lot of the history or cultural underlying issues with it, so it's hard to know when to laugh, or even if I should.

Anybody out there understand Israeli humor? It is an entirely different bird than American humor, and I think an entirely different species altogether from mine.

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