[B-Greek] Casualties of the Beginning Greek class

Nikolaos Adamou nikolaos.adamou at hotmail.com
Thu Feb 4 10:53:59 EST 2010

This is a very real problem, and if one does not have the drive to read the original text, and do it in the way that Ιωάννη described, the techniques only moves you away.
Modern Greeks do not live Classical Greek for the same reason.
If one has the motivation of reaching a useful and interest text, then there is an appetite for the language.
I would add, if one also writes (handwritten, and typed) and reads loud, and hears the text that works with it, then it is even better.
During the summer, at a monastery in Greece, my son (4th Grade) attempted to write with a pen and ink on a leather manuscript.  Since then, his attitude changed towards writing, reading, and understanding more the language of his fathers.

I think, those of us who teach, in one or other capacity, have the responsibility to motivate, keep our students interest, and attract even more.

Nikolaos Adamou, Ph.D.   
Associate Professor of Business Management 

> From: cwconrad2 at mac.com
> Date: Thu, 4 Feb 2010 06:52:02 -0500
> To: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: [B-Greek] Casualties of the Beginning Greek class
> This morning the 'Old Curmudgeon' -- Laudator Temporis Acti cites 
> Hanson & Heath, _Who Killed Homer_ on the dropouts, week by week, 
> from the first-year Greek class, as they encounter first-declension masculine 
> nouns and three meanings of AUTOS ... What makes it funny and pathetic 
> for any veteran teacher of Greek is that it rings so true (of course students of 
> French encountering irregular verbs and verbs with à and de may complain 
> but they do become inured to them through conversation). The following 
> piece cited at 
> http://laudatortemporisacti.blogspot.com/2010/02/come-on-in-you-wounded-greeklings.html
> = http://turl.ca/brgpnyk
> =====
> After the first three weeks of the beginning Greek class, 20 percent of the 
> students are unfortunately conked, casualties of the masculine nouns of 
> the first declension. Others are DOA thanks to the pronoun autos. The
>  find that the autos monster can mean three altogether different things 
> ("him/her/it/them," "-self," or "same"), depending on both its case and 
> its position in a sentence. Students do withdraw from an introductory 
> Greek class before they taste Plato or the Gospels, these bored, annoyed, 
> and exhausted ninteen-year-olds, those very prospects who you once hoped 
> would go on to Thucydides—and perhaps be one of the 600 each year in 
> America who still major in Classics. They slide now across the hall to squeeze 
> into the university's over-enrolled Theory of Walking, Rope Climbing, and 
> Star Trek and the Humanities, which will assuage and assure them that they 
> are, all in all, pretty nice kids, classes that will offer the veneer of self-esteem 
> but will guarantee that they will probably lose what little sense of real 
> accomplishment they had carried within to begin with. You can nearly hear 
> those doctors of therapy, those professors of recuperation at the lecture-hall 
> door: "Come on in, you wounded Greeklings. It's not your fault. They had 
> no business subjecting you to all that rote; we do things a lot differently here.
>  Relax, sit back, breathe deeply, and tell us how you feel."
> ======
> And what's the American seminary equivalent? Classes in exegesis based
> upon your favorite version or interlinear?
> Carl W. Conrad
> Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
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