So, my first course at UD has finally begun…and it is killer.
Of COURSE I wasn’t fool enough to think that this summer course would be anything like the 3 week Intermediate Spanish course I took at Biola last year…heck, that was one of the easiest things I’ve ever done! It was full of seniors like me that had already walked down the graduation aisle- over the whole college thing, only needing those last 4 credits to get our diplomas. These circumstances didn’t exactly produce anything close to resembling a group of people actually wanting to learn the Spanish language. I think the professor of the course admitted defeat somewhere in the first 5 minutes.
No, I knew that this would be harder, especially based on the fact that it is Latin 1 and 2, all in 5 weeks, taught my one of the most feared professors on UD’s campus. This guy is a character all himself, around 6’4″ and 120 lbs., complete with coffee stains on his collar because he tries to smoke and drink from a mug at the same time. He taught himself Russian just by sitting down with a book one day…so I imagine it’s hard for him to understand how we just simply don’t seem to get it.
It’s hard to describe a Mauer class. Basically, we are supposed to learn the chapters (2-3 weeks worth per night!!!) on our own and come to class with around 100 lines translated. We go over them, and he insults us. Actually, the insults are much appreciated- for some ironic reason they lighten the mood significantly. The other day he told us that our English grammar was so bad, there wasn’t a planet in the universe disgusting enough for our unworthy beings. After he’s done insulting us, he insults the Romans, or the deteriorating English culture, and then pulls out a bunch of poetry that he makes us attempt to translate highly unsuccessfully.
So, apart from being in class around 4 hours a day, I am also doing around 5 hours of homework a day. The only good news about it is that by the end of the course, I will have the equivalent of 3 high school years of Latin and will only need one more Latin course to fulfill my UD grad studies requirement. Of course, I don’t think that’s all I’m going to take. UD has a lot of language courses, classes that read and discuss in the originals Pliny, Virgil and Cicero. Despite the fact that I have to pay for any additional language courses (UD is paying for all of my classes right now) it sounds awfully appealing, and hey, I need some light at the end of the tunnel of death right now! Especially since my brain feels like it has been eaten by zombies.