Posted by: deerharas | August 25, 2006


At the end of last semester I enrolled myself in Beginning Tap Dancing for Non Majors and Hatha Yoga for Fall 2006, all courtesy of my lovely employee benefit called the tuition waiver.  However, the more I thought about it over the summer, I felt that while I would thoroughly enjoy a tap class, I would probably benefit a bit more from taking a Greek readings class I noticed on the class schedule for the fall semester.  My Greek skills have fallen into pitiful disrepair, which is particularly pitiful considering that Greek may be what I want to do with my life.   So, in an effort to perhaps prepare for my future, I enrolled. 

Now as time passed, I mourned the loss of my tap class less and less and looked forward my Greek class more and more.  I was super excited come Monday morning … Readings in New Testament Greek, 9:00 AM, Liberal Arts Building room 227.  I felt like a freshman as I walked in a complete circle twice trying to find room 227, which happened to be in a rather obscure little nook.  But I made it … the search only enhanced the anticipation.  However, I get to the class only to find only three other students and no professor.  It turns out that the class had been cancelled.  Ugh, and too late to re-enroll in tap! 

So I began to evaluate the situation and decided that I would maybe try out the Biblical Greek I class later that morning.  The same professor was supposed to teach that one as well, so maybe I could find out something more about the Readings class.  After speaking with Dr. Debolt, it turned out that even though the class had been cancelled, he was planning on meeting with interested students informally to work through selected NT readings.  Which is awesome for me … I could get my $78 in class fees back and still take the class I had intened to take! 

So Wednesday afternoon I meet with Dr. Debolt and one other interested student … our first class meeting.  We basically read through the first fourteen verses of John, and while I was pleasantly surprised at my vocab recall, I was horrified at my form recognition.  I realized the effort that it would take to get back to the level at which I needed to be, and I was discouraged.  However, I wasn’t surprised.  I have picked up my Greek New Testament maybe five times in the past two years.  And let’s face it, I wasn’t that great of a Greek student in the first place.

I began my Greek journey five years ago, sophomore year in Greek I with Dr. Kelly.  I studied hard for my first test and made like a 96, but wasn’t willing to put in the time and effort to keep that up.  It was bizarre … I was so used to having things come naturally and not having to study much to make good grades.  But I don’t care who you are, Greek isn’t like that.  I mean, natural talent and intelligence will help, but only so much as maybe you won’t fail the class if you’re really smart.  Greek takes nuturing.  It takes lots of time and attention.  I still maintain that I wasn’t mature enough to take Greek as a sophomore.  I didn’t realize what it demanded, and once I did, I wasn’t willing to comply with its demands.

So I made a “B” in Greek I.  I worked harder in Greek II, but without the solid foundation I needed, I made a “B” in Greek II.  And while in other classes I could study the night before an exam and pull of an “A,” not in Greek.  Greek III?  “B.”  Greek IV?  “C.”  A “C!”  My only “C” ever … and in my major … pitiful.  I took a Greek Readings class the same semester as Greek IV, and pulled off a B, but barely.  My senior year, I finally realized my love for the language and pulled off an “A” in NT Textual Criticism as well as an “A” in my second go-round with Greek IV. 

However, my good grades could be more indicative of my adaptation to studying better for tests, rather than my actual grasping of the language.  I think it all goes back to Greek I.  Man, if I had only worked harder back then …

So basically, all this is running through my head as I am trying desperately not to sound stupid in my on the spot translation of John.  I realized that while I will certainly benefit from taking the Greek Readings class this semester, I will benefit even more from going back to the basics of Greek I.  I mean, I’m going to have to do it anyway … the question is, do I have the discipline to go back and re-teach myself?  Or should I actually enroll in Greek I so that I have to go to class and study for quizzes and tests?  Is it worth $78 for me to ensure a little outside motivation?  You know, I think it is.  And you know what?  It won’t hurt to show that I took Greek I again … and made an “A.” 

So here I am, enrolled in the same class I took five years ago, finally in the right frame of mind to take it.  I went to my second class today, and I absolutely loved it.  It was such a confirming moment.  I just soaked up every word … things I never knew like the phrase “ephelcistic nu.”  My professor is pretty brilliant.  And hopefully I can make it to some of the Readings meetings … basically free one on one time with a Greek monster … pretty great.  So I realize that this all probably means nothing to anyone except perhaps RegularGoy, but it’s all ultimately for me anyway.  Blessings, all!

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