1/4/07

It's All Greek To Me

[I apologize for the title. I couldn't help myself.]

Today marked the first day of J-Term and my first day of ancient Greek class since junior year of high school. I'm back to the beginning, since one semester of high school Greek in no way equates to a full semester of Middlebury Greek. The first day of class is always an interesting experience. It takes a while to figure out the dynamic among the class members and with the professor. I can already see that the position of know-it-all is filled. I don't mean that to be terribly disparaging - it has already led us off on a few fun tangents, like the three different possible meanings of Oedipus (know-foot, swollen-foot, know-where; bonus points if you can figure out why they are ironic in terms of the story), but it can also be irritating when the tangents are pointless. One position the know-it-alls haven't filled is that of correcting the professor when he makes mistakes (and unfortunately he made several today - it is unfortunate when the professor consistently misplaces the accents on words when he is trying to teach the rules of accent). I haven't decided if I want to be the obnoxious person who speaks up when the professor is wrong. It's a useful function, especially when the mistakes are of a basic nature in an introductory course - such mistakes can lead to a lot of confusion. In high school I had no problem doing this because my classes were so small (3 to 10 people, usually) and I knew the teachers very well. Also, they didn't make mistakes that often, so it was more of a challenge. Or if they did make mistakes often, I didn't particularly like the teacher and so felt a rather guilty pleasure in catching them. (Yes, I am a somewhat spiteful person.) So the question is, do I take on the role of error police, or do I simply sit back and ignore the teacher's mistakes insofar as they don't impede my own learning? I will see what transpires as the course progresses.