May 28, 2005

An unusual Saturday post

It seems to me that I forgot to finish yesterday's post, which is most definitely not about this man. Nope. Not at all. That's just ignorant. It's ignorant.

Not that I have an ending for the post at this moment. I have no idea how to finish that post in a way that would be befitting the sick humor and trauma of having my mother the children's librarian say such words as "Give it to me good--Oh yeah, yeah, do it, daddy" in a storytime voice. I'm just recognizing my failures. Apparently, that's one of the ways I can become a sucessful, well-adjusted human being; to recognize and work around my strengths and failures. Whatever. I don't think that my apologizing for the lack of an ending is going to make my problems go away like Jessica Simpson at a Mensa meeting, but it's worth a shot.

Oh, and to respond to a comment--
The latin title of Thursday's post comes from an epigraph to a Thomas Hardy poem. It means "My heart is smitten and withered like grass," and is a loose translation from Psalm 102:5.

I took two years of Latin in high school, and am fairly well read in terms of poetry and history; hence the abundance of Latin on the site. Obiter Dictum, as I've mentioned before, is a Latin phrase cum legal term meaning an off-the-cuff comment, or something said in passing. Also, Dictum was part of the URL of a blog I had in high school. You learn something new every day.

I remember in high school, our Latin teacher was crazy. (I've since heard that all Latin teachers are crazy, in an attempt to drum up prospective students.) We'd have toga parties every other week, sing songs about verb conjugations to the tune of "Mary had a Little Lamb," and watch movies that are set in ancient Rome but not really known for their historical accuracy, like "Gladiator" and "Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum." Hell, once we watched a Pink Floyd concert that took place in an ancient colliseum. It was an easy class, and one that I excelled in with flying colors.

After a year and a half, I was asked to join the handful of 3rd year Latin students for my last semester, essentially skipping a year. All they did was translate bawdy plays, dirty poems and early pornography with a grad students who came in and took them to a conference room, picking up candy and coffee on most days. Plus, I had more friends in that class, which only sweetened the deal.

Anyway, one of the many, many busywork assignments was every month, we had to compile a list of 30 things that came from ancient Rome, or references to Latin in our everyday life. It was one a day, and I think it was an attempt to make us realize that Latin was not a dead language, but one that still had relevance.

Of course, being slackers and Seniors and smartasses, the references to Latin that counted were often weak and comical. Someone had Caesar dressing on a salad. The architecture in the Harry Potter movie looked kind of Roman. Someone said something in Latin in a courtroom scene in Law & Order. In English class, we're reading Antigone (which is, of course, techinically Greek, but it still counted). The Agony and the Ecstacy was on tv last night (not that they watched it, mind you, neveryoumind that movie is set during the Renaissance; it still counted). I saw someone from the class in the hall and said "Salve" (pronounced SAL-way, it means hello).

Anyways, I'm kind of hoping that's why "Veovis" asked the question in his comment. I hope there's another weird Latin teacher making kids do crazy, easy assignments, and Veovis is going to raise his hand on Monday, and say that he was reading some whiny though sometimes witty gay blog written by some guy who might look like a geeky Ryan Philippe in horned-rim glasses who titled one of his posts in Latin.
Here lies a most ridiculous raw youth, indulging himself in the literary graces that he once vowed to eschew. Now he just rocks out.