It's All Chinese to Me
Trip Start Sep 07, 2008
148Trip End Dec 09, 2008
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I'm having great fun watching our Greek language professor Gina work. She's amazingly talented pedagogically. She's committed to helping the students learn functional language skills they'll really use over the next three months, and she's a genius at conveying the lessons. Today she taught us about ordering food and the twelve different kinds of coffee you can get at a café. But most importantly, she taught us how to curse. We learned the nonverbal equivalent of the Greek middle finger and the Greek words for a$$h*!@ and fk. No kidding! Now a third of the words I overhear on the street are magically understandable.
I don't have the leisure to observe Indy's pedagogical method because I'm too busy madly writing down all the information so effortlessly dropping out of his mouth at breakneck speed. Today in Ancient Greek Monuments class, we traced a marble slab from the quarry on Mount Hymettus to its placement on the Parthenon. Fun fact: the quarry workers would hammer a wooden wedge into the marble where they wanted to cut it. Then they poured water on the wedge, and the wood would expand, cracking the marble out of the quarry.
Fun fact number two: I actually do know how to curse in Ancient Greek. You say "go to the crows."
I told the legend of the weeping marble Caryatid sculptures to a group of students while we were at the Acropolis last week. Over the weekend, my student Scout traveled to London for a job interview. She visited the British Museum and sought out the abducted Caryatid. "It gave me shivers," Scout said. "She wasn't screaming anymore, she was just furious."