Saturday, September 08, 2007

Latin and my future

Not that I'm saying that Latin is particularly in my future. It's just that Latin made me think about some things in the future again.

You may have noticed one of the books on my "Currently Reading" list is now Wheelock's Latin. This is because I'm now learning Latin, thanks to Rachel, who organized an informal class. Our planning meeting was two weeks ago tomorrow, and we go over the first lesson tomorrow. I received my textbook on the Wednesday after our planning meeting, and although I was going to study a little at a time, adding about 15 minutes a day into my evening routine, instead I read all the preface materials and chapter one in a fit of language learning. This was after getting home from work at about 9:30 that night. I needed to go to bed. But did I? No. Instead I realized how much I'd apparently been missing foreign language. I can think of few things more fun, especially when it comes to learning.

Even Latin is fun -- I mean, at this point, it's not a very hard language for me.
There's the annoyance of learning classical pronunciation instead of the ecclesiastical I'm used to from choir, but at least the pronunciation is regular and learnable. Between Spanish and Greek, none of the concepts are new, the forms are similar, and practically everything is cognate. I would probably have more fun with the third set of Pimsleur Japanese, which I really need to get someday vaguely soon. But gobbling up an easier language is fun too. And for those of you who are also in the class, please don't hate me for writing this. (= Like I said, I've already studied Spanish and Greek, and that makes it a lot easier for me, quite aside from the fact that I love languages. If you need any help with any of it, just let me know.

So, I think John is right. It would probably be good for me to go on and get a Master's in linguistics or some such. It wouldn't be a problem academically speaking. Even when it's hard work, I love it enough to make time for it. It'd be perfect. On the other hand, I'm not sure what practical purpose it would serve. I remember many linguistics jobs require a Master's, but I don't really remember what those jobs are, aside from government and teaching stuff, which I'm not sure I'm interested in. I'd have to look into it more. Teaching... aside from questions of my skill as a teacher, I'm sort of against on principle. It's not that it isn't good to teach. Certainly it's good. But it bugs me when
it seems like the only option is to teach, for certain fields. So even if some of your students love it too, all they're going to do is teach it to more people... it seems like one should not only be able to enjoy the knowledge for its own sake, but make a living from it in some way other than passing it on. Of course, part of being a professor is doing research, but it seems unfair to the students to become a professor for the sake of research.

Yes, I'll have to look into it more. There must be something. Maybe even something flexible enough so I can raise children at the same time, and maybe even someday be a novelist on the side...

No comments :