Classes and such

A short breathing space has appeared where I can post.

My two 1010 sections are going well. I’ve introduced a class blog for the first time and already at this early date I can tell it has significantly improved the quality of the discussions. It also helps, of course, to be teaching the same class for two semesters straight, a nice arrangement that I have never done before due to strange past scheduling. I really wanted 1020, the argumentation course, but my approach to 1010 is not terribly different. I suppose all composition courses are roughly the same, to some extent, only with the hoops raised or lowered as the course number may demand, though the core assignments have changed significantly, from chiefly expressivist to more analytical, from the first classes I taught two and a half years ago. Either works; the most important thing is to have them write a lot and reflect about what they’re reading.

My reading list is looking formidable enough that I am almost convinced that I will be properly educated after I finish reading it all. I think a little later this week I should be able to sketch out a dissertation proposal, enough to bandy about to a few folks.

My Greek studies remain difficult, but I can see progress. My tutor gave me a chart of irregular verbs that has sped up translation quite a bit – double-checking the verbs slows me down the most, as I’ve gotten a decent grasp of the cases. I’m still working on 1 Thessalonians for now, though I think we’ll be able to go back to working on Mark and the other gospels soon enough.

I’ve noticed more and more, though, as my Greek improves, that none of the English translations are really adequate. I’d been assuming that the NRSV was the ’scholarly’ and best translation as in the Oxford annotated edition, but it has plenty of problems, too – sometimes it’s overly liberal (and yes, that’s an odd thing for me to say, but moderation seems to be a virtue in translation). I’m still using it as my base when I get stuck along with several Greek lexicons – the short one in the back of the Aland, Bauer’s hefty tome, and a few online, but I don’t trust it as much as I did initially.

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