Saturday, June 23, 2012

Summer Latin Institute - Weekend 2

This is my second weekend off from the Summer Latin Institute. It's also Gay Pride weekend. Jason and I went to Pride Shabbat services last night at the lesbian and gay synagogue, drawn by the special guest appearance of pioneering transgender activist Kate Boornstein to give the drash, which was a wonderful story of how eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil initiated Adam and Eve into binary thinking, and the rainbow that greeted Noah after the flood ushered in plural, spectral thinking. Only it's more fun when she tells it.

I wish I had slept later this morning, but I got up around 6:30 a.m. when my cat Christine (who is a boy with a girl's name because he was name for the Julia Louis Dreyfus character in The New Adventures of Old Christine before we knew he was a boy) started asking for breakfast, as he does every morning. Christine is very vocal.

I went for my run, from Nostrand Avenue in Bed Stuy to South Oxford Street in Fort Greene, then to my favorite Bed Stuy cafe, Bedford Hill, for a small Americano and a bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon.

Then Jason and I went to Costco off the Gowanus Expressway in Brooklyn, mostly for dry cat food (Costco's Kirkland Signature brand is quite good, despite the recent recall for salmonella). Then we went to Red Hook for brunch at The Good Fork, where we finished the Sunday crossword in the New York Times, and then onto Fairway for our weekly grocery run. Then Golden Touch car wash on 4th Avenue (which is sort of in Park Slope, but the part of Park Slop that used to be a no man's land between Gowanus and Boerum Hill where you took your life into your hands; ah, the new Brooklyn). Then home. And finally my nap on the living room sofa to make up for the ungodly hour at which Christine got me out of bed in the morning.

When I got up from my nap we watched a couple episodes of United States of Tara while Jason fixed dinner: a baby spinach salad with Annie's Woodstock dressing and grated Parmesan cheese, followed by beef and barley soup from Fairway, and hot sausages.

Tomorrow is Gay Pride Day. Jason and I are having our third annual brunch at Cook Shop near the High Line in West Chelsea with our friends Hugh and Alex, then watching the parade for as long as we can stand it (how many Speedo-clad go-go boys on parade floats can you ogle in one afternoon?).

As far as Latin, the Institute, and my students go...I haven't heard too much from them yet this weekend, beyond a couple of phone calls with some nicely pointed questions about verb morphology. We advise them not to do any Latin on Friday nights, and to begin studying for their weekly exam after sleeping in on Saturday. Perhaps I will get more calls tonight and tomorrow, or perhaps our little chickadees have spread their wings and learned to fly.

I have to make up a bunch of quizzes this weekend for week after next. And I have to prepare to teach Unit 10, the ablative absolute unit, on Tuesday—my first grammar lecture. My colleague and fellow SLI newbie Patrick Glauthier did an astounding job with his first grammar lecture last Thursday, Unit 8, where we cover third declension adjectives, fourth and fifth declension nouns, the imperative, the present system of the verb , and some assorted noun syntax all in one hour!

The program is, of course, becoming more and more routine, as I become less of a newbie and more of an experienced Institute teacher every day. I like that. I like being able to focus more on my students and their needs and less on the onslaught of new logistics and the demands of our rigorous pedagogy. And of course I love seeing the lovely Rita Fleischer every day. And our administrative assistant Leila. And Latin/Greek Institute Director Hardy Hansen (my first Greek teacher). And my fellow teachers of both Latin and Greek.

More soon...

Note: The opinions expressed in this blog entry are those of the blogger, and do not represent the opinions of the CUNY Latin/Greek Institute, its students, faculty, or administration.

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