Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Are You a "Real" Greek Scholar?

Greek class starts up again on Monday night. Please remember that things can be made simple but never easy. This is true of Latin verbs, American politics, and life itself. Learning Greek cannot be made easy but it can be made simple. Think quality, not quantity.

Should you accept my reasoning and care to put this theory into practice, there are two caveats:

1. You must not study every day. French farmers have a saying: "There is a time when the land must sleep." Whenever you feel run down, when you have lost your enthusiasm, when you have poor concentration, rest. The goal is to reset homeostasis -- to return your mental system to equilibrium.

2. You must never -- and I mean never -- compare yourself to anyone else. We are not all created equal when it comes to ability. I run a race and 3/4ths of the field beats me. I read a book on philosophy and I can't understand its logic. I speak Spanish and I realize how inadequate my attempt is. Like you, I am surrounded by people who are smarter, more gifted, more capable, than I am. That's totally irrelevant. What matters is my performance, not theirs. It matters little that I will never win a race. What matters is that I ran it with all my strength. Winning is being able to say, "I gave it 100 percent. I wanted to quit, but I didn't."

I often suffer from what's called "imposter syndrome." The truth is, I don't always feel like I'm a "real" runner. (Yes, despite 33 half marathons, 18 full marathons, and 2 ultramarathons.) Of course, I apply that logic only to myself. I think everyone else out there is a "real" runner.

If you are in my Greek class this semester, a very warm welcome. You are a Greek scholar (= student). Accept that fact, rejoice in it, and give God the glory.