What have I learned this semester from this class? Well, for one, I have learned that blogging is a habit I just can't get into, way too easy to just forget all about it. This of course means that this kid right here has no where near enough blog posts. Seeing as how the blog counts as 25% of our final grade, I am sure that this isn't a wonderful position to be in. Oh well. I lived it, even if I didn't always write about it. That's the important part. It may not result in the best grade, but after having a number of profs that wanted me to limit myself and say what they wanted to hear, I have come to terms with the fact that what is best for me and what is best for my grade are not always the same, and I certainly value my life more than an A.
I lived the classics. Maybe not as much at the beginning, but at the end. The changes in Ovid matched changes in my own life, and the hectic nature of Euripides certainly mirrored some things I was going through (though not nearly to the extent he portrayed, thank God).
I wouldn't say I value the classical time period and its literature more than I did before. I have know it was important, and had read more than the average kid my age in that area, but I do believe that there is fallacy to the oft-repeated statement of how all of the present traces back to the past. I believe in originality, and being unique, and I live life to be that way. Maybe certain aspects go back to then, but not all of it. However, the greater fault lies in stopping where we do, with the Greeks and Romans. We never are pushed to realize that they were far from original themselves. Numerous cultures rose and fell before and during their time, and influenced them dramatically. Far older cultures with far older literature are just as marked by their immediacy to events today. The classics are not the beginning of everything; they fall prey to the past just as much as we do today.
This sounds like a lot of negativity, which it isn't meant to be. We read some fun, interesting stuff, to be sure. I just don't get so wrapped up in their be-all, end-all status that we are lead to hold them as. The works of classical Greece and Rome are like the works of today: some are good, some aren't, and they amount to each person what the individual reader takes away from them. So it goes.
Luke: I wrote a summation blog (as our teacher asked us to) and I'm wondering if it is bad that I totally cripple any pretense of me thinking that the classics are super special shit.
Meghan: How so? What did you say? It is super special shit.
Luke: (chuckling) No it isn't. No more so than anything else that has ever been written. It has some good stuff, some whatever stuff, no different than literature today.
Meghan: Yeah (pause) But it's still super special shit...
Luke: To be fair, you've said yourself people make a big deal of every surviving piece of classical literature being super important, but it doesn't have to be[NOTE: Meghan is a classicist. She majored in what we just studied for a semester].
Meghan: Yeah...I know...