Archive for the ‘studying’ Category

Book 1 of the Cambridge Latin Course landed on my doorstep over the weekend, and so begins my adventure of learning Latin. Self-directed learners of the world unite!

I’m going to try and work through a chapter a week but we shall see how much Latin the Cylonettes will let me study.


In the wake of getting my degree results (yes I’m still pleased as punch about them) I decided to start researching the options for learning Latin and ancient Greek because if I want to do a MA then I’ll need to have languages. If I wasn’t about to have me some babies then I’d be getting a job to pay for language classes at one of the local universities, and contemplating a post-bac. But hey, who says I can’t have me some babies and learn me some dead languages I just need to be a little bit more creative. Think outside of Pandora’s Box.

I thought I’d found this great distance learning program where I could work towards a diploma in Latin and ancient Greek whilst being at home and juggling everything else. But, this week I got confirmation of the fees and it made me sad. They charge the same price for distance learning students as for those attending in-person, and because I’m technically “overseas” (though if you are distance learning does location really matter?) so I would have to pay the higher rate. I don’t think so.

I did a bit of crowd sourcing via Twitter, and came up with some teach yourself Latin options which I reckoned combined with some intensive summer language courses might be the best option for me at this time. Who knows how much time I’ll have or if I have any talent for languages so this is a low cost way to dip my toe in the water and keep my brain ticking over.

So, the books I’m looking at are the Cambridge Latin Course, Wheelock’s Latin (available for Kindle) and Complete Latin: A Teach Yourself Guide. I’m swaying towards Complete Latin at the moment as I’ve read such good things about it, and I’ll probably pull the trigger on ordering it tomorrow (that and a bath mat as someone is worried about me slipping in the shower).

seven days

Posted: 07/19/2011 in classics, studying

That’s how long I have to wait till I get my final exam results. Eeeekkkk. And, I realized this morning that it’s also my one year anniversary for handing in my notice, and leaving the job that very nearly finished me off. I am trying to workout if this makes it an auspicious day or not.

It’s been quite a year, and I am excited (and sad) to be finally putting the Classical Studies degree to bed, and thanks to impending twin parenthood my plans for the next few years are a little bit more up in the air. As Alex pointed out I will have new responsibilities that will take priority (and these Cylons better be cute to make all this worthwhile), and it would be great if in year I could have figured out something I could do from home to bring in an additional income.  To keep my hand in so to speak.

I would still love to do a Classics MA (and I’m getting quite into sociology) but I don’t really want to rack up debt unless it’s going to lead to a real career change. If I’m doing it for my ego and the joy of learning then I might as well look to a distance MA that is cost effective, and balances better with family life.

Ideally, I want to be able to be at home for as long as possible but I also want to be able to re-enter the job market with skills that are going to be relevant but I also want to make sure that my next career is something that I really enjoy as I’ll probably be doing it for a really long time. Everything just got a lot more complicated but wonderful at the same time. Fun times ahead, and lots of things still to be learnt.

I’m focused on three things at the moment: keeping warm, studying & Netflix! You’d think after a zillion winters on the north-east I’d be use to the cold and the snow, and more cold and more snow. But, no. Sure the snow is fun at first, and since the UK got snow before us this winter my reality practically imploded. But now we’ve had lots of snow I’m bored of it. Unfortunately, the Weather Channel didn’t get my memo because there’s yet another snowstorm heading our way this week, and it will drop 12ft of snow or something like that in the next few days. The only upside of all this snow is that they keep salting the sidewalks so that should keep the demons at bay for a bit though the salters need to pay more attention to thresholds.

Studying is going well. It’s bliss being able to make it my main focus, and other than being a wee bit stressed over having three essays due next week I feel like things are falling into place. I guess we’ll see how frazzled I am next week.

So that just leaves Netflix. Ah Netflix, the auburn haired siren that tries to lure me from my studies everyday. Since I am on a extremely limited budget (beginning to feel like Flora Poste from Cold Comfort Farm who only has 100 pounds a year to sustain her in stockings and cakes) Netflix is my only way to consume films so I manage my Netflix list like a Wall Street trader. As soon as I read about a film I add it to my queue, and then regularly check my queue to see release dates, and move things up accordingly. It’s all about monitoring the markets… I mean the DVDs. There’s a few films I want to do proper reviews on because they really blew me away, but until I get to that here’s a few bullet points on what I’ve watch this month:

  • The Special Relationship: This is the third outing for Michael Sheen as Tony Blair, and this time the focus is on the “special” relationship between Blair and Clinton. It was an interesting trip down memory lane, and surprisingly puts Blair-Bush in context.
  • The Town: Loved it, and it gets it’s own post later this week.
  • The A-Team: In the spirit of the recent Star Trek re-boot this also nails it. Strong cast (especially Sharlto Copely as Murdock) that embrace the silliness of this franchise. A solid popcorn flick, and I hope they make a sequel.
  • Buried: I was blown away by this film, and it will get it’s own post because it’s a smart film that not many people have watched.  You think it’s a film about a man trapped in a box but it is actually a political statement about the state of the US economy and the war in Iraq. So clever, and thrillingly entertaining.
  • The Sorcerer’s Apprentice: Yes, it’s silly and Cage wears a very silly wig but it’s fun.
  • Dean Spanley (Netflix Instant): I don’t know how to describe this film but it is a gem of a movie. An Edwardian tale of stiff upper lips coated in whimsy. The gentle tale of a strained relationship between a father (Peter O’Toole – Yes Lawrence of Arabia in his best part in decades) and son (Jeremy Northam), and their quirky friends from the colonies (Bryan Brown and Sam Neill). Such a strong cast. They must have had a blast filming.
  • Love & Other Disasters (Netflix Instant): Aviod. Aviod. Aviod. Only watched this because Netflix had billed Paltrow on par with Brittany Murphy. Blatant false advertising as Paltrow only appears at the end of this hideous mess of a movie. Ugh.
  • Death at a Funeral (Netflix Instant): This is a remake of the 2007 British film of the same name that I watched a few years ago. It’s a scene for scene remake, and I fell asleep.


Posted: 08/15/2004 in education, studying
Tags: ,

I got my first sociology assignment back from my tutor and I aced it – 93%.

I have been doing the happy dance around the living room and through into the hallway. I must admit that my experience at university severely knocked my academic confidence and my wise decision to easy myself back into to academia via correspondence courses in a few A-levels is paying off. Not only have I ruled out English Lit as a major (I am too much of a narrative junkie to peek behind the curtain) but I am exposing myself to a wide range of subjects that previously I had dismissed. I am champing at the bit to get myself back to school for fall 2005….scared but very excited about what might await me 🙂

As a footnote – this might all change come next week as I will get the results from my summer exams……

I have taken my last exam and can now watch tv/films, read books and blog without feeling guilty – hurrah! Been a busy old month in London. Despite my primary focus being the 6 eggs ‘n’ ham I did manage to fit in a concert, 3 plays, a trip to Edinburgh, 8 galleries/museums, 4 films (reviews on the way) and the odd night out with my friends….phew be glad to get home to relax.

I have celebrated my new found freedom with a trip to a bookshop and got a whole stack of ‘fun’ reading – wonder how many I will get through on my return flight 🙂

Brick Lane by Monica Ali
Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night by Mark Haddon
Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
Beautiful Shadow: A Life of Patrica Highsmith by Andrew Wilson
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracey Chevalier

quote, unquote

Posted: 06/05/2004 in books, culture, studying
Tags: , ,

Two pearls from The Odyssey

‘For we who are people upon this earth are jealous in judgment’ (Book 7, Odysseus smoozing with King Alkinoos).

‘They all would find death was quick and marriage a painful matter’ (Book 17, Penelope hoping her absent husband, Odysseus, would hurry up and come home to deal with the troublesome suitors).

…three guesses what I am revising tonight 🙂