It’s been a long time since I wrote a post like this. But I think it’s time to resume an end-of-month personal reflection.
January was always going to be a bit weird on this spectrum. I logged 58’33” altogether. 6’31” for Gaelic (not very much), 38’60” for Greek, and 13’12” for Latin. This was skewed in a couple of ways – firstly I took a week of holidays to start the year. Technically I was working that week, but not very much. Then I taught a full intensive week of Greek, 5 hrs a day. So, that has certainly altered my stats.
In the coming month I am looking to increase some of these hours, but just as importantly, shift as many of the ‘quality’ categories up as possible. That is, the more of these I can make high-volume, high-comprehension, in-target-language as possible, the better.
Teaching and Tutoring
This year I’ve tilted a fair bit more to teaching and tutoring Latin and Greek. I only truly have a handful of students, a mix of online and a few in-person, high-school kids and independent adult learners. It’s nice to have some upper-level high-schoolers, because they are doing texts and that forces me/means I get paid, to read classical literature.
I’ve also kicked off this year with online group classes. I’m really excited about this, for several reasons. Firstly, the opportunity to teach a few things I’ve long wanted to explore more: (1) a continuous course using the Italian Athenaze, taught primarily in Greek; (2) a more free-flowing communicative Greek class. Secondly, I’m pleased to be able to offer a somewhat more affordable option than one-to-one sessions. Thirdly, I’m interested in expanding it to a series of connected courses that range across the levels.
Tauber and I started work on a project to do a new, open access, version of the Apostolic Fathers. This is designed to feed in to some broader work on a Greek reading environment, particularly oriented to learners, but also as a project in its own right. Tauber and I have completed the initial work of correcting our text, which you can see here: https://github.com/jtauber/apostolic-fathers
Next will be the process of lemmatisation, morphological analysis, and then incorporation into some of our broader work.
It’s also been a good experience in some of the work that will go into resurrecting and moving my ‘Digital Nyssa’ project forwards this year.
Last (August?) I started a koine greek language podcast (https://odianuktosdialogos.podomatic.com) which has been going (strong) since then, weekly at any rate. But it has been quite a struggle. I struggle both with having enough linguistic competency to talk about things, and with having things to talk about. But it’s been a good experience overall and I intent to continue with it. I have some plans to improve things, but it will take some time (and effort)
The year ahead
This year I’m continuing with doing some online adjuncting for one college, and if a minimum class size is reached, teaching Greek for another. These help pay some of the bills. I enjoy teaching. I do not quite so much enjoy marking piles of student papers.
Sad to say there is precious little research being done by me. It took virtually a whole year for a good quality article to go through review, get a revise-and-resubmit, and then get turned down last year. I don’t get any funding, resources, or time to put towards research, and the nature of my work, and my home life, tends to eat up almost all my time.
Research, except for funded academics, is entirely unpaid labour. And, while I vocationally committed to carrying on genuine research, the simple conditions of labour more than anything else constrain what I can achieve.
That’s all from my office this month.