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  1. #736
    Lettuce pie...mmmmm Eyes of Wolf's Avatar
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    It's funny - till now, I've always laughed myself silly whenever anyone asks me whether I can "speak Greek" or "write Greek." So actually having to do the latter seriously is incredibly weird - it feels unnatural. I can believe that it will help with unseens! My biggest problem is a) forgetting really easy grammar, and b) overcomplicating structures ("...You didn't have to use an optative there...").

    Whoops. I had no idea that existed, though - is it an sffworld thing or a Pellinor-section thing?

  2. #737
    Daughter of the Pilani Sirkana's Avatar
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    Yes, it feels really strange at first. But now I'm so used to it that it can almost be surprising when people react with horror to the idea that your homework is to write a paragraph in Ancient Greek.

    The nice thing about the optative is that (AFAIK) it's actually never compulsory, so you don't really need to know it.

    Well, I *thought* it was an Sffworld thing, because I remembered being told off for it ages ago, but I just went to try and find what the rules said about it and didn't find anything. So I don't know what the story is. I think the idea was to prevent political flame wars and to keep the focus on fantasy and sci fi. It definitely wan't just a Pellinor thing.

  3. #738
    Lettuce pie...mmmmm Eyes of Wolf's Avatar
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    It's a hilariously impractical thing to be learning to do, but I do get a bit of a thrill out of being able to see "LOOK AT ALL MY PRETTY WRITING IN A DIFFERENT ALPHABET HAHA". And after a while grammar gets so much simpler - there's minor silly things to learn but it's quite intuitive once you have the basics.

    Good point! "I retained the indicative for vividness. Like Plato," is the best excuse.

    Oh! It might have changed or only been an unofficial decision? Idk. In a way I think it's completely necessary to raise politics in sff as a genre, because fans have a tendency to say that it's completely removed from the real world so having no women or PoC etc. doesn't actually matter. Which needs to be addressed.

  4. #739
    Daughter of the Pilani Sirkana's Avatar
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    I know ... it's such a pretty-looking language and it's very satisfying to do well because it's so hard. People's double-takes make it worth it too.

    Of course! Aligning yourself with Plato is always the best policy.

    I would broadly agree with you, but because I have very little idea of the actual ethos of this site, as I only really know this small and atypical corner of it, this isn't somewhere I'm prepared to make a noise about that. I might look into it a bit more though.

  5. #740
    Lettuce pie...mmmmm Eyes of Wolf's Avatar
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    My German classmates compare about difficult grammatical terms like "passive" and "conditional" (gasp!). Telling them about the optative tends to trump that.

    Oh yeah, that was a completely broad and general statement, not really to do with sffworld itself. Since, just like you, I really haven't ventured out of this forum. Ever.

  6. #741
    Lettuce pie...mmmmm Eyes of Wolf's Avatar
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    My German classmates complain about difficult grammatical terms like "passive" and "conditional" (gasp!). Telling them about the optative tends to trump that.

    Oh yeah, that was a completely broad and general statement, not really to do with sffworld itself. Since, just like you, I really haven't ventured out of this forum. Ever.

  7. #742
    Daughter of the Pilani Sirkana's Avatar
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    Yes, when someone tells you that no matter how good you get at Greek, you still will never be able to read tragedy like it's another modern lanaguage, it really puts these things into perspective.

    I ventured out of this forum once, maybe, or twice, but always came scurrying back to the Pellinorites pretty quickly. 'Tis a strange world out there...

  8. #743
    Lettuce pie...mmmmm Eyes of Wolf's Avatar
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    And then part of that's also due to the intricate conventions of tragedy and in fact of all the other forms - we can appreciate and understand intellectually the point of certain conventions - the chorus, the over-emphatic language, the repetition in the epics - but we'll never be able to completely understand them the way they were meant to be understood. That's true in a sense of all art, but we Classics students have it by far the hardest. There's a distance that can't always be crossed without a leap of imaginative faith.

    I've stumbled on other sffworld threads while googling things, and never commented. Tis indeed...

    Speaking of, your interview will be within the next fortnight, correct? Good luck!

  9. #744
    Daughter of the Pilani Sirkana's Avatar
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    Yes, of course - even once you get to the so-called 'literal' meaning, the poetry of it is so elusive. Archaeological evidence can help a bit with visualising what the objects were like, even what the society was like, but it can only go so far. Making that leap is half the fun, though.

    Ah, yes, the outside world ... you're right that it'll be in the first week of December, if they give me one, that is. I'm still completely in denial about this fact. Thanks, though!

  10. #745
    Lettuce pie...mmmmm Eyes of Wolf's Avatar
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    I'm certain you'll get one! I have friends who are freaking out about Cambridge Classics interviews and spending all of their time preparing, so I thought of you. I spend far too much time being terrified and agonizing over my own future application, so it's good to think about others' very real Oxbridge troubles for once.

  11. #746
    Daughter of the Pilani Sirkana's Avatar
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    I got the email the other day, and am now starting to feel vaguely nauseous whenever I think about it. Suddenly everything has just got a lot more real, and it doesn't help that I'm still not sure that I've picked the right course! But there's nothing that can be done about that now, so I might as well try my best. Good luck to all of your friends. And really try not worry about your own application - you've got a while, and there'll be ample time for that later

    Did you do the debating competition yesterday?

  12. #747
    Lettuce pie...mmmmm Eyes of Wolf's Avatar
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    Oh no, this sounds really stressful! Try to relax as much as possible, even though it's probably really hard to even think about that.

    Saturday? No, though I heard about it - you? I did, however, do Cam qualifiers on Tuesday - and qualified!

  13. #748
    Daughter of the Pilani Sirkana's Avatar
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    Being relaxed is the plan, it's just easier said than done

    Yes, I did - it was great, actually! My partner made me do summary for the first time and it actually went really well. I used to have this mental block about it, but it turns out I'm better at it than I am at extension, weirdly.

    Well done on qualifying! We didn't, because we had the luck of being up against one of the best teams in the country in the first round...

  14. #749
    Lettuce pie...mmmmm Eyes of Wolf's Avatar
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    Yep, a friend who's got her interview next Monday hugged me tearfully twice today. I've never seen her express any sort of physical demonstrativeness before, so the worrying must be getting really enormous.

    I hate summary so much! I end up becoming very...conceptual, and that annoys judges who just want points of clash clearly explained. But I have to do it pretty often, since my partner flat-out refuses to summarize or define. Thing is, if you're good at it, you can just do it very well every time with a perfect system - so I'm jealous!

    Ta, now just need to get into those pesky finals...there's a certain pressure from having (on the basis of a fluke) managed last year. It's always horrible when that happens, and points out a real flaw in the way they do these qualifiers - the one room, two debates system is much easier to organise but makes it impossible for good teams against the best team to get through, while you might well have done in any other room. And it also makes it easier for bad judges to run rampant. AND it illustrates the problem with doing it regionally - the standard at the regional round for London is higher than it is at the finals, because there are fewer teams from debating schools in regions outside the south-east.

  15. #750
    Daughter of the Pilani Sirkana's Avatar
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    The tension in our year as a whole is running pretty high; I almost feel like I'm not worrying enough, because it seems so unreal. I'm just looking forward to having it over with and enjoying the end of term, really.

    I used to be the one who just refused to do summary, but now it looks like we're reversing our system! I think some flexibility in positions is good, because it's best to have the person who's most confident on the extension develop it and that can vary from motion to motion. On the other hand, it can be quicker and more efficient to have one person always do extension, the other summary. It's just a matter of balancing those concerns.

    Erk, pressure - fun. You're right that it's a very arbitrary system. We actually managed to beat this other team in one of the debates, and while they definitely were the best team in the room, we probably would have been almost anywhere else. And yes, it really does seem that there's a much higher concentration of good teams in London.

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