It's late, and I'm still awake and drinking wine, and I've been meaning to do this meme for about a week now. So. Questions from scazon
; comment and either ask me five more or else ask me to ask you five. Um. My grammar grows confused, but you know what I mean. 1. How did you end up in Classics/ACRE with your particular set of interests?
Hahaha. Ouch. The truth is that I'm not entirely sure; it just sort of happened. Let's see... back at the end of high school I was introduced to Connie Willis via Doomsday Book
- a depressing but excellent book, by the way, go read it if you haven't and can stand a downer - which contains rather a lot of Latin. Ecclesiastical Latin, but enough to get me interested. So I took Latin 100 with Hector when I started uni in the fall, initially found it rather daunting, took second year off from Latin and then realized that I was missing it rather a lot. This is probably the fault of Mary Renault's The King Must Die
, and yes, I know it's set in Greece, but my brain, as you are probably discovering by now, is not a logical place. So I started up again in Latin 200, added a minor because by that point I was getting disenchanted with the English department, took Greek Epic with Toph in third year wherein his avowed intention was to score some minors and majors for the department - and guess what? By the end of the year I was doing a double major. And at the end of that I realized, surprise, that I really liked Latin and wanted to keep doing it - I think we were reading Sallust at the time. It was fun. Hence, ACRE.
I still like Latin and would like to find a way to keep doing it, but I'm all burnt out on academia these days, so I think that will take a while to come to fruition. 2. How did you start playing the viola?
Heh. You always ask the questions that demonstrate how random I can be... One of the violin teachers at the music school I went to from ages 4-18 was (she's still alive but I believe not teaching there anymore) a violinist who also played viola. She wasn't my primary teacher, but she taught technique classes and orchestra, and she was always encouraging her students to try out the viola, and I got curious. And then it stuck. Like a fly to flypaper (I think in this case I was the fly).3. What is your favourite musical instrument? Viola, viola da gamba, or something else entirely?
Oh, viola, hands down. Ironically it's the thing that no one is asking me to play right now (not quite true, but I've had a lot of ensembles needing violin or viol come up lately... it's a little odd), but viola is definitely the one that's 'my' instrument in a way that none of the others are. This also means that I struggle more with it and our relationship can be a bit tormented at times...
Right now I'm also totally stoked about baroque violin, which I got to play recently for the first time in a while, and contemplating converting my modern violin, although I doubt it's all that feasible. I occasionally miss piano very badly. I also really wish I played guitar - I have one and can find notes, but I'd really like to have a good grasp of chords and so on, just because it's so versatile - and portable, which gives it points over the piano. 4. What single book would you say had the most influence on the development of your self-identity?
That is an excellent question and one which I don't know the answer to. My gut instinct is to say either Guy Gavriel Kay's Tigana
, which, yes, everything you are going to say about it I already know, but it did precipitate rather a sea change in how I looked at things when I was sixteen, or else Nino Ricci's Testament
, which... well. You should read it and let it speak for itself. 5. I'll be unoriginal here, since I want to know your answer: if you could go back in time to any one ancient civilization, which would you visit and why?
Um. Well, this week I'm fascinated by Ugarit, although ask me again in a month and that will have changed. I do think it would be fascinating to visit - it's so unknown and unknowable, incredibly foreign and yet so very significant to the development of the culture that we're essentially stuck with today. I'm so intrigued by that sort of thing... the literary references that become cultural touchstones (Baal, Leviathan), but that are only half-understood these days and that meant something fundamentally different and more complex in their original context.
On second thought, that could probably stand as the answer to Question Number One as well. So now you have two!