This block was quite an eventful one. Owen, my professor, told us on the first day of class that we would be discussing two works in Latin: a comedy (Menaechmi by Plautus) and a tragedy (Thyestes by Seneca). I was definitely a bit worried because I hadn’t studied up on my Latin since 8th block last school year – around four months ago.
However the slight scare we seven (small class, I know) received vanished from my mind when I saw the lines gathering on Worner Quad. I had totally forgotten about the first day free picnic lunch, but I definitely was hungry enough to hurry along and grab a plate! They served delicious pulled pork and sweet buns (perfect for a pulled pork sandwich-in-the-making) and macaroni & cheese, as well as ice-cold, mouthwatering watermelon slices and gooey chocolate chip cookies (there were also peanut butter cookies and oatmeal cookies for variety). I definitely went back for seconds, and snatched an extra cookie or two for afternoon snackage!
For those of you who wish to know what the title means, it is a phrase taken from line 240 of the play Thyestes by Seneca. Atreus is discussing the uncertainty behind the paternity of his sons, Agamemnon and Menelaus (familiar names to those who know of the Trojan War story). His brother Thyestes had slept with his wife, and thus according to him “…dubius sanguis et certi nihil“, translated as “…dubious/uncertain blood and nothing is certain”. I chose this line because the idea of family and uncertainty also pertains to the Menaechmi by Plautus: Messenio the slave managed to convince the two Menaechmus’ that they were twin brothers…which only took around 1,000 lines of the play, of course!
Aside from the academic side of the block, I can’t forget the social life – which for me is food, fashion and catching up on tv episodes I missed during the weekends! I definitely took advantage of the nearness of the Preserve and managed to be one of the first in line for both pasta bars during First Week: Tuesday night pasta bar with red (tomato), white (alfredo), or green (pesto) sauce, and Saturday night Mac n’ Cheese bar!
Aside from the pasta bars and yummy eating, I took advantage of the online shopping sales on Amazon and other websites to search for fashionable (and comfy) ankle boots. I have yet to collect my stuff from storage under the Gill House (due to bad weather and lack of time), but I have only two pairs of boots – a pair of cold-weather Uggs, and a pair of knee-high boots – so I wanted a third pair to round out the set. I managed to find a gorgeous pair on sale in the color mahogany – personally I preferred the burgundy shade, but I figured that the reddish tone would be harder to pull off and match, outfit-wise. The boots came with TWO different laces – the regular ones, and matching lace ones to give off a ‘girlier’ feel.
Towards the end of this block I finally got to meet up with my summer in Spain group mates. It was a pretty chill reunion (even if only around half of us managed to make it) and I had a lot of fun catching up with everyone and how the rest of their summers went. Annie and Ella brought a delicious plate of tapas to the party, and I definitely enjoyed the fried potatoes with herbs and sauce!
The end of the block was definitely an interesting 4th week experience, in my opinion. First of all, on September 18th Apple released ios7 to the general public. To say it was chaos would probably be an understatement. It took me 4 or 5 times to simply download the update, and 2-3 times to install it. Yet according to my friends, their updates took even longer so I guess I should count myself lucky. I have mixed feelings about the update: I enjoy the newer version of Safari and the operating system feels smoother and easier to use, but I’m definitely not liking my (lack of) battery life!
For our final exam/project, Owen decided that he wanted us to perform either 1) a previous presentation that has been perfected, or 2) a new monologue or scene. Susannah, Joanna and I chose to perform the Menaechmi scene between the Medic, the Old Man (aka Senex), and Menaechmus I (the sailor). One thing I WON’T miss will be the annotating of each translated scene – too many parts of speech and not enough colors to color-code, that’s for sure!
The other presentations were as follows: Ada’s rap version of Messenio the slave’s speech in Menaechmi, Krista’s flash presentation of the dying Zodiacs in Thyestes, Henry’s version of Atreus’ monologue in Thyestes, and David’s Latin/English mix version of the chorus in Thyestes (complete with three Sirens/chorus members, aka back-up dancers).
David’s version of the Thyestes Chorus