Thursday, 27 May 2010

There is a world elsewhere.

A good friend of mine once told me that classicists are a self-selecting elite. And it's true. I am a classicist, ergo I am better than you (unless you are also a classicist, in which case, high five!). We study ancient languages. We know things about myths. We scorn new-fangled technology like over-head projectors (a passing fad). We're philosophers, historians, art-critics: in short, whatever your degree offered, ours does it too, and a lot more besides. So ner.

Which is why it's slightly embarrassing for me to admit that next year, I'll be defecting to the ranks of the English department, in order to study some Johnny-come-lately called Shakespeare. I, who have spent three years studying the Bard (Homer, that is) and exploring the very origins of theatre through the only three playwrights worth knowing about (Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, naturally). I, who used to scorn the world of lit-crit, iambic pentameter, and frankly anything composed in a year with the letters 'AD' after it. 16th century England will be, to put it crudely, a piece of piss after three years of stuff from two-and-a-bit millenia ago. Won't it? The English department will surely fawn all over me, offering me obsequious service and cups of tea. Won't they?

A change of discipline isn't the only new thing about next year. In order to save money in these financially wobbly times, I'll be moving back to the badlands of Essex. I'm going to be a live-at-home student. A part-time Londoner. A slave to the last train home, always on the hunt for that elusive sofa to crash on when I miss it. On the plus side, the food will be better.

In just under a week, I shall complete my final exam and, neither a classicist nor an English student, shall step into the liminal space of the summer vacation, through which I shall pass to territories as yet uncharted. I shall go boldly where not many classicists have gone before, and I shall blog from there.

Wish me luck.


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