Monday, February 07, 2011

First Day Out

I was anxiously anticipating having my online courses open up so I could begin working through whatever projects and reading might come at me as quickly as possible.  Since I managed to sleep late, I have no idea what time they actually opened the courses up, but once I was up, I got busy.

There were 3-ring binders to organize, textbooks to sort through, dates to mark on the calendar, syllabi to read, introductory videos to watch, personal introductions to write and then I could begin working through the class requirements for the first week.  Fortunately, the professors go pretty light this first week out, but in looking forward, I think I might want to use it to work ahead.  This is going to be rough.

I've chosen to take four rather intense courses: Greek 2, Hebrew 1, Church History and Church Doctrine / Theology.  I see the next several months filled with alien languages, great amounts of reading and a whole lot of papers.

My Doctrine / Theology course is being taught by a professor from Australia.  He lives down under and is teaching this from a long ways away.  Isn't the internet extraordinary?  I listened to his introductory video and find that I really enjoy that accent.  He's a strong believer in a great amount of reading and writing.  This is going to be a) good for me and b) quite challenging.

Several of the students that I was beginning to get to know last semester will be participating in courses I am taking this semester.  It's going to be fun to continue to interact with them.  The numerical difference between genders is still quite vast.  Pretty much 3 or 4 to 1.  Oh, and you know how I love running up against patriarchal male stereotypes in a classroom.  I even love it more when it comes from the women!  Sigh.

I began reading through my Hebrew course text today - oh dear heavenly days, this is going to be hard.  But, I knew I had to share some of the fun little tidbits of information:

A lot of the idioms and proverbs we are used to using in English come from Hebrew sayings found in the Bible.

Numbers 22:31 - fall flat on your face
Lamentations 2:19 - To pour out one's heart
Job 28:13 - Land of the living
Ecclesiastes 1:4 - Under the sun
Ezekiel 18:2 - Sour grapes
Isaiah 60:1 - Rise and Shine
Proverbs 16:18 - Pride goes before a fall
Job 19:20 - The skin of my teeth
Exodus 4:15 - to put words in one's mouth
Isaiah 40:15 - A drop in a bucket
Ecclesiastes 10:1 - Fly in the ointment
Daniel 5:5 - to see the writing on the wall

The authors go on to list Hebrew words we have incorporated into our language - abbot, Armageddon, behemoth, camel, hallelujah, hosanna, jubilee, sabbath, sack, satan; as well as names from the Old Testament.  The sentence that took me back though was this, "In fact, the name Michael, which means 'who is like God?' may be humanity's oldest continuously used name."  How cool is that?

So, this afternoon I will begin learning how to identify Hebrew characters as letters and how to read from right to left.  I'm terribly afraid that my brain might seize up at some point, but I'll go forward with anticipation and confidence!

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