Thursday, June 2, 2016

Progress Report #1

Philosophy: when you make your own progress report.

All righty, though yesterday I was faced with some challenges concerning audio support, I decided to press on with my self-education; I am continuing to tackle Old English. I may take on more mistakes than I would otherwise have endured with the audio support, but I figure that upon locating audio recordings I can simply retrace my steps and rectify mistakes in pronunciation. After all, errors in speaking the language will not, strictly speaking, impact my ability to read and understand Old English, just if I was attempting to speak to another person about it.

(I will eventually buy the audio support pack CD as offered online; though pricey, it is worth the investment, ultimately.)

But, this is a progress report, not a 'musings' post, so I will be providing you with a glimpse into my current status as a language learner, not something closer to a stream-of-consciousness art piece.

In sum? I am making progress (which, incidentally, is what you want to hear when you write or read a progress report). Being resolute, I tackled the first (actual) unit of my 'Teach Yourself' guide. As I was reading and re-reading, taking notes and pondering the implications as part of my encoding, I found myself, yes, in some thick fog of ignorance, but able to see some shreds of light even so. This is to say that I was starting to recognize some basic inflections and remember how certain letters, such as 'Thorn' and 'Eth' were pronounced (with a modern 'th' sound).Hardly indication of mastery or even a novice's comprehension, I know, but it was nonetheless enlightening that Old English, at such an early date in my study, had ceased to be wholly alien to my puny mind.

Part of the 'Teach Yourself' guide's mission statement is to impart a over view and to learn generally, gradually over time as part of natural progression. It is not focused on a intensive study. So, if this is case, then my tiny bits of forward progress have been hopeful. It is not much, but hey, I will take it!

Outside of my language learning, however, I have also continued with John Blair's Very Short Introduction to the Anglo-Saxon period of British history. Reading it chapter by chapter has given me insights into the early medieval period which I would have otherwise never had known. Since I have many obligations this summer and can only read it chapter by chapter, in order to avoid burn out and absorb the writing, I will not be commenting on my progress in this sphere of my education again until I finish reading and posting about certain aspects of Blair's introduction.

So... things are going well. Slow and steady wins the race, and I am faithful to that tradition, so I am-- again-- hopeful.

Franks and Goths (Notes:49)

Historians have long hated equating the fall of the last Roman emperor with the fall of the empire itself; in terms of classes, social stru...