Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hubris and Hamsters

Reviewing my posts for 2008 thus far I am struck by the fact that I am a complete tosser.
I start with good (nay, grandiose) intentions of doing this, that and the other, but generally these wither or disappear in a puff of dust. True, I feel somewhat hamstrung in that I can do no constructive academic spadework until I find out whether I am going to get funding for my doctorate. There is absolutely no point in reading a load of stuff that may or may not be relevant come October. If it DOES become relevant, I will not be able to remember what I have already read (I need an immediate goal in mind when I read; an essay to be written, a precise point to be proved etc).If not then.....well, it wont BE relevant anymore and it will just have been pointless and a bit sad.....
More realistically, I have come to realise that I am terribly overambitious with my time. I try to schedule in too much material into too little time. I haven't made any recent efforts with Biblical Hebrew; I wimped out of both Arabic and Akkadian, the latter before I had even really started.
As for my musings that I would commence translating my 'Patristic Greek reader' when the weather got warmer (see April 1st's post)......Pah!!! I'm still waiting, and the children finish school for the Summer break TOMORROW!!!! It ain't gonna happen is it? I've still GOT to pursue the OU Latin. Fortunately, at least that's going to plan and I am really enjoying Book 2 of 'The Aeneid', painstakingly, line by line. It's very addictive for someone like me who is a translation freak......I think a page of photostatted text per day would be possible (25 lines? Yes, I think so).
Yesterday saw the very sad passing of little Myrtle the hamster. Only six months old, what looked initially looked like an impacted pouch/?abscess turned out to be a massive malignancy that had grown with such rapidity that the awful pain she must have been in dare not be imagined. Having anaesthatised her and carried out an inspection of the lump the vet gave me an 'I'm very sorry to have to tell you....' sort of phone call. Surprised and sad, I had to give the instruction to end this little life with no more suffering. Picking up the tiny cooling body from the surgery (wrapped in a blue paper-towel shroud), I wept and felt stupid and couldn't imagine how people manage to make this decision for their dogs, or cats, or horses.....Burying her in the garden, the sunshine seemed dim and I felt wretched, like a murderer. Telling my daughter wasn't easy either. We had expected Myrtle to be back at home that evening, nursing a sore pouch and guzzling antibiotics. The initial brave face of a 'cool' eleven-year old crumbled when she saw the empty place where the cage stood, and the open packet of hamster treats that would delight no more.

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