On Being an Adult (or: Thanks, Mom)

When I was a kid, I was convinced that being an adult was going to be fantastic, mostly because then I could eat mac'n'cheese every single day if I wanted to.  And of course I would want to.

Being an adult, I have discovered that in fact, while it is pretty awesome to be able to eat mac'n'cheese whenever I want, sometimes I want to eat other things.  Things that I didn't even like as a kid.  Things like polenta.  For real.  A few months ago I was struck by this intense craving for polenta... corn meal, milk, a little cheese.  Maybe some tomato sauce if you want to be really fancy.


Anyway, that's something that I'm finding fascinating about being an adult.  Not the polenta specifically, but the fact that I'm suddenly discovering a deep, passionate appreciation for things that I disliked (or despised...) as a kid.

And here I come to the actual story.  Ready?

You'd better be sitting down.

Especially you, Mom.

I've recently been realizing that I love Latin and achingly missed reading in it.  I think listening to Libera's music did that to me, so then a couple of weeks ago I downloaded a Vulgate onto my kindle (after spending a long, long time thinking about if I wanted to spend the 99 cents or not....) and was very happy.

And then, right around the same time, I picked up a copy of the B-text of The Vision of Piers Plowman, and have been wading through it.  It's quite a bit of fun, making all of my linguistic-nerdiness neurons fire merrily away and making me laugh quite a bit.  It's also fairly challenging, because while Middle English is a whole lot easier to read than, say, the Old English Beowulf (to choose a completely random example ;-)) it is still fairly different than reading status updates on facebook or Lord of the Rings or Shakespeare.

So there I am, sludging cheerfully through unfamiliar vocab and spellings and then BAM, all of a sudden, is a line of familiar looking text.  Latin, of course!

And yeah... I know I'm a nerd... but I find it radically entertaining and lovely, in an orienting sort of way, to realize that while the author was speaking and writing an earlier form of my native language that I struggle to understand, our Latin is the same.

Now you can exhale with me in scholarly contentment and I'll leave you with a pair of lines from Piers Plowman that had me lol'ing.

"Thow doted daffe!" quod she, "dulle are thi wittes.
To litel Latyn thow lernedest, leode, in thi youthe."


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