I’m already studying for senior comps. I know, I know, my pity party is missing me. But permit this quick break and I’ll immediately return to wallowing in my Latin texts.
Senior comprehensive exams are divided into written and oral tests. The orals are all done the same for all majors: Between January 9-11, each of us will sit before a 3-professor panel, representing our major, minor, and an at-large faculty. We talk about our major, minor, and “tying it all together.” It’s less than an hour. I’m not very worried about this part, since I spend so much time thinking about Wabash, the liberal arts, and my areas of study already. In fact, I’m a bit excited about articulating my overarching position on this nearly-completed education.
But before oral comps, seniors must take written comps: two days of 3-hour long tests, specifically designed for their major. For us Classics majors, this is divided into two sections: the first day, we all write a single: a review of a recently published popular biography of Cato the Younger. The second day, we write three shorter essays, from a variety of prompts reflecting our coursework. Some will be Greek or Latin translations and the rest will be broader “Civilization” topics. We should expect topics to pop back up from previous Classics courses. Since most of my Classics courses have been Latin, “my” questions will, presumably, be about Latin writers or works.
Considering my background, I’m concentrating on brushing up on my Latin skills, since any “Civilization” topics geared towards me will probably pertain to Latin. (That is, with the exception of my recent Social History class, which I’m almost sure will provide a question or two on the prompt…and, accordingly, I’m re-reading material from it). Brushing up is vital, since my Advanced Latin class didn’t meet for the last month of the school year. I’m a tad rusty.
I started reviewing a few poems by Catullus, whom I read first-semester sophomore year, and have now moved on to Vergil, whom I read second-semester sophomore year. Going back to Vergil has reminded me how much I like him. It’s the poetry, and the epic subject matter, that gets me. I still have the 3 historians covered in a later class, and then this semester’s Cicero, to read.