Monday, September 3, 2007

The Term ‘Halberd’ Probably Originates From the German Halm (staff) and Barte (axe)

The insanity of the whirlwind first week is complete, and now for week two!! My intention was to get a blog up after day one, but then several things came up, bowed stiffly, and demanded that I promptly deal with them before doing anything else, including sleep. One of these pressing, ever-important matters was getting MARRCA organized for its first meeting of the year and the club fair that took place on Wednesday. The public relations officer of the club, Michele, met with me a few times, and we brainstormed all sorts of ideas that we went over with the entirety of the executive base during the roughly hour-long meeting executive meeting on Tuesday. Plenty of changes this year!! One of the biggest changes is in our meeting days, which are now Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for any and all interested, at five, still at the gazebo in the park next to the fire station across from the SLUs! Other than that, we’re planning to try and branch out this year, hopefully getting into polearms and more hand-to-hand, but we’re also thinking of looking into sword and shield combinations, though that was set aside in the past. Mostly we thought about what to do once we’d wrangled in some willing new followers, and we have managed to interest a few, so hopefully we can implement some of these ideas. I still have some secretarial duties to finish up, including sending out not a few emails. O the insanity of it all…
Class wise things are no less crazy… I still haven’t quite burnt the schedule into my brain so that I may wander on autopilot while the rest of the mind wanders amongst its many and favourite trains of thought. It’s hard to say which class I like the most, but I most definitely most excited about Tai Chi. We’ve only met for practice twice, but I’m totally in love with this slow-moving martial art that teaches one how to use body more efficiently, to give it a short and very lacking definition. I’ve been doing it daily, and it instantly calms and focuses me, which is very hard for me to do sometimes. (Read: extremely hard to do a lot of the time due to the eighty things that I want to and should be thinking about instead.) Botany looks to be, well, botany, and if one is a foliage fan such as I, that’s a very good thing. Our first lab is this Tuesday, and I cannot wait!! My English Renaissance course had me a bit worried at first as nearly every introduced themselves as upperclassmen, most majoring or at least minoring in English. This in itself is really nothing to worry about; all of my German courses have been with almost purely seniors and juniors, and there is absolutely nothing to fear of them. Honestly. A lot of them are very nice and helpful, and once you get past those awkward first-day introductions, what class one is in fades to nothingness, but it always bothers me despite knowing this, mostly because I enjoy being neurotic about everything. The reading load is also intimidating, but Utopia, our first read, was not bad at all, and discussion thus far has been interesting. I look forward to our full-book discussion today in, as Dr. Prindle aptly puts it, “the cool, technology-friendly environment of Beeghly Library.” (Meeting there is nice, particularly when it’s hot out and the normal meeting room is brutally un-air conditioned… We’ll be seeing clips to go along with the lesson, so it’s not as if we’re there solely to burgle AC, though I think that would be cool in and of itself as well.) And lastly I come to German. Again I have Herr Wolber, we’re working with Goethe, and reading Die Leiden des joungen Werther. Great review, but now for the new stuff. We’ve started by reading some of Goethe’s poems in their German glory, and we’ve already hit on two that I’ve done more than once already. Gefunden has never really been on my list of favourite German poems, and the sappy interpretation my high school German teacher suggested for it only exacerbated its low rank. We also interpreted Erlkoenig, which I quite enjoy, and getting to hear a different interpretation made it all the better. And somehow, due to the original work’s wording compared with the translation provided by Herr Wolber, a brief comment about the elf king and a wedding dress came up, which I cannot lie about causing not a few grins as I did a quick sketch involving the version of the king I used in my poster design in a highschool project involving the poem and a wedding dress. Where your imagination takes this, I leave to you.

German Word: Gefunden (geh-fun-den) means ‘Found’ and Erlkoenig, though having no true meaning itself, is often translated as ‘elf king’ or ‘erl king.’



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