Re: memorization

porson (
Mon, 7 Oct 96 00:34:26 -0000


I don't think modern vs. Erasmus really matters. When I was a kid
learning Latin and Greek, we recited or sang our paradigms in a rhythmic
fashion. As weird as it may seem, we sang passages of Greek and Latin
(for instance, the opening of the Odyssey to the tune of the Stars and
Stripes Forever). As time went on we enjoyed this so much that we did our
own settings . For example, I can remember my classmates and I drinking
coffee and doing Passer deliciae to La donna e mobile.

When I was older I studied Sanskrit at an asram where all paradigms,
model sentences, vocabulary lists, and exercises were chanted. It worked.

Still later I stayed at a Buddhist Monastery in northern Thailand, and
was delighted to find the "baby" monks sweeping floors and running around
chanting their Pali exercises. It transported me back to my own childhood
and the pleasures that only memory can give.