I’ve finally turned the corner on this deathly virus. All I’ve been able to do is the bare minimum to be prepared for class and to survive. I was sick enough to go home early from work Thursday, which for me, means near death. It seemed a bit narcissistic to call in sick for the blog, but I had to suspend posting until I experienced a turn for the better.
I did finish Paradise Lost. I’m not sure I feel any more prepared to teach it but I did outline the introduction to our class discussion and was surprised how much I was able to put it all together. This is one of those works where you really need to trust the author to take you where he wants you to go. Being familiar with the Scripture is a big help in getting through this tome. Even though I get the big picture, I feel like I’m missing so much. It’s really an inexhaustible treasure.
I started listening to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale a couple of days ago. Absolutely gripping. The setting is a futuristic dystopian society that is controlled by a cult that has some Christian elements in it. I haven’t gotten very far into it, but it appears that the ability to sire and bear children is rare due to the collateral damage done by the wars that have plagued that society. The protagonist is a “handmaid,” one who is set apart to bear children for the wife of one of the commanders. Anyway, I got to thinking about this book along with a book that came out a couple of years or so ago by Jonathan Last called What To Expect When No One’s Expecting. For years, the worry among the progressive elites of Western culture has been overpopulation. But now, the West is experiencing something unprecedented — a demographic death spiral that is taking place throughout the West, as many families have instituted their own voluntary one child policy. Last forecasts an alarming decline in economic growth, productivity, standard of living, and quality of life. It’s an eye-opening read. The juxtaposition of the two books is almost enough to make one paranoid that we are teetering on the edge of a collapse of civilization, and we don’t recognize it. Quite interesting. I don’t think Atwood realized that there may be a time when her effort at speculative fiction may be closer to the mark than she thought.
I’m mostly working on sermon preparation for when I preach in two weeks and Latin III translation. We’ve moved further into Latin than I’ve ever been in this year’s Latin III class, so I’m having to do the translations with pencil and paper before class now rather than just sight read them. I’m enjoying the challenge and I’m seeing myself become more competent in the language. My Latin is completely self-taught, so this milestone and challenge is rather gratifying.