Sunday, March 05, 2006

Hebrew Class

This is the truth. I knit my way through Hebrew class. And here is why.

I did not knit in any other class that I can remember. I studied Linguistics, French, German and Hellenistic Greek that year but I did not knit in those classes. In Hellenistic Greek there were 5 students, my best friend and myself, a nun, and two young men, one interested in archeology and the other heading for Cambridge. I do not remember another thing about them. It was an advanced level course, and we studied some curious texts, where people were boiled in pots and or trampled by elephants.

However, in Hebrew class we read books of the Old Testament, starting with chapters from Genesis. It was an introductory class with at least 20 students. There was, I believe, one other girl somewhere in the class, but most of the students were male seminarians.

After the first test on Genesis 22, I confessed to the teacher that I had known the chapter and had not really translated it so I did not deserve the mark I received. He looked perplexed and then he simply said, "Suzanne, the rest of the class are seminary students, they are supposed to know the Bible too. However, I will try to chose a text you will not know next time." I believe he did and I never found another test easy.

I brought my knitting from then on, to establish that I had not left the domestic sphere. To demonstrate that I was not quite fully listening, that I was not really eating the forbidden fruit. It worked in once sense - I never actually carried on a conversation with a seminary student. But I did listen.

I do remember that one day I put down my knitting. That was the day that the prof explained that the son of man meant the human one, a human being. I simply sat and listened. Parts of the Bible fell into place, and the Son of Man came down off the cloud.

However, I knit through the rest of the year. Idle hands do the Devil's work. Saved by knitting. That is my motto. And that is why there is a knitting blog in my sidebar. I don't update it but I do knit. Nothing fancy. Fortunately the devil is satisfied with very simple patterns. Fortunately Prof. Lutz didn't kick me out of class.


Anonymous said...

Didn't anybody ever, uh, needle you about knitting in class?!


Suzanne McCarthy said...

They must have but I don't remember. What I'm thinking is maybe I should email the prof and apologize. I think it prevented the other students from copying my homework.