Вадим Темкин (vmtcom) wrote,
Вадим Темкин

О пользе антиковедения.

Как мне объяснила википедия, Classics по-русски называется антиковедением.

В одной закрытой группе на FB мой приятель из Южной Калифорнии только что поделился воспоминаниями о своем отце (который был профессором именно в этой области после войны и до конца 1970х).

Back in the racially paranoid days of WWII, when the US Navy was looking for non-ethnic Japanese for intelligence work in the Pacific Theater, it went around Ivy League graduate schools recruiting doctoral students in Classics. Which is how my father became a "Boulder Boy". 6 weeks intensive study of Japanese in Boulder (yes, it was technically a naval base), and then, in my father's case, off to the Pacific as Bull Halsey's Japanese-language interpreter. Of course since Classics grad students didn't take well to authority or suffer fools glady, the Navy put all the Boulder Boys not in the Navy, but in the Naval Reserve, where their antics wouldn't embarrass the service. Which was just as well for my father, who was always getting into trouble for insubordination (on more than one occasion he was called on the carpet before Nimitz, who would shake his head like a Jewish rabbi and say, "Bob, Bob, what am I going to do with you?", read him the riot act, and send him back to the radio shack bolted to the underside of the Enterprise's flight deck to listen to Japanese radio signals). But the Boulder Boys were an incredibly bright bunch (...), and very successful after the War. When my father died, a delegation appeared, unannounced, at his memorial service. It included 4 college presidents, 2 federal judges, a handful of diplomats, and a Fortune 500 CEO. But no Classics professors. And the stories they told! And not just about my father; everyone had at least one story about my mother as well. My parents were the only couple in Boulder, so they hosted the Friday night parties: not only did my mother drink most of my father's classmates under the table, the next morning she had to pluck them out of the foliage in the front yard and sober them up for Saturday classes. A handful of my father's classmates are still alive, and I exchange cards with them at Christmas.

So a degree in Classics isn't totally useless, and Classicists aren't necessarily sticks in the mud.
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