Thursday, March 3, 2016

Fragment: A terrible teacher

Fragment from: Kramer, Samuel Noah. In the World of Sumer. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1986.
Pedagogically speaking Peobel was a terrible teacher, no better in some ways than my Talmud teachers of yeshivah days who chose to teach the laws of divorce before those of marriage. But in other respects he was stimulating and inspiring, at least for me - and I was at times the only one attending his classes. His speech was rather slow and monotonous; his English was far from idiomatic; he was given to numerous and prolonged digressions and tended to be repetitive and diffuse. But none of these pedagogical failings were defects as far as I was concerned. Not blessed with a quick mind or a superior memory, I found that Poebel's repetitions, digressions, and obiter dicta were just what I needed to help me understand and digest the principles of Sumerian grammar underlying  the intricate and often misleading cuneiform system of writing, as well as the methodology of transforming the dead inscriptions into living informants.
p. 38

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