It was with some relief today that I learned that I had passed both of the comprehensive examinations for my M.A. in Semitics. I took my comps in Syriac (major) and Coptic (minor). This involves, for each language, 8 hours with texts to translate, grammar and literature questions to answer, and a dictionary as an aid. I am glad to have passed this benchmark in my studies. I started studying Syriac 27 months before my comps and Coptic 19 months before. I am grateful for the excellent instruction in these languages that I have received at Catholic University from Dr. Sidney Griffith (Syriac), Dr. Chrysi Kotsifou (introduction to Coptic) and Dr. Janet Timbie (Coptic readings). I look forward to learning more, and to generally enjoying the company of my fellow students and the other members of the faculty who make the CUA Semitics Department so outstanding.
Now I have another very full year of classes (Syriac, Coptic, Aramaic and Akkadian), preceded by 9 hours of Classical Greek in the summer. After this I will be eligible to take my doctoral comps. I hope to feel sufficiently prepared to do this in the summer of 2009.
In the meantime, I will get my intermediate degree in this program (the M.A.) on May 17th, one day before my 23rd wedding anniversary and two days before the beginning of my summer Greek classes.
Shaynaa w-shlaamaa! Rashe hn pJois! (That is, "Peace and wholeness," a good Syriac greeting, and "Rejoice in the Lord," a good phrase in Coptic.)