17 October 2008

The First Girl Ever To Learn Greek

Here's something I've been saving for all you nice people for a while. Comic relief relating to our popular topic.

The LCMS, famously not ordaining women and having an inferiority complex as a result, is populated by a group of young women, reborn in every generation, who think it's vaguely scandalous for women to pursue any kind of theological education. Thus each of them becomes the First Girl Ever To Learn Greek. And she makes sure everybody knows about it.

Back when I was the First Girl Ever To Learn Greek, I would occasionally run into older women, each of whom would hurriedly correct me: no, no, she was the First Girl Ever To Learn Greek, decades ago, when no women did! Also, many of them were the First Girl Ever To Teach Theology At A Lutheran High School. So that took some gravy out of my pot pie. Then I didn't do all that well in Greek (turns out it's a lot of work), and by the end of the second semester I was pretty embarrassed showing my face in class every day to a professor I really liked, not to mention my criminally Greek-geeky future husband who was the tutor. (To preserve my dignity: I did pass all the qualifiers. And to preserve my reputation, I didn't go in for much tutoring. ;) )

Next I got to the seminary and met a lot of other First Girls Ever To Learn Greek (and related species, such as the First Girl Ever To Major In Biblical Languages, and the First Girl Ever To Major In Pre-Sem At Concordia-[Wherever]). They were all extremely annoying and I started having myself some good laughs over all the First Girls Ever To Learn Greek, beginning with my own lame self.

BFF!

My sister took Greek at a certain non-affiliated Lutheran college just for the heck of it (she's good at languages). There were lots of other girls in the class. When she shared this with all the First Girls Ever To Learn Greek she met in her deaconess classes at CSL, they agreed that those girls didn't count because they were all going to be ELCA pastors. Actually, my sister explained, most of them were taking it to fulfill foreign language requirements (unheard of at Concordias) or as part of a Classics major (unheard of at Concordias). The First Girls Who Weren't Going To Sinfully Become Pastors (Until The Rule Changes) Ever To Learn Greek were unimpressed. My sister, in statu confessionis against the First Girls Ever To Learn Greek, refused to learn Hebrew. Of course, the First Girls Ever To Learn Greek (retooled as Deaconesses Who Daringly Majored In Exegetical) now use that as a reason to dismiss out of hand every theological argument she makes, since most of them are about how deaconesses should mind their own d*** business and stay out of their pastors'.

Finally, at and around the seminary, female scholars would occasionally appear at conferences and whatnot. They didn't give two rank diapers about Exegetical majors or parsing. They were actually smart so they didn't have to. Yet another note to self . . . .

If you ever run into a First Girl Ever To Learn Greek, do her a favor and mention how well your homeschooled 11-year-old daughter is doing with it.

This is just another hazard of LCMS parochialism. At least it's a funny one. If I had it all to do over again, I'd major in Systems. Of course, I'd be the First Girl Ever To Learn Latin And German.

11 comments:

Gauntlets said...

I tried to be The First Girl Ever To Learn Latin, but turns out I stink at it. I'd say my girls could claim the title instead, but I think yours have already beaten them to the punch. We'll have to settle for this title: Girls That Might Learn Latin, If Mom Ever Gets Off The Couch.

Blogversary said...

Hmmm, are you saying that "First girls" have a superiority complex?

Rebekah said...

Blogversary, last time I talked to some First Girls Ever To Learn Greek (who glanced with visible unease at the two small children and sizeable belly I had in tow with me that day), I definitely got the "If you ain't Exegetical you ain't smart enough to be our friend" vibe . . . I'd imagine you ran into a bit of this yourself.

Rev. Rick Stuckwisch said...

My dear wife was the First Girl Ever to Learn Hebrew at Concordia, Seward, all those years ago. Or, at any rate, she was well on her way to learning it (for the love of the language), when, love and marriage having already come our way, along came our Beanie Belle besides; and that, as they say in every language, was all she wrote (leastwise from right to left).

Rebekah said...

And here I thought I'd been that First Girl too! :D It is a loveable language.

johnqmercy said...

As long as you all were wearing your burqaas, I suppose it's all right.

Glenda said...

So are you trying to tell me that my 13 year old daughter isn't the First Girl to Learn Greek? She started last year and I thought she must be, or at least the youngest. ;-D

Rebekah said...

Johnq, we wouldn't learn it any other way.

Glenda, you had to know I put that sentence in for you! :D

Dakotapam said...

I am NOT a first girl by any means...I am far to ADD for such things. And for lack of girls I am raising only first boys. But my first boy Andrew can hold his own with NT Greek. I found this all quite amusing! Thanks!

Reb. Mary said...

JQM, I'm going to sew you a burkha ;D As soon as I learn how to sew. But first I have to go learn me some Latin. So I can be the First Classical Homeschooling Mom in town :O

Gauntlets said...

Classical, eh?

I'll learn Latin with you. I've only made it through something like five chapters of Wheelock's, and I've learned SO much (about how lazy I am). ;)

As for burkhas, I was just thinking how much nicer pregnancy would be if I could at the very least wear a really big dress. Why don't they sell really big dresses, I'd like to know.