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LibraryLady
07-10-2008, 08:41 PM
We had a young man in the Library who asked for information on eye diseases in ancient Egypt. Fair enough. There's quite a lot of information on that and we brought him some good stuff. Just off-hand I asked him what course he was taking.

His answer was something very basic like World Civ. 101. Whooa! Something that general would never go into ancient eye diseases. We asked if he had a copy of the assignment and he did. The actual assignment was to write a few paragraphs about the importance of the Nile cataracts in ancient history.

This is where he came a cropper. The only context he knew for 'cataract' was his Grandmother's recent eye operation. The possibility that a cataract could be a geographic feature like a waterfall or rapids never entered his mind.

This poor kid wasn't sucky in the least. He was sweet, earnest and polite but he was headed for disaster. Thank the deity of choice that we thought to ask one more reference interview question than was necessary.

Kheldarson
07-10-2008, 09:00 PM
I'm wondering why the word wasn't defined in his class...But good thing you asked the extra question!

sixums
07-10-2008, 09:21 PM
I'm wondering why the word wasn't defined in his class...But good thing you asked the extra question!

He probably wasn't paying attention! :lol:

Kheldarson
07-10-2008, 09:23 PM
If it was a 101 course, prolly not!

Becks
07-11-2008, 03:19 PM
Thank the deity of choice that we thought to ask one more reference interview question than was necessary.

Yeah. Especially because if you didn't, and he failed, he might've blamed you.

It's been known to happen.

SpyOne
07-15-2008, 05:23 PM
I'm wondering why the word wasn't defined in his class...But good thing you asked the extra question!

Because even the 101 classes assume a certain amount of pre-existing knowledge, and a certain body of vocabulary is part of that.

Don't get me wrong: I do not recall ever learning either meaning of "cataracts" in school, .... but I'll wager the Professor did.

My grandfather learned in school how to do trigonometry and how to read greek and latin, and he dropped out when he was 12. And he wasn't a prodigy attending an elite prep school: he was a farmer's son in a public school in a farm community where nobody was expected to go on to college. In 1920. ;)

QASlave
07-15-2008, 06:23 PM
I find it interesting that there would be that much information on eye diseases in ancient Egypt. That's a subject matter combo that I would think would be totally obscure. Guess I learn something new everyday.

Bliss
07-15-2008, 11:47 PM
I find it interesting that there would be that much information on eye diseases in ancient Egypt. That's a subject matter combo that I would think would be totally obscure.

Are you kidding? Those elder egyptians where BIG time gossipers, heck they left whole walls in temples covered with gossip on gods and people and kings of all kinds!

I mean, the kelts? "we drink, we harvest, we have laws, our heroes run a lot and are strong". The egyptians and greek? My gods... "Yeah this week tutis was fooling around with anubis and a few lesser noblemen and now you wont guess where she got a rash!!"

LibraryLady
07-21-2008, 06:44 PM
To Sixums:

You'd be amazed what isn't defined in these courses.

I had an adult student from the Caribbean who was going back to College to get his degree. He was an intelligent man who had done well for his family but the assignment posed real problems for him.

For an assignment on Rome he was asked to define such terms as:

Scroll

Forum

Senate

Temple

Now, we all know he could have gone to a dictionary and got the meanings but he really wasn't getting it. We sat down with him, rolled up a piece of paper and showed him what a scroll was. He got that right off the bat.

On to the Forum. Coming from the Islands, he knew exactly what we meant when we said the Forum in Rome was just like the Town square in the Capitol of his home island. It's a meeting place which everyone knows. Senate and Temple also work because Town Squares in the Caribbean are usually the sites of Government offices and Houses of Worship.

Slytovhand
07-21-2008, 06:51 PM
I'd have loved to have seen the mark given by the lecturer if he had've done a nice write-up on eye diseases in ancient Egypt...

I mean, technically, he'd have done the assignment as asked...:D

Did they have cyclones or tornadoes over there??? (you know...eye of the storm sort of stuff...????? exit - stage left)

LibraryLady
07-23-2008, 11:46 PM
I find it interesting that there would be that much information on eye diseases in ancient Egypt. That's a subject matter combo that I would think would be totally obscure. Guess I learn something new everyday.

There's a lot about that in Ancient Egyptian medical texts. Think about it. The sun would be bright. There would also be a lot of blowing sand that could cause real problems with the eyes. We do have a two volume book about ancient Egyptian opthalmology texts. I know it sounds nuts but it does exist and the title was published by a scientific publisher.

Raieth
07-26-2008, 06:23 AM
There's a lot about that in Ancient Egyptian medical texts. Think about it. The sun would be bright. There would also be a lot of blowing sand that could cause real problems with the eyes. We do have a two volume book about ancient Egyptian opthalmology texts. I know it sounds nuts but it does exist and the title was published by a scientific publisher.

I also know that the black eyeliner that most Egyptians wore contained anti-bacterials and wasn't much different the the eyeliner we use today. So the eye liner provided two functions, reduction of glare and protection from disease.