Goodbye, Hello

June 1, 2004 | 28 comments
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Ahem. We’d like to release grasshopper with a vote of thanks for his excellent contributions as guest-blogger. All in favor, please go back and reread his posts, which were hefty enough to merit a second reading! And, of course, visit him at Let Us Reason for continuing lessons in careful and articulate thinking about all things Mormon.

Also, at this time, we are pleased to welcome Melissa Proctor as our newest guest blogger. Melissa holds an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Yale Divinity School and is currently a doctoral student in Religion at Brown University. She teaches Gospel Doctrine in her ward. And, besides being staggeringly brilliant and well-read, and speaking several languages you may or may not have heard of, she makes exceedingly yummy bread and strawberry jam. (I’m stopping now, because she made me promise not to go on too long about her many accomplishments and talents, *not* because I couldn’t go on at great length!!)

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28 Responses to Goodbye, Hello

  1. Ben Huff on June 1, 2004 at 8:14 pm

    Hooray! Why is the jam you make so yummy, Melissa? What are some of the more charming expressions in Ugaritic? (I think I remember you know some Ugaritic) I mean, you know how “natsukashii” and “gokurosama” and “kuwashii” are just so “pittari” for what they say and yet don’t really have parallels in English; what did the Ugarites have particularly apt expressions for?

  2. Kaimi on June 1, 2004 at 8:36 pm

    Thanks for visiting as a guest, grasshopper. It was great reading your posts.

    And, I’m really looking forward to reading Melissa’s posts as well. (Maybe we can get her and Ben S. to start arguing in languages none of the rest of us understand).

  3. Jim F. on June 2, 2004 at 12:12 am

    It is tough to see Grasshopper go. I’ve enjoyed his comments here and on LDS-Phil for a long time, and it was great to learn his name. But it is difficult to be sad when his leaving means that Melissa is coming on. I’ve not known Melissa for a long time, so I don’t claim to know her well, but my acquaintance with her over the last 10 months or so has made me come to see her as the very person whom Katherine describes: brilliant, kind, helpful, and multi-talented. Three cheers for both Grasshopper and Melissa!

  4. Ben Huff on June 2, 2004 at 2:23 am

    Fabulous posts, Grasshopper! I’m glad to know there’ll be more where that came from, at Let Us Reason.

  5. Melissa on June 2, 2004 at 12:34 pm

    Thanks for all the kind remarks—I’ll claim my degrees because they were hard won and I love to teach Gospel Doctrine so I’ll claim that too. The rest can be explained as loving exaggeration by friends.

    As for the jam and bread: When your biggest claim to fame is reading languages no one has ever heard of it is important to find something practical to do as well. Making bread and jam from scratch is relatively easy and I love being in the strawberry fields and orchards of New England (fresh-picked fruit is the key to all that sweetness, Ben)

    You left off some of my favorite Japanesisms–the words I still use because there is just nothing in English that works quite as well:

    Hisashi buri (it’s been a long time-I missed you)
    Gambaru (Do your best, work hard)
    Pera Pera (fluent and glib)
    Tatemae (what one wishes were true, but isn’t)
    Yoroshiku (asking someone to be helpful)
    Itadaku (to partake with gratitude)
    Ikijibiki (a walking dictionary)
    Muri (something that’s just never going to work)

    Since Ugaritic was a dead language before the time of Abraham no one actually speaks it. Cute colloquialisms don’t exist as far as I know. Ugaritic writing is completely vowelless and the phonetic values assigned to the various Ugaritic letters are based only on comparative Semitic evidence. Actual pronunciations are unknown. (more than you wanted to know, I’m sure).

  6. Chad Too on June 2, 2004 at 1:35 pm

    My favorite Japanesism is “mottainai.” There’s no good direct translation, though I usually describe it as “too good to waste” or “more valuable than you think.”

  7. Ben S. on June 2, 2004 at 1:37 pm

    And Ben S. can’t argue in Ugaritic because he hasn’t had any yet. Sorry Kaimi:)

  8. Melissa on June 2, 2004 at 2:28 pm

    Dang! Posting my first blog four times is sure to undermine Kristine’s description of me as “staggeringly brilliant” :) So Sorry!!

    It may come up a few more times unless Kaimi catches it first.

  9. Kaimi on June 2, 2004 at 2:47 pm

    No problem, Melissa. Our Movable Type installation is a little quirky sometimes for some reason (probably because it was installed by a complete novice). I’ve been meaning to try to do some research and figure out how to fix that bug, maybe I’ll actually get it done now.

  10. Kevin Barney on June 2, 2004 at 3:00 pm

    Actually, Ugaritic would have been spoken at ancient Ugarit (flourished 14th and 13th centuries B.C.) long after the time of Abraham (if one accepts he existed, usually put in the 20th or 19th century B.C., or more broadly the Middle Bronze Age). But I’m sure Melissa was just using a little hyperbole to make the point emphatically.

  11. Melissa on June 2, 2004 at 3:09 pm

    Hey Kevin—do you know Ugaritic? What about Arabic, Aramaic Ethiopic or Akkadian?

    I didn’t know there were any Northwestern Semitic scholars out there. If so, where are you and what are you working on?

  12. Melissa on June 2, 2004 at 3:10 pm

    Hey Kevin—do you know Ugaritic? What about Arabic, Aramaic Ethiopic or Akkadian?

    I didn’t know there were any Northwestern Semitic scholars out there. If so, where are you and what are you working on?

  13. Julie in Austin on June 2, 2004 at 3:12 pm

    Popular Japanese expressions at the Smith home include

    bakuhatsu

    and

    choto mate

    (Can you tell we have small children and I don’t know how to transliterate Japanese?)

    By the way, we are in Utah this week, and that’s why I’m kinda quiet.

  14. Julie in Austin on June 2, 2004 at 3:13 pm

    Popular Japanese expressions at the Smith home include

    bakuhatsu

    and

    choto mate

    (Can you tell we have small children and I don’t know how to transliterate Japanese?)

    By the way, we are in Utah this week, and that’s why I’m kinda quiet.

  15. Kingsley on June 2, 2004 at 3:18 pm

    Julie: Is it something in the air?

  16. Chad Too on June 2, 2004 at 3:33 pm

    Our school district has a language immersion magnet school which my son has attended for two years (Japanese speaking), so chotto matte is a fave around our place too.

    Does this mean we have enough Japanese speakers in here to de-throne the Korean speakers? They seem to have a majority so far…

  17. Ben Huff on June 2, 2004 at 3:49 pm

    wow, Julie, do you have a method for teaching your kids Japanese? yappari mata kandou shite iru : )
    Chad Too, where is that immersion school?

  18. Chad Too on June 2, 2004 at 4:36 pm

    Charlotte, NC… look under the magnet programs at http://www.cms.k12.nc.us/, Smith Academy of International Languages is at http://www.cms.k12.nc.us/programs/magnet/magnet.asp?PK_Category=10
    K-8, also French, German, and middle school Spanish.

    Sorry about the thread hijack.

  19. Adam Greenwood on June 2, 2004 at 4:58 pm

    I’ll bet you anything we Spanish speakers are in the majority (closely followed by Ugaritic and Portugese). If you gotta ask, you aint’ it.

  20. Kevin Barney on June 2, 2004 at 9:53 pm

    Hi, Melissa,

    The only Semitic language I’ve studied formally is classical Hebrew. But I’ve found that having that knowledge allows me an entree to other Semitic languages with not too much effort, at least for the limited purposes of my own studies. Alas, I wish I were a real scholar (and I’m green with envy of your studies and background), but I am but a lowly lawyer.

  21. Ben S. on June 3, 2004 at 9:41 am

    Melissa asked “I didn’t know there were any Northwestern Semitic scholars out there. If so, where are you and what are you working on?”

    I don’t know what they’re working on, but there are several of LDS people in training right now besides me.

    Dan Belnap, NW Semitics, University of Chicago

    Ed Stratford was NW Sem., now NE history, UCHicago

    Aaron Schade, was Egyptology, now NW Semitics University of Toronto.

  22. Julie in Austin on June 3, 2004 at 12:26 pm

    The Smith Method for Learning Japanese:

    (1) Have husband serve mission and then do a study-abroad in Japan.

    (2) Have husband use certain phrases with children as necessary.

    (3) On the 1,000th repetition, realize that you know the phrase. (grin) I do not know Japanese, except what I have picked up around the house.

  23. Melissa on June 3, 2004 at 12:34 pm

    Ben S.

    Thanks! I knew about Dan and Aaron but wondered if they (or anyone else) were on Times and Seasons. Good to hear about Ed’s work too.

  24. sid on June 4, 2004 at 9:22 pm

    Anyonehere speak, or study languages from the Indian sub-continent? I am fluent in Assamese, Bengali, Hindu , Urdu, and can speak a smattering of a couple of others.

  25. sid on June 4, 2004 at 9:25 pm

    Sorry for thr typo – it should be Hindi, not hindu as I typed above. Hindu is the religion, and Hindi the language spoken in most parts of the northern parts of India

  26. Mahemson on August 5, 2004 at 3:49 pm

    Pros theon!

    What a find I have stumbled across. I met Melissa ten years ago at the BYU Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies, and was impressed by her intelligence and charm then.
    In the intervening years, I lost touch with her, so I was very pleased to happen upon this web site and read some of her writings. Most impressive, well written and erudite! And she bakes too!?!? Wow!
    Keep up the good work Melissa. I hope that you’re still as cheerful as ever.

    Best wishes and God bless!

    A stranger in a strange land, but you may call me Mahemson.

  27. Mahemson on August 5, 2004 at 3:54 pm

    Pros theon!

    What a find I have stumbled across.

    I met Melissa ten years ago at the BYU Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies, and was impressed by her intelligence and charm then.

    In the intervening years, I lost touch with her, so I was very pleased to happen upon this web site and read some of her writings. Most impressive, well written and erudite! And she bakes too!?!? Wow!

    Keep up the good work Melissa. I hope that you’re still as cheerful as ever. Best wishes and God bless!

    Sincerely,

    A stranger in a strange land, but you may call me Mahemson.

  28. Mahemson on August 5, 2004 at 3:58 pm

    Sorry about the duplication of my posting. My computer had crashed after the first attempt at sending, and I had thought that the message was lost.

    M