Laura Pond '12

Laura Pond '12 (left) says at the end of her intensive Greek workshop at Berkeley, she joined her classmates in performing a scene from Medea, which they had read in Greek. "This image is of me and a few friends as the chorus," she says. "We were required to wear masks as part of the performance because that is what Greek actors did."
Laura Pond '12 is a Latin and Greek major from Watertown, Mass. She recently received a Cobb's Grant from the Classics Department to study Ancient Greek at UC-Berkeley.

I wanted to take Greek over the summer so that I could start reading literature in my sophomore year, instead of taking the year-long introductory course at Swat. I felt like the best way to learn the language was to spend a very short, intense amount of time studying it, while not having any other classes to worry about. I also wanted to jump right into literature because I wanted to be able to take all of the requirements for a Greek major while still being able to go abroad for my junior year.

Taking the Intensive Greek Workshop at Berkeley allowed me to do that. My favorite part of the workshop was the people I met there. I still keep in good contact with all of them; we're forever united through our shared suffering, the long hours we spent studying, and our frequent complaining about how many Greek forms we had to learn for the next class. I also really enjoyed the trips that I took to San Francisco with other Greek students. Although we spent all day every day studying Greek, we did somehow - and, looking back, I still cannot figure out how - find the time to go into San Francisco. And of course, we brought our Greek flashcards on the train.

Still, I feel like my absolute favorite thing about my time at Berkeley was how quickly and thoroughly I learned Greek. Next year, I will be going abroad to study Greek at Oxford, and, even though I learned Greek less than one year ago, I feel very prepared to undertake the challenges that the Oxford tutorials bring.