Learning New Stuff

The son, Paul Dombey, in Dickens Dombey and Son, at age 6 is placed under a tutor named Miss Blimber, a most peculiar woman:

She was dry and sandy with working in the graves of deceased languages. None of your live languages for Miss Blimber. They must be dead—stone dead—and then Miss Blimber dug them up like a Ghoule.

She probably didn’t get out much.

Paul’s experience under her tutelage was a bit disorienting.

[His books] comprised a little English, and a deal of Latin – names of things, declensions of articles and substantives, exercises thereon, and preliminary rules – a trifle of orthography, a glance at ancient history, a wink or two at modern ditto, a few tables, two or three weights and measures, and a little general information.

Change the names a bit and you have me starting seminary or, I’m guessing, just about any of us plunging into something new.

When poor Paul had spelt out number two, he found he had no idea of number one; fragments whereof afterwards obtruded themselves into number three, which slided into number four, which grafted itself on to number two. So that whether twenty Romuluses made a Remus, or hic haec hoc was troy weight, or a verb always agreed with an ancient Briton, or three times four was Taurus a bull, were open questions with him.

Yes. Exactly like seminary.

One thought on “Learning New Stuff

  1. Adri

    Ha! Getting a chuckle out of this; especially the teacher’s name, Miss Blimber. Also the descriptions of the subjects covered in the old dead tomes.

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