Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Back to School

Yesterday I heard a (free!) lecture by Professor Bernard Lewis at Tel Aviv University. Wikipedia claims his birth date is 1916, which means he will be 90 years old in May. If a the world expert on Middle East history is almost 90, I don't have much time to prepare to take his place. Hah! But first I have to become literate in Arabic, Turkish, and of course Hebrew. And probably German too. Prof. Lewis was the first to study the Ottomon Empire Archives when they were opened in 1949 for scholarly research, and boy did he learn a lot. Of course, now we have Google, so once I master the languages I can just search over the Internets and find everything he knows. Right? Wrong. I want his filters too, not to mention his lovely dry British delivery. I guess when you've been a professor for 60+ years, you just know how to put on a one-man show on a subject like "Jews and the Ottomon Empire" for exactly 45 minutes, on your feet, with only two sips of water, while keeping an overflow audience enthralled.

School is always fun when you have good teachers!

1 comment:

Tan Lucy Pez said...

Aren't you lucky to have heard him!

Let's hope he lives long enough for you to become the next expert!