Thursday, April 9, 2015
My name is Harold Francisco. I am a third year, non-traditional student majoring in the Classics, with an emphasis on Latin and ancient Greek. I discovered Latin when I took an elementary course at MTSAC. I was captivated by translating ancient literature into English. Translating some of the greatest and most enduring literature seemed to me an objective way to foster creativity. At first, I was interested by works produced during the Golden Age, which included Horace, Ovid, Catullus, and Vergil. The works of great artists, such as Shakespeare and Dante, owe their fame to these writers. Eventually, I became interested in the ancient Greek poetess, Sappho. A Lesbian poetess in a patriarchal civilization whose poems were so good that male writers imitated her work and even some Christian patriarchs admired her poetry. She was the first one to immortalize herself, her lover, and her fame in verse. My fascination with Sappho led me into the field of sexuality in the ancient world. As of now, I am doing a research project on the reception of sexuality in the ancient world, its continuity and difference with modern concepts of sexuality.
I am taking this course, because taking at least one LGBT class was on my to-do list before I graduated from UCLA. I hoped, too, that it would tie in with my research project for the Classics and count as an upper division elective for Digital Humanities. I am also enamored with art and LA. I’ve had a lot of exposure to art. I’m quite a museum junky and have been to a lot of museums. But I can’t paint.
At one point, certain works in ancient Greek and Latin were edited to conceal sexuality. There are actually still some scholarship which intentionally mask these passages. I feel that this is an important event in history— the transition of sexual norms.
Here is a picture of me after writing this after 12am: