Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Goldfish soul.

It's official, I have the attention span of a goldfish.

I always knew there was something wrong with me.

The Latin teacher was one of the first to notice.

"adtendite puer".
[just use Google translate.]



I hear you ask. Tables, in Latin, didn't you know?

Weren't you paying attention either?

I remember that.
I was just off on Google looking for the vocative case (as one does), and I fell upon Churchill.

Yes that Churchill, the one in the war.

Winston's message to Latin teacher.

I can't remember if I had fallen upon him before.


His story about Latin.

Winston's story,

I am sure you'll like it, as much as mine and I will have a rest to reflect.

[he reflects]

Winston's story.

"You have never done any Latin before, have you?" he said.

" No, sir."

"This is a Latin grammar." He opened it at a well-thumbed page. " 

You must learn this," he said, pointing to a number of words in a frame of lines. " 

I will come back in half an hour and see what you know."

Behold me then on a gloomy evening, with an aching heart, seated in front of the First Declension.

         Mensa   -  a table
         Mensa   -   O table
         Mensam   -   a table
         Mensae   -   of a table
         Mensae   -   to or for a table
         Mensa   -   by, with or from a table

What on earth did it mean? Where was the sense in it? 

It seemed absolute rigmarole to me. 

However, there was one thing I could always do: I could learn by heart. 

And I thereupon proceeded, as far as my private sorrows would allow, to memorize the acrostic-looking task which had been set me.

In due course the Master returned.

"Have you learnt it?" he asked.

"I think I can say it, sir," I replied; and I gabbled it off.

He seemed so satisfied with this that I was emboldened to ask a question.

"What does it mean, sir?"

"It means what it says. Mensa, a table. 

Mensa is a noun of the First Declension. 

There are five declensions. 

You have learnt the singular of the First Declension."

"But," I repeated," what does it mean?"

"Mensa means a table," he answered.

"Then why does mensa also mean O table," I enquired, "and what does O table mean?"

"Mensa, O table, is the vocative case," he replied.

"But why O table?" I persisted in genuine curiosity.

"O table – you would use that in addressing a table, in invoking a table." 

And then seeing he was not carrying me with him, "You would use it in speaking to a table."

"But I never do," I blurted out in honest amazement.

"If you are impertinent, you will be punished, and punished, let me tell you, very severely," was his conclusive rejoinder.

Thank you Winston. 

Nice story. That was a nice rest

So while I left you in the Latin class with Winston, I was off remembering why I wasn't paying attention in Latin.

I was lazy. I was distracted.

I had Latin attention deficit.

It was my watch.

I was looking at my watch.

Well, not exactly my watch.

It was the reflection of light that my watch was making on the ceiling.

I like reflection.

The reflection was lovely, particularly when it blinded the Latin teacher.

So I wasn't really not paying attention.

I was only not paying attention to the table, MENSA! (come on are you not following?).

I am bored with Latin.

I shall look at my smartphone.


Question to self, can Google translate 'smartphone' into Latin?

That is a jolly good question.

Just a moment.

Blimey! The Romans could talk about smartphones before Steve Jobs.

Look it's official:

OK, I know it's a bit small, but take my word for it, Google translates smartphone into Latin, look here's the link: https://translate.google.fr/?ie=UTF-8&hl=en&client=tw-ob#auto/la/smartphone.


Fancy that, maybe the Romans had attention spans like goldfish too?

So that is my point, now I have a smartphone, a mauris quis felis, I have become like a goldfish from the point of view of attention span.


I am constantly using it to take photos of reflections, to tweet reflections, to read reflections, to tweak reflections, to facebook reflections, to blog reflections.

Look here. Some of my reflections:

A stainless steel reflection

Look here. Some of my Mauris quis felis reflections. (hidden link)

I am disconnected from the real world.

I have attention deficit.

That's it.

It's in my horoscope, that's science.

I am Pisces. 
(is that Latin?)

I have a Goldfish soul.

This is all Tania's, or maybe Maha's, or was it Cogdog's fault.

Oh, I don't know.

No, it must have been Maha.

She has a blog called 'Reflection allowed.'

Not sure that I remember her in Latin class though.


Let's just call it distributed inattention.

I don't remember any of them in Latin class.

I won't tell the Latin teacher anyway.

I am not a sneak.

Goodness, Laura's a Latin teacher.


I will be kicked out of the FORUM...

Sorry, I am really sorry.

[he reflects]

Maybe I need medication?


  1. Google Translate is the one that needs some medication... mwahahaha.
    Do you know about this Latin Google Translate Easter Egg...?
    Type "what happens in Vegas" in the English side.
    Then translate into Latin.
    There are some goldfish working at Google I think.......!

      Thank you Laura for warning us!

  2. Lol lol lol in so many places, what an awesome post... As usual! My entertatinment for the morning!

    1. Thanks a lot for your REFLECTION Maha.
      OMG maybe we are a SCHOOL of GOLDFISH aaargh.

  3. Hi Sensor, G+ decided to erase my previous comment, so i guess this will be shorter or more precise ;)..

    i tried to follow all your post but I lost attention in some moments, sorry ;)... i have to thank you because on the one side I felt identified with the title, since I understood that it was about attention problems... so I am... but then i went to wikipedia to know what is about goldfish... it is smart and social guy! but i didn¨t see anything about his attention... talking about reflections, what your post made me think was that one fo the values of this connected courses (advantage and disadvantage at the same time) is that teachers don't have to be 'payasos' making 'malabarismos' trying to get or mantain student's attention. students are the ones who have to struggle with figuring out to what they have/want to pay attention... I find that interesting... I think it needs also a new view from the teachers perspective...

  4. Totally random point - dropping out of Latin allowed me to study Greek Literature - in translation. Now that was way cool!