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Summer Plans

Thomas Whitley

Since I know that some of you appreciate updates on what I've been doing and what I will be doing, I thought I share my summer plans with you. I have just finished my first year as a PhD student in FSU's Religions of Western Antiquity program and have really enjoyed this past year. I have learned a lot and am glad to be in the FSU atmosphere where professors and colleagues are encouraging and always pushing each other. Thus, even those of us without summer funding have full summers planned. I have five main academic endeavors planned for this summer. 1. Learn Coptic I, along with a mix of graduate students, professors, and one undergraduate student are learning/teaching ourselves Coptic this summer. We are using Thomas Lambdin's Introduction to Sahidic Coptic as well as Bentley Layton's Coptic in 20 Lessons. Also, we will be taking a bit of an inductive approach as we read through the Gospel of Thomas in Coptic. I am very excited to finally be learning Coptic, as it opens up a whole new world of ancient texts.

2. Write a book review I am reviewing Emmanuel Tukasi's Determinism and Petitionary Prayer in John and the Dead Sea Scrolls: An Ideological Reading of John and the Rule of the Community (1QS) for the journal Dead Sea Discoveries.

3. Improve my classical Greek I will be reading book 6 of Josephus' Jewish War with a few students and Dr. Levenson to brush up on my classical Greek and prepare myself for reading Xenophon's Cyropaedia in the Fall.

4. Prepare NT Lectures I will be teaching an Introduction to the New Testament Course in the fall, so I will spend time this summer preparing lectures, presentations, assignments, and handouts. I am particularly excited about teaching NT, though I suspect my students will be a bit less enthusiastic about the course.

5. Learn French  Part of my program's requirements (along with many other religion departments) require doctoral students to show competency in German and French (aside from the numerous ancient languages). I already have competency in German, so I will spend this summer and fall learning French to then take the university reading competency exam in December.

Aside from these plans, Trinity and I have a few trips to NC planned and I hope to get back on the bike a lot this summer (that is, after my broken ankle heals).