Coptic Again . . .
After a break of nearly five years, I've recently started reviewing Coptic grammar again, using Lambdin's Introduction to Sahidic Coptic.
At one time, I was quite good in Coptic and even corrected Alexander Böhlig, but when I failed to obtain a position in religious studies after a postdoctoral year in Jerusalem, I had less time to work on it. I tried for a few years. I recall using flash cards to learn new vocabulary as I trudged along dark paths among rice paddies at five in the morning on my way to teach English to Korean students during winter months, using a small flashlight to illuminate the cards and guide my steps. I wore gloves with the thumb and forefinger cut off to leave me freer use of my hands for the flash cards, but the winter chill froze my fingers, and I had to alternate between one hand with the cards and the other in my coat pocket, not a simple procedure while while holding a even a tiny flashlight. But by around 2005 or 2006, I could see the handwriting on the wall and realized that I was never going to teach religious studies, so in my discouragement, I set my Coptic aside.
But as I said, I've recently begun reviewing it. I don't have a practical reason for this, for I expect no job opportunities in which I could put it to use. Rather, I felt sad to lose my facility in a language that I had worked so hard to learn. Moreover, I had begun to outgrow my discouragement over the career path that I failed to follow despite my efforts.
I therefore briefly review a bit of Coptic grammar and vocabulary every day, and I try to keep my ears open to reports about the Coptic Church in Egypt since it's in the news these days.
Not that I know much about that, for their liturgy is in Bohairic Coptic, and I study the Sahidic dialect.