Greek like Violin: Day 1

I actually saw her open the front door. The girl dressed in all black, and a green apron, unlocked the large glass doors of my nearby Starbucks and then walked back inside. That was my cue. For the first time in my life, I was the first customer at Starbucks.

Ok, enough of the drama. What follows is a “practice log” of the first day of my Greek study regime, introduced in two previous posts here and here. Time is given in 24-hour format because that’s more hardcore than wimpy civilian time.

Sunday night:

2200 – finalized plan for the next day. I settled on studying from 430am-830am, since I’m better in the mornings. (reality meant changing that plan due to when Starbucks opens and when my wife needed me home to help with the kids.)

2250 – prayed with my wife, fell asleep

???? – my son woke up crying loudly. took him pee-pee. back to bed.

???? – restless, in and out of sleep. anxious about the day ahead (or was it today already?). would I hear my alarm?

0445 – alarm goes off. I’m out of bed immediately. if I stay I’ll keep sleeping (move and live, freeze and die, remember?)

0502 – walk into Starbucks, snag a corner table. order a Green Tea cause coffee over three hours will kill me. intentionally face away from the counter and towards the blank wall. no distractions.

starbucks study

Devotions: (quick reading, where I go through the text of my BibSac, referring to BibleWorks as necessary. no stopping to parse or analyze, just moving through the text.)

0500-0600 – Ruth 1:1-5, Hebrew and LXX; Matthew 1 – Greek; Psalm 138 – Hebrew

Greek Practice: (intensive study, following the advice gleaned from Dr. Kageyama to go slowly, deliberately and intentionally. no haste at this point. similar to what an elite violinist does when she has to master a single note that opens a piece = repetition, analyzing, rehearsing, experimenting, repeating until perfected).

0600-0700 – Vocab, Metzger – Words appearing 42-200 times. (worked through the vocab, indentifying words I had forgotten. wrote those words down in notebook. then went through them again, spending time on each word to find memorable associations so as not to forget next time.

0700-0730 – Greek New Testament Insert (GNTI) – Imperfective Action and Future Stem review (wrote down the various conjugations of λυω. basic? yes. but so is running scales on a violin, or doing pushups as a SEAL. gotta master the fundamentals, and keep refining form.

0740-810 – Romans 2:12-24 (2 paragraphs was all I could manage in a half hour. this segment of my “workout” is the most intensive in terms of syntax and lexicography. I spend time on each word ensuring that I understand it’s case and conjugation. all unknown words are searched in BibleWorks, and most verbs and all participles are parsed.)

Summary: Day 1 is a success so far! Three solid hours of uninterrupted original language study, with short breaks of about 5 minutes every 45-60 minutes. The rest of the day includes another 2 hour study session. My plan at this point is to spend those two hours reading Porter’s Idioms of the Greek New Testament and do some additional NT background reading. I’ll edit the post later today with those results.



  1. This is awesome. But don’t hurt yourself! 🙂


  2. Tavis,

    Thanks for your post, I find them very encouraging while I do my studies. Keep up the hard work!


  3. Tavis,

    Keep your post coming, they are very encouraging!

    David Ice


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