first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Community involvement will save dwindling programs like Ancient Greek says Professor K.O Chong-Gossard. The University of Melbourne Ancient Greek professor says although class number are dwindling, Ancient Greek is still necessary and relevant to our society when you factor in community interest. “[Class sizes are] still small for university standards,” he tells Neos Kosmos. “I think that we have a lot of support outside of the university to keep the programs going and I think that the future of classics in Australia will be where university programs tap into the community to continue”. With universities feeling the pinch from a lack of funding from the Federal government, smaller classes will be the first to go in an attempt to make higher education more profitable. The Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victory has been running small ancient classes for a couple of years and cater to the non-university crowd. Yet, while community involvement is paramount, professor Chong-Gossard sees industry involvement as a new way of tapping into the higher education program. The American born professor sees a vast array of students from different faculties pick up the subject that later on creates lasting connections. “I have students who had done double degrees in things like biochemistry, economics, the law and they always say that they love coming to ancient Greek and Latin classes because they feel human, they get tired from doing numbers and memorise formulas and they really enjoy being able to talk about the Iliad, it is something beautiful for a change and to socialise with the class,” he says. Critical thinking is a major part of learning an ancient language, and invariably affects how someone tackles a problem whether it be in business or medicine, says Professor Chong-Gossard. “We offer not only this ability to read carefully and read critically as opposed to reading quickly and uncritically but also the opportunity to engage with things that are interesting and it does open up the mind,” he says. He believes many businessmen in have been prepared for their jobs by learning Ancient Greek not only for the sake of knowing a vast vocabulary but also for tackling problems critically and talking “intelligently about something that has more than one point of view”. As part of the Greek History and Culture Seminars given by the GOCMV, Professor Chong-Gossard will be giving a lecture on Ancient Greek Gods and Sexuality tonight at 7:00 pm at the Kelvin Club, Melbourne Place, Melbourne (off Russell Street, between Collins and Bourke street.last_img