The only official dealings I had with 'language and literature' were in preparing for prizes like the Hertford and Ireland. It is good to win something, of course, and good to come second, as I usually did; but the value of it, for me, lay in the excuse thereby provided for taking time off from the syllabus [...] and luxuriating in a warm bath of Greek and Latin: Herodas or Apuleius, Plato or Plutarch, Statius or Prudentius. Desultory and unsystematic as all this was—there was a premium on jackdaw learning and the butterfly mind—it did, I think, encourage independence and exploration, and I certainly enjoyed it.
"Jackdaw learning and the butterfly mind" - как это хорошо и метко сказано! (jackdaw это галка, замечу для тех, кто, как я, не знал)
(с некоторой горечью узнавая в этом описании себя, добавлю: жестоко сказано. Но справедливо)