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Did studying the Classics enrich your life?

Discussion in 'Classics' started by Spanakopita, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. Spanakopita

    Spanakopita New commenter

    And, if so, how? Let's try to get a thread going on here that is longer than 22 posts.
  2. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    And, if so, how? Let's try to get a thread going on here that is longer than 22 posts.
  3. andromache

    andromache New commenter

    Well, without studying Classics I probably wouldn't have survived teaching for all this time (Plan A was modern languages), so I would not now be frequenting TES and would not have met Nutella at the meet in Brum a few weeks ago. Definitely enriching!
  4. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    And I got to meet you, andromache! So shall we talk to each other for a few weeks till someone else comes along? The silence on this forum is overwhelming.

    zhane likes this.
  5. RCMJ

    RCMJ New commenter

    At the risk of interrupting your shared silence...
    I wouldn't want to hijack your thread, and I'm not even a proper Classicist (a mere O-level Latin bluffer with a little university Greek that I loathed), but my A-level puppies know that if they don't insert at least one Latin phrase into each of their essays, fiat justicia ruat caelum.
    Could I crave your advice? How in the name of all that's holy are we (one of the MFL staff is a half-proper Classicist) going to persuade the powers that Latin should be an option? I'd give my eye teeth to offer it, but it seems sometimes to attract such inverted snobbery and anti-academic loathing that I daren't float the idea without taking advice from yourselves. Or, to borrow from the Chinese rather than the Romans, I don't intend to take to the field without knowing the battle already won. (Sun Tzu, blatantly paraphrased).
    Any advice hugely gratefully received.
  6. polly.glot

    polly.glot New commenter

    Resoundingly, yes. I consider myself to be so lucky to have been a child of the 50s-60s, when Latin was still a compulsory subject for all average-and-above kids. And this in a remote backwater of the most remote country in the world (well, it was then). The wonderfully eccentric Miss G, she of the lisle stockings and post-nasal drip, bless her, caught me up after my very late arrival at school. A world of wonder opened to me. There, on the front page of our text ("The Approach to Latin") was the most gorgeous man I had ever seen, and I fell passionately in love with Augustus - well, his idealised image in the Prima Porta. For me, he was far more scream-worthy than Elvis, Paul or Cliff. Reluctantly and pragmatically, I gave up Latin in my second year at Uni to pick up Japanese, as Mother England was about to cast off her colonial children in favour of her neighbours, the writing was on the wall and it was in Kanji. What grief. But I continued to read every book I could find on Rome, Greece and the Classical World, and as soon as I could, I left those distant shores and traveled to Europe to see for myself those battlefields, those temples, those places of legend about which I had read so much. Now free to please myself, children gone, mortgage paid, I teach Classical Studies at Cambridge International A level, where I actually am paid to research and teach "Romanisation - Submission or Civilisation?" Life doesn't get much better than this...
  7. Well, it makes understanding the classical bits of English Literature easier! As a Classical Civilisation teacher - amongst other things - it gives students a wider appreciation of how the Ancient world shaped the modern one.
  8. Yes, it certainly did and still does.
    Mine is just a lifelong interest in Latin and the Romans, provoked by a man who not only knew his subject but could put it over without seeming even to try. He really did have the attention of the whole class, all the time, and his pupils used to pass the School Cert with ease.
    It hasn't been any direct help in my working life, where I was an industrial chemist. I often think that there were times when reading and writing Latin kept me sane.
    A bit off topic, I know, but have you seen Hobbitus Ille? Some reviews on Amazon have slated it so badly that I was induced to buy a copy. I forbear to give an opinion.
  9. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Why such forbearance, gossypion?
  10. andromache

    andromache New commenter

    Can I draw people's attention to post 4, and ask if anyone has wise advice for RCMJ?
  11. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Surely, if RCMJ is so keen,he should float the idea at his workplace. What wise advice would you offer, andromache?
  12. Here's a sample, taken at random:
    in mensa in luce lucernae ingentis c um umbraculo rubro chartam tabulae geographicae similiorem extendit.
    "haec fabricata est a Throre, auo tuo, Thorine," respondens nanis concitate interrogantibus inquit. "est Montis descriptio."
    "quomodo haec nobis multum prosit non video," Thorinus inquit frustratus postquam eam aspexit.
  13. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Perhaps he did it on Babelfish.
  14. faceman

    faceman New commenter

    RCMJ - Latin would really help out your MFL colleagues. Would your head be moved by a potential boosting of MFL results? How's the standard of your pupils' English? Would the head be interested in the pupils improving their understanding of their own language?
    Did your head do Latin at school? Maybe they hated it or if they didn't do it, perhaps they have a chip on their shoulder about not being "properly" ([​IMG]) educated.

  15. I've been at a few schools where Latin was run out as a lunch-time club and then taken on formally once the concept was proven. I even met a teacher once who was running a GCSE over two years using just lunch-times; I never found out how she'd got on with regards to results, but it might be worth a try. I quite appreciate this means adding to your workload, but perhaps you and the other MFL teachers could share the burden for a year whilst you convince the head? CSCP have some advice for non-specialists wishing to introduce Latin to their schools.
  16. I hope that MM doesn't mind, but I thought this contribution of his to the jokes on Opinion might liven this up a bit:
    Julius Caesar went into a bar and ordered a Martinus.
    "Did you mean a Martini?" asked the barman.
    "No, If I'd wanted a double I'd have asked for one." replied Julius.
    It's astonishing that anyone who knows enough of the Classics to teach cannot find words in which to tell us that his or her life has been enriched by a study of the subject. Even in English!
  17. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Well it makes me laugh!
    Very few people come onto this forum, gossypion. And those that do, apart from you and me, are not admitting enrichment. I'm surprised at andromache though. Too busy dealing with Astyanax perhaps.
  18. Or maybe still weeping for Hector. Mind you, I never quite took to the chap, though I felt that the odds at the end were rather heavily stacked against him.
  19. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Have you read the recently published 'Song of Achilles' by an American classicist called Madeline Miller? It took her 10 years to write. I forbear to give an opinion.
  20. Going back to Hobbitus Ille, I tried translating the first line on Google Translate.
    In a hole in the ground lived a hobbit came out as vixit in fossa humo Hobbit, which I think is actually superior to that in Hobbitus Ille, in foramine terrae habitabat hobbitus.

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