Conference Periods: 3rd period (A Day); 6th period (B Day)
Why Latin? Why teach Latin? Why even study Latin? I could quote facts and figures about the number of English words which derive from Latin. I could discuss improvements in verbal scores on exams or improvements in understanding grammar. I could talk about the development of logical thinking skills or indeed higher level thinking skills and the increase in the ability to analyze and evaluate things for details and overall effects. I could review the many things we in western culture have inherited from the Romans, from law and government to literature and art. I could sing its usefulness for careers in law and medicine, not to mention the biological sciences because of terminology.
But I study Latin and I teach Latin because I think what those writers of 2000 plus years ago (as well as those from later periods) had to say is still very important and deeply meaningful, especially in their own words. They wrote of living and dying, of wars and peace, of love and loss, of deeply moral philosophy and the dangers of immorality. These are all timely topics worthy of our attention, and worthy to hear in the writers' own words.
Moreover, I do not believe that Latin is a language for the elite, but is a language for everyone--from the academically gifted to those with learning disabilities. I try to teach in a manner that makes Latin accessible to all and enjoyable for all. My doors are always open, especially to those who truly just want to learn, or perhaps just catch my contagious enthusiasm.