Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summer Latin Institute - Day 1 minus 12

In June 1982, I began studying Latin at the CUNY Latin/Greek Institute, a beyond-the-intensive course where students are in class from 8:30am to 3:30pm, Monday through Friday, for ten weeks.

In June 2012, thirty years later, I will begin teaching Latin at the CUNY Latin/Greek Institute.

Just need to give that sentence a moment to sink in.

Classes start on June 11. But the Latin Institute has been insinuating itself into my daily routine since March, when I first starting meeting with my fellow Latin teachers to prep for the summer (a process that we refer to by the charming neologism, "presessing"). I am going to be blogging about the Latin Institute this summer, starting today. These posts may not be long or particularly coherent, particularly once classes begin. But I'll do whatever I can.

The CUNY Latin/Greek Institute is an incredible experience. Literally. Incredible, from the Latin prefix in = "not," plus the Latin verb crēdō = believe. Unless you take the program as a student, or teach the program as a faculty member, you can scarcely believe what it is, how it works, what it does to you and any semblance of what you once thought of as your life (note the ascending tricolonic structure - a rhetorical device favored by the Roman statesman Cicero that you learn about during the Latin Institute). And I know that sounds hyperbolic (from the Greek prefix hyper = "above," plus the Greek verb ballō = "throw"). But it's not. My hope is that these blog entries will demonstrate not only how completely true that characterization is, but why it is so totally worth it to have your life chewed up and spit out by the CUNY Latin/Greek Institute.

I could go on, but in true Institute fashion, I'm pressed for time (well, I need to make breakfast for my husband, Jason Schneiderman, a simple pleasure which I will no longer be able to indulge once classes start on June 11).

More soon...

Note: The opinions expressed in this blog entry are those of the blogger, and do not represent the opinions of the CUNY Latin/Greek Institute, its students, faculty, or administration.