Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer Latin Institute - DAY 21

Day 21 was yesterday, July 10, 2012.

We reached Unit 18 of Moreland & Fleischer! The end of the text book. Our students have now successfully completed first-year Latin in five weeks. Staring on Day 22, it's off to the races with Caesar's Gallic Wars.

In the later afternoon, Patrick Gaulthier led our students in a reading and discussion of Catullus 11, a great companion piece to the poem I did with them the day before, Catullus 45. The sex and gender stuff going on in Catullus 11 is amazing. I'm going to have to write something about this poem. I was very pleased to see how enthusiastic our students were about it.

One final great treat before leaving Unit 18 behind us was having Rita Fleischer, text-book co-author and Latin/Greek Institute Administrator, come to our classroom and do a special, augmented Vocabulary Notes presentation. After running gracefully and effortlessly through the short vocabulary list at the end of Unit 18, Rita regaled our students with a presentation on Latin word formation, putting words on the blackboard that they had never seen before, and demonstrating to them that they can guess their meanings based on their current knowledge of verb, noun, and adjectival stems, and the suffixes that turn nouns into verbs, verbs in nouns, concrete words into abstract ones, etc. Her concluding message: You do not always need to run right to the dictionary to look up every unfamiliar word. You can figure it our for yourself, at least well enough to continue reading whatever passage you are reading. You can always go to the dictionary later to confirm what you already gathered and learn about the word's full range of meanings and usage. This was a great lesson for our students and they were able to put it to use immediately.

Well, quick post, but the more our students learn, the more real Latin prose and poetry I need to prep, so talk about off to the races...I'm right behind them!

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.

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