Saturday, July 14, 2012

Summer Latin Institute - DAY 24

Day 24 was yesterday, July 13, 2012.

Our students took their grammar final (which in previous posts I called their midterm exam). This exam marks their successful completion of the first half of the course, which is equivalent to successfully completing their first year of Latin. Really. Truly. It's like they've studied two semesters of Latin in the past five weeks.

This weekend they are on the Latin Institute equivalent of intercession. Pure unadulterated vacation. No homework. No studying. Unless, of course, they want to take a peek at their vocabulary flashcards while they are lying on the beach, just to keep in shape. But it's not required. They can read a newspaper instead, or Vanity Fair, or Vogue, or The Onion. Or see a movie. Or watch T.V. Or just sleep. Some of them will probably just sleep.

These folks could walk into an intermediate Latin class at any college or university in the country, tomorrow, and know as much Latin as, or more Latin than, students who have been studying Latin since last September.

And in fact, they will walk into just such a class on Monday morning, at 9:30 a.m., when the second half of the course begins. Patrick Gaulthier will give them a one-hour lecture on Cicero, focusing on the genre of forensic oratory and the kinds of rhetorical devices that characterize such speech and writing. In the next hour, I will lead the class through the beginning of Cicero's first oration against Catiline, at sight. For the next five days, they will be preparing six chapters of the First Catilinarian for homework, and reading it in morning drill, the way they previously did with exercises from their intensive introductory text book.

All next week, lunchtime will be a systematic grammar review of major topics like noun syntax, subjunctives in subordinate clauses, and independent subjunctives. In the afternoon, we'll be doing some prose composition and a prose survey. Students have been writing two or three English-to-Latin sentences every night for homework since the beginning of the course, but now they will be imitating the style of Roman authors like Cicero and Sallust. In prose survey, they will be reading healthy chunks of Ennius, Cato, Livy, Petronius, and even some more Cicero. On Monday, their afternoon prose reading will be at sight; but for the remainder of the course, afternoon prose survey will be assigned reading, so students will have one assignment to prepare for morning drill, and another for afternoon survey.

After a couple of weeks, will will switch from prose survey to poetry. Mornings will be book four of Vergil's Aeneid (hence all the sentences in Moreland & Fleischer about queens, sailors, and fama [fame, reputation]). Afternoons will be a poetry survey.

In the final week, they will have an elective (choices this year will include Tacitus, Vergil, and Augustine).

Fun times, huh? Tell your friends. Tell your students. Think about it yourself. You could be doing this next summer!

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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