Thursday, July 30, 2009

"Damn You, Carmina Burana!"

Jon Stewart of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" demonstrates that any video played with "Carmina Burana" in the backround sounds menacing.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
So You Think You Can Douche
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJoke of the Day

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Latin 2.0 Personal Learning Networks

As part of Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers' Summer Webinar Series for Latin Teachers, Laura Gibbs will be presenting "Latin 2.0: Personal Learning Networks" on Thursday, July 30, 6:00-8:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Wondering what all the Web2.0 fuss is about? Curious about blogs, tweets, wikis, widgets and nings? This webinar will provide a hands-on introduction to the world of Web2.0 as it is changing the face of Classics, Latin, and Greek online. Participants will look at the the free, easy-to-use tools that allow educators to put content online without any specialized training: create a blog, build a wiki, share your photos and Powerpoints online - instantly, for free. Visit to find out more, and help plan this webinar to make it more useful for you!

To register, please visit Tuition is $99.00 for the live, interactive session. If you have any questions about how webinars work, technical specs, and the like, please email Andrew Reinhard, Director of eLearning, Bolchazy Carducci.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Who Should Study Latin?

There are those who still believe that Latin is an incredibly difficult subject and only suitable for the academically talented.

However, many students with disabilities want to study Latin too and should be encouraged to try and given the tools to succeed! (Remember, everyone spoke Latin in ancient Rome, not just the intellectuals!) In the United States, everyone is entitled to a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment (which is a placement made by a multidisciplinary team and could be a self-contained or mainstream classroom.) If you are a public school teacher and have a student with an individualized education plan, you have an important role that you must carry out and you are obligated to follow the provisions in that document.

Many students with learning disabilities are quite capable of learning a foreign language. Teachers may need to expand their repertoire of teaching strategies as well as learn about different types of accommodations and modifications, but of course, the result of this is a better-informed professional and a higher quality of teaching for every student.

"While beginning Latin teachers are not trained to diagnose learning disabilities, they should begin to find and use strategies that help students with common learning differences to succeed in their classes. When confronted with a particularly puzzling or unfamiliar case, the beginning Latin teacher should know where to turn (both at school and in the larger community) for assistance. Beginning teachers also need to be aware that some students' learning differences may manifest themselves for the first time when they begin to study another language. Like all teachers, they must be proficient at applying mandated accommodations for students with learning disabilities or differences." (Standards for Classical Teaching, Draft 1, page 13)

Here are some resources for teachers who want to learn more about teaching inclusively:

Latin for Students with Learning Disabilities, a detailed brochure from the Classical Association of the Middle West and South.

When Dead Tongues Speak: Teaching Beginning Greek and Latin See especially Chapter 3, "Latin For Students With Severe Learning Disabilities." However, the entire book is invaluable and well worth reading! (This book is readily obtainable from the publisher as well as, Barnes and Noble, and other large bookstores)

Here's a powerful story about the example of high standards set by a Latin teacher, Garry LeGates, who happens to be blind. When he first started looking for a teaching job, he initially had a difficult time obtaining a position. He recently retired after thirty years.

Althea Ashe wrote a chapter for Latin in the 21st Century (editor, Richard A. LaFleur) entitled "Latin for Special Needs Students: Meeting the Challenge of Students with Learning Disabilities." Read an archived story about Dr. Ashe in the Athens Online from Athens Daily News. (Order Latin in the 21st Century directly from the publisher; for some reason, online bookstore prices are significantly inflated for this title. It lists for about $35 from the publisher.)

Ginny Lindzey reveals a secret about teaching Latin on her blog: "Don't believe lines like this, that it's the easiest job and all the students are highly motivated." According to Ginny, "It's a lot of work." (At the same time, she also notes "there are rewards...there are definitely rewards...")

Read this blog entry by a dad whose wife is teaching their learning disabled son Latin. He has some interesting things to say about the power of motivation. Pretty informative blog too!

Also see Ronnie Ancona's article “Latin and a Dyslexic Student: An Experience in Teaching,”Classical World 76 (1982), 33-36. (Not available online.)

Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic has accessible audiobooks for students with documented visual impairment, dyslexia or learning disabilities, including a number of Latin textbooks: Ecce Romani Vols I-III (2005 and 2009 editions available); Latin for Americans, Vols 1-3; More Greek and Latin Roots: Teaching Vocabulary to Improve Reading Comprehension; Oxford Latin Course, Parts 1-3; Wheelocks Latin, 6th Ed., Revised; A Song of War Readings from Vergil's Aeneid; Cambridge Latin Course, Units 1-4; Wheelock's Latin Reader Selections from Latin Literature, 2nd Ed. There are also a number of books on Ancient Greek and Roman culture.

An excellent resource for audio books that are in the public domain (and free, with no restrictions) is Librivox, where you can find many Classically-themed materials: for example, Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome by E.M. Berens; Famous Men of Rome and Famous Men of Greece by John H. Haaren; Gibbon's History of the Decine and Fall of the Roman Empire; Bulfinch's Mythology. Plutarch's Lives and other titles of interest to Classics teachers are currently in production.

Hilary McColl maintains a comprehensive website devoted to modern foreign language learning and inclusion. Latin teachers are still likely to find much of value at her website, which explores the benefits of learning a second language and offers a number of suggestions for improving learning and teaching practices.

"Children with Autism: Strategies for Accessing the Curriculum, Modern Foreign Languages" is a document prepared by the Northwest Regional Special Education Needs Partnership in the United Kingdom.

Mobility International USA offers ideas on helping disabled students access foreign languages and also has a number of inclusive travel tips for going on overseas trips.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Primary Latin Project Promotes Latin in Trafalgar Square

Watch Jeremy Paterson, Chair of the Primary Latin Project in England, standing upon the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, greeting American teachers, promoting Classics, and reading Latin to passersby!

What is the Fourth Plinth? Find out more!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Who Says Latin Teachers Aren't Cool?

Latin teachers are totally cool! Another video from the Conventiculum Latinum...

Conventiculum Lexingtoniense has a YouTube Channel!

If you were in Kentucky last week, you could have been speaking Latin or singing songs with dozens of your friends and colleagues at the Conventiculum Lexingtoniense!

Thanks Rogue Classicism for pointing these out!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Texas Students Advancing to National Latin Competition

Students from St. Andrew's Episcopal School and Hill Country Christian School of Austin gear up for the highly competitive national Certamen competition to be held this month in Sacramento, California.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Monty Python's Contribution to Classics Education

Apparently, the members of the Monty Python got so fed up with people uploading all their material to YouTube, they have decided to take revenge upon their fans! In response, they've created their very own Official Monty Python YouTube Channel and have placed high quality clips from their movies and television shows there, along (of course) with links for you to purchase full CDs and DVDs.

So, here you go, from the Official Monty Python YouTube Channel, every Latin teacher's favorite Monty Python clip, "Romans, Go Home!"

You've probably watched it a thousand times on YouTube before, but at least now you can do so with a clear conscience!

And as a bonus, "What Have The Romans Done For Us?"

Friday, July 17, 2009

In Memoriam Lt. Col. Virginia Sweet, Aviator and Latin Teacher

There's a wonderful story in the Albany (NY) Times-Union today about Lt. Col. Virginia Sweet, who was a pioneer in women's aviation. She was one of World War II's WASP (Women's Air Service Pilots) corps, considered to be civilian pilots at the time and finally given veteran's status in 1977. Apparently, she graduated with a degree in languages from Duke University and the Sorbonne and was a French, Spanish and Latin teacher for many years. It's a really fascinating article, definitely worth reading!

You can read the full feature story, She Left Her Heart in the P-51 at the Albany Times-Union as well as her obituary.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Latin Challenge!

The BBC Magazine has a new seven question Latin quiz online today, as part of their University Challenge series!

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief!

Fans of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians series of books will be happy to know that the first trailer for the upcoming film The Lightning Thief has been released! (The trailer's release was apparently set to coincide with the premiere of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which opens today!)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Two Upcoming Webinars for Latin and Classics Teachers


Barbara Bell, the acclaimed British author of the popular children's Latin series Minimus, has been named to the 2009 Queen's Birthday Honours List for "those who have gone the extra mile to make a difference to the lives of people around them." Bell received her MBE for her work as "a classics teacher at Clifton High School in Bristol, who has raised the profile of the subject and increased its accessibility."

Barbara Bell will be visiting the USA in July and you have the opportunity to meet her, even if you can't make it to any of the cities that she will be visiting! Barbara will will be participating in a free online webinar on July 14th. To register, please visit Cambridge's US website for complete details on how to participate:

JULY 16, 2009

Rose Williams will be leading a webinar in Bolchazy-Carducci's summer series for Latin teachers on July 16th, 6-8PM Eastern: "Making Room for History in a Busy Latin Class". Rose will give a brief overview of Roman history for use very early in the first term which can be used as an outline for the overall study of Latin. Various historical materials that can be woven into your lesson plans will be presented.

Webinar attendees may submit questions and suggestions in advance of the session, and will be asked to submit ideas for using these materials in their respective teaching situations after the seminar. Before the webinar beings, each participant should search his/her text or teaching plan for advantageous areas for integrating history materials.

If you would like to attend, please RSVP to or register online at There is a $99.00 charge for the two-hour,live session. By participating in this session, you may qualify for professional development credits.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Free Yourself by Reading Latin!

A wonderful op-ed piece in the New York Times today from a busy political science professor who has decided to take time out to read Vergil's the original Latin! He doesn't expect to get any profound answers for the world's troubles, so just why has Alexander Motyl bought a grammar and dictionary? To find the answer, read Back to Latin!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

In Memoriam Edith M.A. Kovach, Ph.D.

Edith M.A. Kovach, PhD, a teacher and professor of the Latin language for many years, passed away on July 1, 2009. Dr. Kovach made a number of important contributions to the teaching of Latin and the Classics in the United States. She will be greatly missed!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Latin, It's Not Just for the Romans Anymore!

Most people would be surprised to know that more Latin literature was written by Europeans in the millennium after the fall of Rome (circa 476 AD) than during the preceding thousand years of Roman might! (I was!) A compelling case for The Importance of Post-Antique Latin, the Latin of Western Europe after the fall of Rome in 476 AD, is made on the Latin for the New Millennium site. (Click on "Why Learn Antique Latin?" on the splash page.) According to this article, by learning the Latin language, students not only have an insight into the ancient world, but the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Enlightenment as well!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Meet the Author of Minimus Latin in Pittsburgh in July!

sponsored by
Excellence Through Classics: Elementary/Middle Levels -

in collaboration with local, state, national, and international organizations including the Pennsylvania Classical Association, The Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Wayne State University, Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, and the Primary Latin Project



Elementary and Middle School teachers will learn creative ways to bring the ancient past into the present through history, culture, language, art, food, fashion and technology. No previous background in Classics is required. Certificates of attendance will be issued and ACT 48 Credits provided for Pennsylvania Teachers.

WEDNESDAY - July 22, 2009 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM TOUR, TEA WITH LUNCH & CLASSICS TALK Following a tour, and tea with lunch, our Guest speaker Barbara Bell, Director of the Primary Latin Project in the UK and author of Minimus: Starting Out In Latin and Minimus Secundus will speak briefly about tea customs in the UK and will present a Classics talk in the Gilfillan Farmhouse at 1950 Washington Road, (Upper St. Clair) Pittsburgh, PA 15241. Built circa 1857 in the Greek Revival Gothic Architectural style, the Gilfillan Farmhouse is an historic landmark.

THURSDAY - July 23, 2009 10:00 AM - 3:30 PM THE MUSEUM AS A MULTIDISCIPLINARY RESOURCE Includes multiple presenters in collaboration with the Carnegie Museum of Art at 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213. Highlights will include:

  • Minimus: Starting Out in Latin Training Session for Teachers by Barbara Bell
  • A Fashion Show of Ancient Costume by Norma Goldman, a scholar in ancient costuming and Pittsburgh native
  • Hands On Technology and Archaeology with Andrew Reinhard of Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, and
  • Art, Mythology, Ancient Coins by Zee Ann Poerio of Excellence Through Classics. (includes lunch in Museum Cafe.)

FRIDAY - July 24, 2009 9:00 - 2:00 PM CLASSICS WORKSHOP & BOOK FAIR

  • Book talks by Barbara Bell, Norma Goldman, and James R. Clifford, Jr.
  • Interactive technology presentations and classroom activities by Andrew Reinhard and Zee Ann Poerio
  • Ancient Roman Military Exhibit by George Metz (Gallio Velius Marsallas) of Legion XXIV at the Barnes & Noble at 301 South Hills Village Mall, Pittsburgh, PA 15241 (Includes boxed lunch.)

Participants will receive free resources, giveaways, lesson ideas, and be eligible for door prizes at each event. Please visit the ETC website for updates and complete list of speakers. Contact Zee Ann Poerio - - for more information or to request a registration form. Registration is $25.00 for each event.

Latin, Why Bother?

Writer and blogger for the London Times Sarah Ebner ponders the usefulness of Latin and Greek studies and asks her readers if they see any point to studying the Classical languages.

There have been many comments in reply, mostly positive, including a great response from Cambridge Classics professor Mary Beard as well as a link to a past entry on her own Times blog A Don's Life.