At the banquet last night, there were many moving moments. There was the Norma Goldman Memorial award, which was given to the “best dressed classicist” at last night’s banquet. Debra Schneider mentioned on Facebook how it was a special moment for her because she “loved Norma so much.”
I confess, as a relatively new teacher on the scene, I am not aware of the “who’s who” list of dedicated teachers, professors, and scholars that have helped build a bridge to the future, which we are now immersed in today. We Buy generic viagra pills tend to focus on teaching the past so faithfully, and passionately, that we lose sight of the present and the accomplishments of others in the field. It was nice to take stock of the moment and have a look around the landscape.
Other dedicated teachers were given awards for their impressive long list of accomplishments. Kenneth Kitchell, Donna Gerard, Joseph Davenport, and Rickie Crown. Each shared their wisdom with us. Joseph Davenport wasn’t even supposed to be here – he started out teaching Biology. Donna Gerard shared her award by recognizing the continued support of her family. Kenneth Kitchell contiues to push for important changes in our field in how we approach teaching the languages and engaging with students. Rickie Crown left us with a very poignant moment, too. She wanted to thank us, the audience in her acceptance. She said that Latin teachers dive into the ancient world seemingly alone. Perhaps you are the only teacher at your school that teaches Latin, or perhaps the only one in your county. She went on to point out that our greatest gift is that we have each other, that we are never alone.
But this is not just about teachers, or students, but also about other figures who help spur on a passion for the classics. Lou Bolchazy, such an important figure in publishing the various texts and tools most of us use to instruct our students, also had a huge impact and left a very important legacy. His wife and son approached the stage to accept his meritus award posthumously from the American Classical League.
Mrs. Bolchazy relayed to us the wisdom her husband gained from his passionate reading of the Epic of Gilgamesh over the years. This was a well-known subject for all who met Lou Bolchazy yet alas, I never knew or met him.
I did briefly meet Mrs. Bolchazy. At the conference, with all of the bustling of activity flying around, I approached their table and started looking over some items. She asked if she could help me and it was a genuine feeling of someone offering guidance, not trying to make a sale. It is the same spirit we extend to our students as we sort out our daily grind; at our core we want to help them understand. We are creatures of passion and are driven by them.
I could sense that Mrs. Bolchazy certainly didn’t need to be in that position to help a Latin teacher find a book and in some ways, it must be difficult to carry on the work of her husband. Yet there she was, helping me to understand the various features of some of their texts.
We shared a moment about a teacher we had in common, Dr. Hans Friedrich Mueller. I had him as an undergrad at here Florida State and when it came time to move on to grad school, he left for Gainesville. He told me one thing, among many, that was important – learn Latin and Greek and you will always have a job in this field. With that advice, I pursued my study of languages into grad school – and he was right, I have been able to find work.
After my original school decided to close the Latin program, due to budget cuts yet despite immense popularity, I was granted the tremendous opportunity to start a Latin program at another school – Somerset Academy in south Florida. We have been there for 4 years now and this past year we had our first two AP viagra prescriptions uk Latin students ever. The text I chose to use? Dr. Mueller’s Caesar: Selections from his Commentarii De Bello Gallico – published by Bolchazy Carducci. So my old teacher was now teaching Latin through me to my new students and this was only made possible because of the publication of that book. As I was relating all of this to Mrs. Bolchazy, she immediately focused on Dr. Mueller’s scholarship which she described as “sterling”.
And I couldn’t help but realize all of the legacy and tradition that I was now a part of – forever. I am sure there are many stories like this but this is precisely the point that I believe Rickie Crown was sharing with us and it is this that I am now taking home from the LXVI Institute of the American Classical League. As we go back to our schools, universities, home towns, we are not alone but within us all we carry the seed for future generations to continue this tradition. We are also forever a part of it.