One of the things I am taking home from the NCEA here in Pittsburgh is that Latin has a very viable and promising future – but it needs strong support and reform.
That is nothing new. You teach Latin long enough and you get it. In my particular case, I have seen two Latin programs that I have built taken from me by my administration. It gives you a case of the, “is-it-just-me’s?” Financial reasons are cited and you shrug in confusion and frustration, but you try to find or create a new opportunity.
Here at the NCEA it was interesting to meet people from all around the country and, even though this is a conference focused on Catholic education, to see that the concerns are very much the same. More importantly, it was interesting to note where Latin stands within the Catholic community. Latin would seem to hold a very strong and venerable position, since it is (or was?) the language of the Catholic Church, the very institution that took over and unified Europe for over one thousand years after the Romans http://cnfmsdc.org/cialis/ disappeared. Latin was always the language of political administration and it would also become the language of religion as well.
Yet, the same problems are being faced within the Catholic education environment that other secular institutions face. With economic hard times facing everyone, tough decisions are being made to bridge schools from one tough spot to a more promising one. Curricula across the country are being slimmed down; gone are diverse and robust offerings in favor of a one-size-fits-all version of education. Schools can’t afford to have classes offered to only a handful of students; they need bulk and they need it fast. They need to retain students so they can keep their funding but they also need to make sure that things are moved along as streamlined as possible.
So it is with education. Latin is a casualty not because it is outdated or obsolete but because of paradigm. Education is not meant to be transformative anymore than it is intended to be practical. The recent choice to study Chinese are argued much the same way as Japanese was the language of choice back in the 80s and early 90s. Students continue to be churned through the Spanish mills across the country with nary a word to ever be uttered in the chosen language of their study. Yet the reasons these world languages are pushed for by communities is in the name of pragmatism; the results, however, say otherwise.
Latin is not put on the shelf because it cannot be taught or has no value; but it is being put on the shelf. And it is happening at a frightening rate and in places that it once claimed safe harbor. Despite all of that, I cannot help but go long on Latin. I think bright days are ahead as the passionate core of us Latin teachers that are left are not simply looking for employment as much as we are looking to live out our calling and passion. Teaching Latin truly is a vocation for us – something that only those educated in Latin viagra prescriptions uk can really understand. We need now, more than ever, to connect with one another and form a singular voice and purpose, to show that Latin truly can be studied and enjoyed by everyone and in all walks of life.
The message that I kept propounding today was that there are no real obstacles to keep us from having a flourish of Latin being taught across this country again save for the ones we create ourselves. If we help show the language not only is rigorous and a tough academic and intellectual subject but also it is profound and worth all of the effort, we will win the day. In talking with colleagues from the Catholic education community, and knowing the feelings and sentiments of my more secularized colleagues, a common ground is definitely reached wherein we all recognize the value of the subject we are all passionate about for a myriad of reasons. And it is this kind of diverse passion that will win over others in future generations as they seek to make the study of Latin their own. In that, I feel very optimistic towards the future.