Havergal's Uncalendar, 2019-20 Academic Year


GRADES 9 TO 12 LVLBD – Classical Languages, Level 1 Latin, Academic 1 CREDIT LVLCU – Classical Languages, Level 2 Latin, University Preparation 1 CREDIT LVLDU – Classical Languages, Level 3 Latin, University Preparation 1 CREDIT LVV4U – Classical Languages, Grade 12 Latin, University Preparation 1 CREDIT Listen in on the following conversation between two Havergal students. It may help you discover what really goes on in a Latin classroom. Simplicianna: Prudence, why are you studying Latin? No one speaks it any more! Isn’t it a dead language? Why waste your time? Prudence: By Jove, Simplicianna. Latin dead? What are you talking about? I fear that it’s your own imagination that’s dead, not Latin. Simplicianna: But what can you do with Latin? Does it make a difference? Can it make a difference? I mean, what do you do with a language you can’t speak? Prudence: You read it. Simplicianna: Read? Why? Can’t I just watch the movie? Prudence: Yes, there are lots of film clips in Latin. You learn that Rome is the New Troy. So, yes, go ahead watch the movie Troy , but don’t forget to read the Aeneid . Don’t forget that it’s not just reading that will prepare you for college. Reading is about waking up and discovering yourself—discovering how you think; it’s all about thinking, questioning, wondering. That’s what Latin and learning are all about. Simplicianna: How does it do that? I’ve always heard it was deadly dull and unbelievably boring! Prudence: Words, Simplicianna, words. Latin helps you expand your vocabulary and your mind. It helps prepare you for college. You learn that many English words have interesting and exciting histories.


Latin is not a dead language. Students find that studying Latin helps them develop skills that can be transferred to other areas of study: English, history, the arts, drama, philosophy, law, medicine and the sciences. Studying this ancient language encourages the mental processes of alertness, attention to detail, memory, logic and critical reasoning. It also helps students develop a college-level vocabulary, since 65% of all English words come from Latin, 90% if one counts words of more than two syllables. As well, Latin fulfills the foreign language requirement at almost all universities and provides an excellent point of departure for the study of other foreign languages. One cannot exaggerate the cultural richness of Latin. Its study will open the door to new cultures as varied as Republican Rome of the third Century BCE and early modern 17th Century France, and much in between. As the lingua franca of the Ancient Roman Empire, Latin united diverse peoples from all corners of the ancient world: Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Asia Minor. As the living language of medieval Europe and the language of learning in Early Modern Europe, Latin continued to unite peoples of diverse languages and cultures. Today the Latin classroom is a port, with Latin its lingua franca, uniting students from all over the world in common study and allowing them to enter directly into conversations left by ancient, medieval and modern authors. It is this direct contact with a language so foreign in structure, culture, place and time that allows Latin students to transcend the barriers of place, time and culture while growing, expanding and adapting intellectually in ways unique to this discipline.

Read a letter from Dr. Reuter on The Magic of Latin .

22  HAVERGAL COLLEGE | Uncalendar 2019–20

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