Why do we teach Latin and what role does Grammar play in it?

This is a question that has been on my mind a lot over the past year and is one of the main reasons why I have left my MA program at Villanova to obtain my Teaching Cert at Ursinus. To address the first question, I want to teach Latin is because it opens students up to a field that offers a level of interdisciplinary study difficult to find elsewhere. It can add depth and breadth to any student’s interest: Let’s say you’re in 10th grade and like your science classes – not only will studying Latin expose you to some of the history of science and eventually enable you to read the texts in the original version (and yes, you do get a lot more out of a text by reading it in the original) but you can also use science to study the Classics. Continue reading

Grad Schools. Go to them.

I read this article from PhD Octopus just now and was reminded of a post I made a while ago lamenting my decision to pursue an MPhil. I was instantly worried that someone, somewhere, might have interpreted it as ‘grad school sucks’ (I’m fairly certain it didn’t come off that way, but the internet is a magical place…) Lest anyone think that my current frustration with academia should be translated as ‘don’t go to grad school’, I would like to clarify that I made a decision that wasn’t right for me and that I think my frustrations with academia are not that it exists and people want to do it (that would be silly), but that academics often don’t try to show their worth to their fellow citizens. Academia and Grad School certainly generate research and students who are worth quite a lot to their fellow citizens; I think it’s the lack of outreach that has caused the ‘anti-intellectualism’ that is creeping in to our (dare I say it?) politics and mentality. And hey, if you’re the lucky person who manages to get paid to study Greek Vowels for the rest of your life and you love every second of it, then I think you’ve probably done well.

This is a good article, and I definitely encourage those who feel the calling to absolutely go to Grad School. (I hope at least 5 people twitched at the use of a split infinitive there. Call it masochism, but I find it helpful to intentionally (here I go again) defy prescriptive rules that I sill find myself trying to correct.)

Open Access to Academic Journals? – Some thoughts from Mary Beard

Yeah, I know, I’m doing the cheeky ‘middle of writing thesis’ thing and just giving you links to thought provoking articles. Specifically, yet another Mary Beard article. Mary Beard is specifically discussing an article from The Guardian (here), and my impression is that she’d support subscriptions at a more reasonable level (like the $50 per annum that I used to pay for a subscription to Time).

Her post can be read here.

I would love to know what everyone thinks about this. I admit that I have only done as much reading on the topic as I’ve include in the links, but I would welcome more information!

My Time in Academia

Being in academia is hard.

Of course it requires a lot of hard work, but no one ever thinks about the difficulty of becoming an academic for those who aren’t born to it. It’s like a special sort of sedentary sport where success is measured only by survival; there is no finish line except perhaps tenure. And unless you take to your subject like a fish to water, you’re in for a very rough time of it.

The problem is that once you’ve entered academia, it’s assumed you’re a fish in water. If it turns out you’re just Continue reading