Thursday, March 02, 2006

Class After AP

My students asked today what we were doing after the AP Latin Literature exam. Certainly they are not looking ahead and anticipating the end of the year... My reply was that we would be translating some of Horace's Odes. I had wanted to do the Catullus/Horace combination this year but a couple of very eager students convinced me that Ovid was the way to go. No problem on this end -- there was some things I wanted to do with the Amores anyway. In any case, I believe there are some poems of Horace that every serious Latin student must experience before graduating from high school. More about Horace later.

In the years that we have taken the AP Vergil exam, I often give my students a mini-lesson in ancient Greek. I have them learn to recite, read, and write the Greek alphabet, transliterate some Greek terms and roots into English, and then tackle the first few chapters from Crosby and Shaeffer's An Introduction to Greek and Balme and Lawall's Athenaze. The students enjoy this unique diversion and feel that they've gone back to first-year (which essentially they have) and that things are suddenly easy and exciting again. A few students have even gone on to take Greek in college. If nothing else, I tell my students that they can now go to college and identify the correct fraternity or sorority house advertised in the party flier.

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