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Amicitia

Volume 16, Issue 2

A Student and Colleagues Pay Tribute to Mrs. Harness

Page 5

High school Latin with Mary Ann Harness introduced me to a world of cul- ture and language that has continued to exert a profound influence on me in all of my academic and personal endeavors. In 1996 I took my battered high school Latin folder with notes from Mary Ann’s classes to Iowa State University, where I majored in Classics and contended with the likes of Pliny, Caesar, and Tacitus. That well-worn folder proved to be a faithful ally. In 2000 I learned that I would be teaching elemen- tary Latin at the University of Iowa for my first graduate school teaching assignment in Classics, and my high school Latin folder remained a trusty companion in the classroom. I particularly relied on Mary Ann’s legendary T.E.S.T handouts to help my own students navigate the perils of the third declension, ablatives, and frequently terrifying class of deponent verbs.

I am now completing my first year in a criminal justice doctoral program at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. I study the theft and illicit export of art and antiqui- ties. While I don’t do much sight transla- tion anymore, my training in Latin contin- ues to serve me well. It has sharpened my mind and made me a more logical, obser- vant, and analytic thinker; it has provided a solid foundation for learning other lan- guages and a lifelong love of cultural di- versity and history. So, from a crimi- nologist who still likes to think of herself as a closet classicist, thank you, Mary Ann Harness! You have had a lasting influence on the aca- demic, intellectual, and young woman I’ve become, and many thanks to you for all of it.

Blythe Bowman, former student

It has been my honor to be a teaching colleague of Mary Ann Harness for almost 20 years. In that time, I have appreciated her generosity to me as a younger teacher and have grown to love her. She would do anything to help any student or friend, and continues to work tirelessly, even this close to retirement, to ensure that her stu- dents have a quality education. More than that, she has always tried to instill a sense of values in Valley's young people. I am thrilled for Mary Ann that she will now have the chance to spend her time as she pleases, but incredibly sad that my friend will no longer be here at work every day.

Vicki Gallagher, Mary Ann’s colleague at Valley

Mary Ann and I came to Valley to- gether in 1982. My room has always been next to hers. She ran such an orderly class that I never was bothered by noise or any disruption, but if I ever needed her, she was there. As she taught at two schools on different schedules, I frequently had the job of "watching" her students for several minutes, so Mary Ann could run from one school to the other. Her kids were so well trained that I'm embarrassed to admit on occasions I forgot that they were in there!

Mary Ann and I have always agreed on the importance of academics, and any

parent of a student in her class could rest assured that the student was always chal- lenged and would leave Valley having learned how to think. Even though that has not always been immediately appreci- ated by everyone around us, I'm happy to say that as time passed, the students who had her as a teacher have realized their wonderful opportunity.

Kay Hines, Spanish Instructor, DMACC, West Campus (formerly at Valley H.S.)

In a sea of apparent indifference in a difficult era for Latin in Iowa, I vividly remember Mary Ann Harness as a devoted and active teacher of Latin at West Des Moines Valley High School. I first met her in the late 1980s, when I offered a summer workshop for high school Latin teachers at Iowa State; three teachers came to the workshop, one of them Mary Ann; we read some Cicero, some Plautus, and in general did some things that were both interesting and potentially useful for high school teachers. When Jeff Buller (then at Loras College) and I (then at Iowa State) put together an informal annual meeting that eventually became AMICI, Mary Ann was an immediate and reliable participant. She gave presentations at IFLA and brought students to the AMICI conference. On

several occasions, I taught her students who came to Iowa State and took Latin after graduating from Valley. Whenever I saw that she had come to a meeting or to an event, it brightened my day. I thank her for her many years of work and for the wonderful students she helped to grow. James S. Ruebel, Dean, The Honors College, Ball State University

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English derivatives, view a video, do com- puter exercises or work on a culture pro- ject. This year Ecce Romani has a pro- gram with exercises on the com- puter. From the library I always tell the students about certain books that they may read for our Reading Across the Curricu- lum program.

Mary Ann Harness: I have used the following texts for the core program: Us- ing Latin, then Jenney, which includes the

last update. I use as many supplements as possible. A typical class includes grammar and translation of course. I interweave history, mythology, comparisons of Latin authors and writers of other languages; always making connections in the cultural sense as well as linguistic. Students have projects and use the internet whenever possible. I include a variety of games and hopefully make it as lively as possi- ble. Last year the Latin IV class received "honorable mention" on the Augustana

web challenge. We entered again this year and await the results. It can be found on the Valley Site under Latin (http:// www.wdm.k12.ia.us/valley/latin/).

How has teaching changed over the years since you began teaching?

Pat Burr: When I began teaching Latin, my students were not involved in multiple extracurricular activities and part time employment. Now, it is very difficult

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