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Amicitia

Volume 16, Issue 2

Page 7

Three Magnificent Careers (cont.)

(Continued from page 5)

to arrange any social activity outside the school day since my students are generally the intellectually gifted and are involved in music, art, drama, student council, peer educators, other organi- zations within the school and outside plus part-time employ- ment. I have had to limit my homework assignments to the mini- mum necessary to provide practice and drill on grammar and vocabulary. Also, I have had to deal with many school- sponsored absences from class which have made my job more difficult since I need to individually teach missed material and coordinate make-ups. In addition, since I was raised in a rural environment and began teaching in the same, I have seen some change in parental attitude toward my profession. When I began, the teacher was "right" and the parent would impress such on their offspring. As time passed, parents became defensive of their children and if their success was limited, it became the teacher's fault. In addition, the politicians on the state and federal level have blamed the teachers for lack of success, and the stu-

have become impractical because of my students’ summer activi- ties and occupations.

Vicki Campbell: I guess the greatest honor I have had in Latin was earning a Fulbright Scholarship for the summer of 1988 and spending two months in Rome, Pompeii, and Naples and surrounding areas. I also enjoyed my two summers at Iowa State where I was involved with the CY TAG program. I spent two summers working with the talented and gifted junior high students in Latin.

At one of the CAES meetings (Classical Association of the Empire State) in Albany, New York, I met a young man who was teaching Latin at Newark High School. We became friends and in October, 1968, I married Bruce Campbell and moved to New- ark, New York. [Bruce taught Latin and linguistics at Drake for many years until his retirement.]

Mary Ann Harness: My special memories of teaching usu- ally involve my relationship with my students. They have always been my focus, and I so enjoy hearing from many. Special mo-

dents have picked up on the idea result- ing in the attitude that failure is not the student's, but the instructor’s, fail- ing. This has not been true for my Latin students in general although in a few cases it has been so.

Vicki Campbell: When I started at Dowling there were two Latin teach- ers. I taught 5 classes and the other per- son taught 2 classes. That lasted for a

“The best memories are about [Latin]students eagerly relating that they enjoyed a real advantage in English grammar, or French, Span- ish, and German because they un- derstood how to examine and con- struct a sentence. . . . They have come to realize how beneficial a basic knowledge of Latin is.”

ments or achievements again revolve around the accomplishments of my stu- dents. I was always pleased as they re- ceived honors on the National Latin Exam and State Translation Contest. It was al- ways a special moment to give them awards at our banquets at the end of the school year as I knew that this was some- thing they also treasured.

few years, and gradually as German and Chinese were added to the curriculum, the Latin enrollment went

What are you especially proud of in your teaching career? Pat Burr: I survived! I have gone

down. German has remained, but Chinese was dropped after a few years. For one year I was only part-time. The next year I was hired as the Director of Media Services, but was allowed to teach Latin also.

What are some specific memories that you have about teaching Latin over the years?

Pat Burr: Well, the best memories are about students ea- gerly relating that they enjoyed a real advantage in English Grammar, French, Spanish and German classes because they understood how to examine and construct a sentence. Students who reported they consciously utilized their Latin knowledge on ACTs and SATs are also memorable. Students, long departed from high school, who come back to visit having embarked on successful careers in a variety of fields, who report they have come to realize just how beneficial knowledge of a basic lan- guage has been to them, have also been gratifying. The memory of National JCL Conventions in summers is still fresh in my mind. We traveled to several states and experienced five days of intense Latin-related activities. The effort to stay awake for five days in order to participate in as many activities as possible was difficult, but in retrospect an experience not to be forgotten and is treasured. I regret that such National Convention expeditions

through so many "fad-curriculums" and "breakthroughs in educa- tion" that I have lost count. Even more so, when former students come back to visit, e-mail or correspond by letter that they per- ceive "I made a difference!" I am proud of what I have done. In my career I have worked very hard and have tried always to keep the welfare of my students before school politics. I am proud that my peers respect and even address me as a "master teacher." I am particularly proud that my students respect me as a scholar and compassionate human being. If I truly "made a difference" in students' lives, my pride in accomplishment is tremendous. If this sounds egotistical, and it does, I hope you understand that I am not attempting to glorify my achievements. When peers and students state I influenced them, it scares me. I ask myself, "What did I do? I just blindly blundered forward, often without plan."

Vicki Campbell: I have had wonderful students who have graduated from high school and college and are doing great things either in their jobs or as parents. Some students come back and tell me how Latin has helped them. One girl recently emailed me about her new job in public relations at a hospi- tal. She said she felt so proud of herself when she saw certain medical terms and her study of Latin helped her to understand them so she had to email me.

(Continued on page 8)

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