Examining the Story: Connections and Comparisons, I

salvēte, amīcī et sodālēs!  Thanks for your patience with our lengthy exploration of cultural – and Cultural – elements of the most recent draft Tres Columnae story.  We’ll still be focusing on that story for a bit, but from the perspective of what the National Standards call Connections and Comparisons.

What exactly do we mean by these terms?

  • Connections are really academic – between Latin (or Roman culture or Roman history) and other school subjects
  • Comparisons are more personal – between Latin and  your own language, or between Roman culture and your own culture (or some other culture or language with which you’re familiar).
  • When you put your Connections and Comparisons to work in a multi-lingual, multi-cultural world, you’re participating in what the standards call Community … or Communities.

One implication, of course, is that most learners will probably make similar Connections.  But depending on your linguistic and cultural background, the Comparisons you make might be significantly different from someone else’s Comparisons.

  • For example, if you’re a native Spanish speaker, Comparisons of vocabulary and grammatical structures are constant.
  • If your native language is Chinese, your Comparisons will be very different!
  • If you grew up in a status-oriented culture, like many Latin American ones, the Comparisons between cultures will be very different from the ones that an American would make.
  • If you grew up in an external-shame culture rather than an internal-guilt culture, you’ll have an intuitive understanding of Roman behaviors.  Your Comparisons with pietās and dignitās, for example, will be with the corresponding terms in your own culture.  But for may Americans, the terms will be untranslatable and even the underlying ideas will be slippery and difficult.

With this framework, we’ll examine our most recent story (and the other two, if you’d like) through the lens of Connections and Comparisons.  So, lēctōrēs cārissimī, mē adiūvāte, quaesō:

  • What are some areas where we might make academic Connections to the language, the cultural elements, the characters, or other aspects of the story?
  • What are some personal Comparisons – or areas of comparison – that we might choose?

Tune in next time for my comments, and my responses to yours!  And in the meantime, please keep those emails and comments coming.


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