salvēte, amīcī et sodālēs! Life seems to have intervened yet again! I do apologize for the lengthy delay since our last post on September 2. It was a busy and hot week, as I mentioned in that post, and Friday was, if possible, even busier. I had hopes for a post on Saturday morning, but then life intervened yet again … this time in the form of a series of cluster headaches. I usually have one or two of those a year, but apparently the combination of extreme heat, opening-of-school stress, and then the sudden arrival of cooler, drier air in my face-to-face world led to 5 or 6 of them over about a 36-hour period. The whole family was sick with something-or-other on Sunday, and only on Monday evening, as our holiday weekend drew close to its end, did we all start to feel better. As I wrote the draft of this post early Monday evening, the headaches were mostly gone, but my energy level was quite low. If all goes well, though, we’ll be on a more normal posting schedule in the days and weeks to come.
As I left school on Friday, I was very pleased with the progress my Latin I and III students have made in their first few days of school. As I mentioned before, the Latin I classes are “large for us” (31 each, which I realize is a tiny number to some of you lectōrēs fidēlissimī and an impossibly large one to others), and there are 19 Latin III students. The I’s haven’t had much opportunity to use Tres Columnae materials yet, but we’ll be doing more with Lectiōnēs I and II, in particular, this week. The III’s, by contrast, did a lot of reading of “TC” stories over the summer and are eager to learn more about their new favorite characters … particularly Rīdiculus mūs and his familia, of course!
Meanwhile, I had a very positive report from one of our lectōrēs fidēlissimī who’s just finished using Lectiō I as a supplemental text with some of her middle-school students. Not only did they enjoy the text, but they had some great suggestions for improvement – including a “real” introduction to each of the three familiae. I’ve suggested that they might want to construct those “real” introductions for themselves; we’ll see how they (and their teacher) feel about that.
Behind the scenes, we’ve also made some significant progress on Version Beta of the site, which will use different “back-end” software and have a much-improved look and feel. If all goes well, we’ll be able to make an official announcement about that before too much longer. I truly appreciate your patience with the delays in Version Beta; it’s been a long road, and the hot weather here – especially when combined with my headache ordeal this weekend – hasn’t exactly helped.
I realize that the Tuesday after Labor Day is the First Day of School for many, many teachers and students – of course, in my face-to-face teaching world, we’ve been back for a week and a half, and many others have finished a month or more of school already. But for those who are beginning another year today, I wish you optimam fortūnam … and I hope you and your students will find time to explore and enjoy the Tres Columnae Project materials. I also hope you’ll be able to build a Joyful Learning Community together … and I truly hope that everyone will have a significant feeling of Ownership in their teaching and learning this year.
Tune in next time, when we’ll finally get to that long-promised new story about transitions and trying new things – a prospect that, I suppose, was even more scary to the Romans than it is to us. After all, when rēs novae means a violent political upheaval, and when you assume that the world started off Golden and ended up far less than Golden, it’s hard to see change as a positive thing, isn’t it? 🙂 intereā, grātiās maximās omnibus iam legentibus et respondentibus.