Friday, March 21, 2014

The Journey Continues

I often describe education as a shared journey of discovery, and that has never been a more suitable description than this year with my Latin V students.  Two have been preparing for the International Baccalaureate diploma, but I encouraged the rest to pursue independent projects of their own interest. I wrote in October about their amazing choices in a post called "Diverse Brilliance" at, and that work has only continued.

Recently, twenty-five of our students participated in the 61st Annual Indiana Junior Classical League State Latin Convention at Indiana University.  I could not have been more proud as they competed with hundreds of Latin students from around the state in academic, artistic, and performance activities, all related to the languages and cultures of ancient Greece and Rome.  As always, I was smiling from ear to ear and giving them high fives as their names were called time after time at the awards ceremony.  Watching teenagers spend a weekend engaged in matters that matter should brighten the heart of anyone.

Yet it was a quiet moment on a Saturday morning that spoke the most deeply to me.  My undergraduate Greek professor and good friend Tim Long dropped by the student union building for breakfast.  As we chatted about Classics and education in general, one of my Latin V students approached with some breakfast and sat down.  He quickly began engaging my friend in questions about philosophy and the ancient world, and I just as quickly realized that I needed to leave.  My friend was doing what he does best, teach.  My student was doing what he does best, inquire.  I quietly bid my friend farewell, but as I left, I could not help turning around to watch what was taking place.

I took lots of pictures at the convention that I shared with our classes when we returned, but this one is special.  It does not look like much, but it tells a great story.  The professor taught me when I was an undergraduate.  He inspired greatly my particular style of teaching.  The young man is my student, with whom I have had many scintillating conversations about the ancient world.  And then here they were together, my professor and my student.  The great journey of discovery continues.

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