Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark,
For the straightforward pathway had been lost.
(Dante Inferno, trans Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
Things are certainly not as bad as all that, but what has prompted my taking up Latin and this blog is a desire to find the straightforward path (I’ll not say ‘again’ as I am not entirely sure I have ever been on it). My two beautiful and intelligent nieces have also provided the further inspiration I need to take up the challenge now, the opportune time although not quite “mid-way upon the journey.” They are both well along in their Latin studies, and it is my intention to catch up to them. I am hoping that they and the discipline of a blog will help me onto that straightforward path.
Many years ago, arguably at the beginning of the journey, I learned enough Latin to get me by in my graduate studies (Medieval English Literature). A battered 1963 edition of Wheelock’s Latin: an introduction course based on ancient authors allowed me to maintain the charade of some knowledge of the language. With the recent purchase of the ‘6th edition revised’, I now have the opportunity to go back and learn properly.
I won’t actually be boring my nieces with exercises, but just thoughts and questions related to the study, the kinds of things one might ask a teacher or discuss in class.
Anything to keep me on the straight if not the narrow course.
P.S. Oh yes—and bees. Just started with them and need this blog to keep a record of their care. It will be a challenge relating them to Latin study!
One year on (Spring 2012): The blog has evolved into much more than a Latin learning tool and a bee log. As I sit working on starting my own e-publishing company in my own little biosphere in the Fens of England, I have the opportunity of observing all manner of living thing from my conservatory windows. So, I have become a bit of a nut about birds, but I hasten to add only my birds. Not quite ready to tramp around the countryside overburdened by binoculars and cameras. Having said that, I was gifted my first pair of binoculars this year, and I have taken more photographs, most assuredly crap ones, than I ever have in my life in the service of this blog.
This increased interest in the wilder creatures has also re-awakened a sensitivity to the use of language, and especially the subjective role that gender stereotypes play in the observations and reportings even among scientists. So, you will hear a bit about this subject from time to time.
Whatever keeps, the brain cells firing….