when i was in high school, i took latin, but that’s not the story.
the story is that, when i found out they were going to offer a latin class, i IMMEDIATELY wanted to sign up for it… but my parents said no, that latin was a “dead” language, that nobody spoke any longer, or used for anything (😏), that i would never use it, and it would just waste my time.
i was a junior in high school, and i REALLY wanted to learn latin. i pestered my parents for a few weeks about it, but they stood fast…
so i went to my high school guidance counsellor, and told her. she immediately agreed with me, and gave me a bunch of “hints” that i could use to try to convince my parents, but none of them worked. my parents were the stubborn, pig-headed people that i have come to know them to be since then, and they were adamant that it would be a collosal waste of my time to learn latin.
i went back to my high school guidance counsellor and told her that the hints didn’t work, and that i still REALLY wanted to learn latin… so she CALLED them.
she talked with my mother (who was the louder of the two) for about half an hour, and, somehow, convinced her that my studying latin would NOT be a waste of my time. i was overjoyed.
today, 40 years later, latin is something that i use on a DAILY basis, to help me understand, and better utilise the language i speak… to help other people understand confusing things (of which there are many)… to learn about places, and things, in a way that english, by itself, doesn’t even have a clue about… to have a better grip on romance languages that ARE used in the modern world — i also studied french in high school, and it gave me a better understanding of the french language, as well as giving me a sneak peek at spanish, italian, and portuguese… at this point, it would take me about 3 days of immersion to get functional in any romance language, and probably not more than a week before i was understanding most of what was said to me…
WRITING, on the other hand, would very likely take quite a bit longer, particularly in italian or portuguese, because they spell things strangely, have silly, inconsistent silent letters, “non-standard” pronunciation for other letters, and are, generally, more laid back, which makes learning to write more difficult 😉
and that’s ALL because i studied latin. 😉
and i use approximately ZILCH of the other subjects i studied in high school, with the exception of music, which i also use, on a daily basis… actually, that’s not entirely correct: high school taught me skills, like how to study, how to use the scientific method, logic and reason to figure things out, the proper use of tools like a wood lathe, proportional dividers, engineering scales, and a linotype, all of whose skills can be transferred to the “modern” world in a variety of ways…
in other “forward into the past” news, i finally got around to editing the Wraith Ugly/Bob Larson tapes. i’ve been flogging them on bob larson’s twitter feed, which is somewhat amusing. 😈