November 16, 2005

Semper ubi LONG sub ubi

Hey, we are classical homeschoolers, and this is Alberta in November, so I have to admit that it was one of the first thoughts to pop into my head when the temperatures dipped down below zero (in Celsius at least). Way down, to -19C last night. Brrr. Right now, it's warmed up to an almost balmy -2C, and the sky is overcast, which can mean only one thing: snow.

As I sit here in my long johns with a nice warm cup of coffee, and Laura sits nearby on the register reading, I think back to ninth grade, where thanks to my father's insistence I was one of only two high school students and the only girl in a Latin class filled with fifth-grade boys. One of the first things my new classmates taught me was "semper ubi sub ubi", which literally translated means "always where under where." Which of course cracks up the average boy, whether he's in fifth grade or ninth. The very English Mr. Smith, very old school, was our firm, demanding, but exceedingly kind teacher, and in retrospect I suspect he must have been a bit relieved at having an older student, especially one who didn't snicker at the mention of Lesbos and was rather moved by some of Catullus. I loved Latin, and dear, dear, old Mr. Smith, so much that I took Latin for all four years and in 10th grade added ancient Greek. Both stood me well in high school, and into college, and I can still remember more than just the underwear business. And I still treasure the pottery mug, with my name and the year, Mr. Smith commissioned from the school's art teacher as my graduation present; now cracked, it sits on my desk and holds pens and pencils.

Hey, I suppose I could teach the kids some of my "winter" Latin. And won't Dad be surprised?!

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