Every once in a while, or rather every once in a very frequent while, my high school students are able to veer a class slightly “off topic.” This thrills them since it means we spend a little less time exercising our brains to near exhaustion by converting logical arguments to the first form and testing their validity… It doesn’t bother me though, because I am delighted with our topics of conversation.
This week our off- topic conversation started after I tossed out one of my crazy ideas-
I am thinking that maybe we could have Latin Club next year! (Imagine my wild enthusiasm here.)
What?!? Latin CLUB? Miss Lutz, are you trying to turn us into dorks?
Me, no, never! You know that my deepest desire is for you to all be movie stars, pop singers and pro sports icons.
(Oddly enough they didn’t believe this…)
But really Miss Lutz, I mean, Latin CLUB! No one does this! You are trying to make us way too weird!
Ok, I will concede that the name “Latin Club” is a bit dorky, we can tweak that. But the idea-isn’t it exciting?! We’d have the class once a month, talk in Latin, learn more about literature and history, and read classic Latin excerpts-fun right?
Surprisingly, they were not as enthused about a Latin Club as I was…hmmm…they think I am turning them into dorks. Being the loving teacher that I am, I gently and kindly reminded them that they are already a bit dorky by some standards, that dorky is all relative, so just don’t worry.
But in the course of our discussion we were drawn back to the fact that working hard at anything, like in this case Latin, is not popular in many circles these days. We all reflected on the reality that we are pulled towards the path of least resistance. We live in a culture of the immediate, the quick, the simple.
But how bad is this really? Does it really matter? I asked my students-what was easy about pursuing wisdom and virtue? What is the easy way to know the true, the good and the beautiful? They know there is no easy path to wisdom and virtue. Our calling is to become more human, to become more of the people God created us to be, to know Him (and thus all of His world) and to enjoy Him forever. There is something hard about all of this-it involves sacrifice, commitment, loyalty, honor, and it is never-ending.
And when my class ended that day, my heart was rejoicing, not because I have a class full of Latin dorks, but because I have a class of teenagers who desire to pursue wisdom and virtue.