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As the Summer School had been condensed into five days, the programme was necessarily more intensive than usual, and many who attended found it hard to choose between the alternatives, often trying to get a taste of both.
One of the highlights for me was watching Mr. J.E. Hunt taking a class from Westfield Comprehensive School using his own Greek course. It was thrilling to see the pupils coping with and obviously enjoying Greek under his direction. The Cambridge Latin Course was demonstrated ably and with humour by Mr. Young with some of his boys from Chesterfield Grammar School.
Prose composition in the hands of Mr. Boyd and Mr. Cox was stimulating, with passages to translate ranging from Thackeray to Solzhenitsyn, while others explored the field of literary appreciation under the guidance of Mrs. Dennis or Miss Coutts. Mr. Smith took a class in comprehension while others tried to improve their pronunciation of Latin with Mrs. Clifford’s help. We were also grateful to Mr. Hazel who fitted in a Greek pronunciation class in response to many requests mainly I suspect from those who, like me, were made even more aware of the inadequacies of their Greek pronunciation by the Homer reading class.
The Homer reading class, led by Mr. Lloyd, proved very popular and was much enjoyed, not least for his delightful home-
A wide range was offered in the afternoon activity groups. Mrs. Hunt again persuaded people to overcome their inhibitions in the drama group. Mr. Wilkie set his students to build a Roman fort out of polystyrene blocks; Mr. Hunt organised a large and enthusiastic group in singing Orff’s Carmina Burana and medieval carols, and Mrs. Hulse’s group produced visual aids ranging from paintings to board games. These together with her own illustrations of the Theseus legend were enjoyed by all when displayed on the last evening.
The activities of the Circuli covered conversations in Latin with Mr. Craddock, a discussion on Seneca with Mr. Richards and a discussion on Classical Studies in the lower school led by Mr. O’Neill.
An interesting programme of lectures was arranged for the evenings. Mr. Morton gave a progress report on the Cambridge Latin Course which dispelled many of the doubts and criticisms. Professor H.H. Huxley entertained us with a humorous dissertation on classical birds entitled “A flutter of pinions”. Professor J. N. Rudd from Bristol fascinated his audience with his lecture on Ovid, even drawing a large number back from the bar for an “encore”. Mr. H. McL Currie delivered an informative lecture on Virgil’s third Eclogue, then, in a seminar the following day, gave a comparative approach to Homer’s Odyssey, showing its influence on the art and literature not only of Rome, but up to our own times including “Watership Down”. Mr. Hulse shared with us the fruits of his research on Hellenistic poetry, and Mr. Wilkie gave a practical demonstration of the use of slides with related tapes.
The reader may be wondering how such a full programme could be fitted into such a short time, and will be more surprised to learn that the A.G.M. Of the A.R.L.T. also formed part of the programme, as did the traditional final evening entertainment with the Latin Oration given by the director, Mr. Edwin Hunt, drama, and music both vocal and instrumental. Two brilliant versions in Latin of the murder of Agrippina raised cries of “pudor” and “iterum” from the audience. I shall long remember Mrs. Dennis’s Agrippina.
It would seem that in such a busy five days no time would be left over to get to know people, and yet for me the happy and friendly atmosphere was my strongest impression. We are all grateful to Mr. Hunt for running such a good Summer School.
Mrs. Carol Ferris
The brochure for the 1975 A.R.L.T. Summer School invited participants to bring their families, who could enjoy the beauties of Derbyshire. This was mainly intended, I feel sure, to encourage lady members to bring their children rather than be forced to stay at home to look after them and so miss the course. I don’t think anyone expected what my wife brought -
The beauties of Derbyshire were attractive but I was looking for much more. In industry, we are continually concerned with training and communication but we often practise them badly; I wanted to see how really expert teachers performed. As employers, we look for trained minds in people who are accurate and articulate. Classicists have traditionally been high on the list. Would this “reformed Latin teaching” enhance such training or detract from it? As tax payers, we realise that industry provides (directly or indirectly) almost all the wherewithal to pay for education; are we getting value for money? In management, we need not merely specialists but humanists; my own experience had indicated that the study of Greece and Rome seemed to be a great help -
Finally, it would be fun to discover what the A.R.L.T. was all about. The Latin teaching which my generation remembered certainly needed reform!
Above all, I found that the Summer School was a renewal of faith -
I do not mean to suggest that anyone was unkind -
The visiting lecturers were most interesting and showed a proper progression through the week. I did not expect to be able to understand everything, of course, but it was odd that I seemed to do better with the more scholarly lecturers …. !
Some members, who gave talks during the course, contributed to the feeling of compression by taking too long to get started. This seemed to be due to some sort of modesty which inhibited a person from getting down to the subject, in case this seemed boastful in front of his peers. If such a prologue is really essential, it should be polished off in the first few crisp moments -
I was particularly struck by three obsessions -
The first is outside my competence, of course -
The “bogey” accent was funny. I could only judge by the “music” -
I may be qualified to comment on the Association’s name because I am responsible for several thousand trademarks and I am deeply involved in the marketing of branded goods. I should be extremely surprised if it mattered what the letters A.R.L.T. stood for -
You could always add “new” to the name, to produce the “New ARLT”; or you could change the significance of some of the letters. How about “Always Reading Latin Texts”? Or would the Cambridge enthusiasts appreciate “Association for the Reconstruction of Latin Technology”? If recent trends in schools continue, perhaps we require the “R” to stand for “Rehabilitation” or even “Retention”.
But my overall impression of the Summer School -
“Association for Really Lively Teaching”!
Thank you for having me.
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