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 ARLT Summer School 2000

  Held at St Dunstan's, Plymouth

  Directed by Mrs J Liddicoat

Report on the ARLT Summer School 2000

As a mature graduate in Classics and a newcomer to teaching, it was with some trepidation that I drove down to St. Dunstan's Abbey, Plymouth for the 77th ARLT Summer School, 31st July – 5th August. The Latin teacher at my all-girls' High School, in the 70s, had been a forbidding soul. Could all Latin teachers be like her?

At St Dunstan's I discovered that nothing could be further from the truth. There were a wide variety of teachers attending, whose ages and experience ranged from being newly qualified, in their early 20s to being very experienced and retired, with a host of variations in between. The one thing we all had in common was an absolute passion for Latin in particular and Classics in general.

Janet Liddicoat had organised an excellent and varied programme of accomplished speakers, commencing on the Monday with Dr Jenny March: `The pleasures of Greek Tragedy' and concluding on the Friday with Professor Peter Wiseman: `Aeneid VIII'. (Professor Wiseman very kindly, at short notice, filled an unexpectedly vacant slot.) The other speakers were: Gordon Lloyd: `Teaching and Assessing: Two Processes in Conflict?', Professor David Braund: `Athenians, Scythians and Amazons: barbarians in the democracy', the Rev. David Parsons: `Accelerated learning', Dr John Landels: `Music from Aristophanes to Gilbert and Sullivan', Anthony Bowen: `Frankishly speaking', Dr Martin Forrest: `From Latin Story to Minimus: whetting young appetites' and Dr Ray Laurence: `Alternative interpretations of Pompeii'.

Prior to the commencement of the Summer School, I had received details of the twelve options groups on offer, from which I chose four. Three one-hour classes were held for each option. I chose classes on Cicero: Pro Caelio (Hilary Walters), Virgil: Aeneid VIII (Janet Liddicoat), A Level Classical Civilisation (Roger Davies) and Plautus: Rudens (Pat Bunting). The other options were: GCSE Classical Civilisation, Epistolae Abelardi et Heloysae, Cambridge Latin Course, Latin Conversation, Virgil Georgic IV, Latin refresher for non-Classics graduates, `Read it Right' – basic Latin pronunciation, Sartre: Les Mouches and `Latin Play' – taken from Vesuvius. Without exception the option groups were friendly, inspiring and informative. One of the most striking aspects of the week was how freely and generously people exchanged ideas and information; many promising to send on relevant work-sheets, sample examination questions — in fact all manner of resources — when they got home.

What of the social life? Plenty of time was allowed for informal contact and general conversation over coffee, lunch, and dinner and of course in the bar after dinner. Mention must be made here of the excellent food and facilities provided by St. Dunstan's. We were very lucky to have a display of beautiful mosaics, by Elaine Goodwin, in one of the classrooms throughout the week. In addition, the Hellenic Book Service brought a vast collection of books and resources for our inspection and purchase. Wednesday afternoon was free and most people took the opportunity to explore Plymouth and the surrounding area.

On the last night we had a champagne reception with a copious supply of excellent champagne very kindly supplied by Dawn French, an old girl of St. Dunstan's and former pupil of Janet Liddicoat. This was followed by something merely entitled `Evening Entertainment' on our timetable. I will only say that this was a definite highlight of the week! Those of you who haven't been to an ARLT Summer School before, who are tempted to attend one, don't hesitate — next year we will be in Cheltenham!

Val Kellett — Arnold School, Blackpool

Oratio Valedictoria

O Arelates, favete linguis! mihi maxime placet vos omnes excepisse ad hanc ultimam Britanniae stationem occidentalem; spero vos omnes et multa didicisse et tempus otiosum egisse dulcissimum nam, ut Horatius noster dixit, dulce est desipere in loco.

quid de hoc ludo aestivo praecipue recordabimur? nonne fortasse aves maris (i) quae nos tanto strepitu mane excitaverunt?

sed quam bonas orationes per hos dies audivimus: primo die Doctor Ioanna Martia nobis de tragoediae Graecae voluptatibus explicavit (ii); et post cenam Gordanus, ille vir eloquentissimus, de difficultate examinandi et simul docendi nobiscum locutus est (iii).

proximo die primo Professor Davidus Braundus, picturis usus, sine ullis notis de barbaris Atheniensibusque nobis dixit (iv); deinde quia Doctor Matthaeus Pratum — infelicissime! — aeger erat (v) amicus noster Davidus Sacerdotes, baculis fretus, nos monuit quomodo discipuli nostri celerius discerent (vi). postremo, vespere, Doctor Ioannes Terrestris de musica antiqua cantans et sibilans disertissime disseruit(vii).

tertio die mane diligenter variis modis laboravimus; tum post prandium, quamquam tempus — eheu! — non omnino secundum erat, ad diversas urbis et ruris partes profecti sumus: nonnulli — strenue, mehercule! — per oram maritimam ad vicum Arenam Regis ambulaverunt (viii); multi in flumine navigaverunt (ix); alii alia fecerunt. vespere Antonius Arcus, vir doctus et suavis, exposuit quemadmodum lingua Latina in linguam Gallicam conversa esset (x).

die quarto huius ludi aestivi Doctor Silva nobis narravit de Minimo, illo mure praeclaro qui tot avos atque avias ad linguam Latinam revocavit


per totum hunc diem occasionem habuimus inspiciendi et emendi libros et multa alia quae Monica ab urbe Londinio secum transportaverat

(xii). denique postquam cenavimus Doctor Radius Laurentius, iuvenis lepidissimus, picturas pulcherrimas Pompeiorum urbis nobis monstravit (xiii).

postremo hodie quanto gaudio excepimus Professorum Petrum Virum Sapientem qui laborantibus subsidio Isca profectus tam iucunde nobis plurima de libro Aeneidis octavo explicavit (xiv). hodie vespere optimum vinum scintillans ante cenam bibimus quod Aurora Gallica ad nos liberalissima misit (xv).

et nunc ad finem huius ludi aestivi paene pervenimus — eheu! sed non ante conficio quam vobis omnibus gratias egero qui tam diligenter et libenter laboravistis: ducibus manuum, qui tot et tam varia explicaverunt (xvi); duobus sacerdotibus nostris qui cotidie mane caerimoniis — non sacrificiis, Deo gratias! — praefuerunt (xvii); illis qui in hoc ludo (xviii) nobis tam benigne vinum et cibum paraverunt. ut Martialis noster dixit:

non est, crede mihi, sapientis dicere `vivam';

sera nimis vita est crastina: vive hodie.

amici amicaeque, nunc est bibendum. valete!

Janet Liddicoat — Director ARLT Plymouth 2000

ARLT in Plymouth