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Frustrations for a High School Classics Teacher

It is the end of the third quarter, and my Latin III classes, having labored since February, have not gotten past the First Catilinarian I.8. Block schedules aside, lack of preparation aside, it gets frusrtrating, because the more I look at that speech, the more apparant it is that it is one of the finest written. Its internal coherence, logical flow, and rhetorical flourish display Cicero's mastery. And due to slow progress, these are things that my students will not see. At least not with me.

It isn't as if my students are uninterested -- as we look into this speech, they see how well crafted it is, and they get excited -- they are unlocking an ancient treasure. But we have taken so long to translate so little. It gets frustrating.

Given the modern bent for practicality, there is little point in requesting an elective course on Cicero. You can hear the questions, "What good is it?" "Where can you use it?" There is little interest in classical literature in translation, let alone in the original.

Still, we will labor on a little more, and then shift to the next author. Maybe next year, we can finish the FIrst Catilinarian.

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