Wow. We are already at the Thanksgiving break. Looking at the list of things done and not-done, I am evenly split. My Latin IIs are more or less on schedule, as are my IIIs, but AP, ah, AP, the perpetual late-comer. As a colleague put it, we spend too much time enjoying the poetry.
But it isn't about schedules and syllabi. How well do my students understand the language? I am beset by worries that they will emerge after four years, having learned little or nothing, with no appreciation for what it is they have been tackling. Most of my students do not study Latin or Greek after they move on to college, and I don't expect that they would. But it nags at me that they might never again pick up a text, even one read before, and look through it. Will they become the parent at the back-to-school night who tells me that they took Latin in High School?
I have made an effort to avoid thinking about my "legacy", as I think keeping an eye on the future takes away from the present moment in class, but I do wonder if what they have learned in class will have a positive effect later in life.
That's why I've always been so keen on proverbs and sayings. I figure proverbs and saying are HIGHLY portable: if someone has a personal motto in Latin, they can take it and use - not just to invoke in cocktail party conversation (although Latin mottoes definitely can be crowd-pleasers in silly situations like that), but just to get them to take some bit of wisdom, encapsulated in Latin, which they will keep with them even when the future passive periphrastic is but a distant memory!
I've got a Latin proverb of the day here, if you are interested - along with Greek proverbs too for students in search of the truly arcane!
They are in the left hand column of this Ning: Aesopus.ning.com.
My own personal Latin motto is: Spes Ultima Dea.