Welcome April Bauer the new St. Monica Catholic School Latin teacher.
Mrs. Bauer received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Latin and Classical Studies from the University of Washington. Following her undergraduate degree, she attended Middlebury College Italian Language Immersion program and continued Post-Baccalaureate Classics studies at Duke University before receiving her Master of Arts degree in Classics in San Francisco. She has taught Latin for 15 years, mainly at the high school and college level and is looking forward to the new challenge of teaching Latin in middle school. Her favorite school activity was studying in Rome for a year as an undergraduate then, later as a teacher, she loved traveling to Rome with her high school students and sharing the city with them during the Easter holiday. If she were to have a favorite Saint, it would have to be Saint Augustine for two reasons; he was, profoundly, educated in Classical literature and history and, he was not ashamed to admit his own human faults; an appreciated quote attributed to him reads, “There is no saint without a past, no sinner without a future.” In her free time, April enjoys the adventure of raising two boys, one in high school and one in middle school, with her husband here on Mercer Island and watching them ski race competitively all over the Northwest.
Benefits of Learning Latin
Studying Latin, with its highly organized grammar, makes us coordinate ideas, reflect on the various ways to say the same thing, and thus to write and speak better in English. Latin provides a key to the Romance languages, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese etc.
- Becoming Multilingual: Studying Latin is fantastic preparation for learning and becoming fluent in one or more of the Romance languages. Therefore, learning Latin is to begin a study of six languages at once.
- English Vocabulary and Grammar: Studying Latin prepares students to master English. Students of Latin typically score the highest on tests on English vocabulary! This is no surprise since 50 percent of English is derived from Latin—with over 80–90 percent of our polysyllabic words derived from Latin. The regular grammar of Latin is also ideal for shedding light on the way all languages, including English, work.
- The Professions: Latin prepares students for several important professions that are steeped in Latin or English words derived from Latin. These include law, medicine, science, music, theology, philosophy, art, and literature.
- Writing and Reading: An increased vocabulary and understanding of grammar enable students to write and read with greater ease and clarity.
- English Literature: Latin enables students to have improved access to English literature prior to 1950, which is replete with references and citations in Latin.
- History: Latin enables students to more fully understand and appreciate the Roman Empire, which has had profound and continuing effects on Western civilization. In addition, the history of art and architecture is filled with Latin, and monuments and art all over the world are frequently graced with Latin.
- Great Literature: Latin enables students to enjoy some of the most influential literature the world—in the original language. Learning Latin well enough to read original Latin works is an attainable skill and imparts great satisfaction and enjoyment.
- Educational Virtue: The study of Latin is an ongoing practice in linguistic puzzle-solving that generally helps students to become close and careful readers and writers. Many believe it also generally hones the mental faculties, cultivating careful analysis and attention. When one well-known cancer researcher, Dr. Charles Zubrod (who helped develop chemotherapy treatment for leukemia patients), was asked what had best prepared him for a life of medical research, he responded: “Studying Latin and Greek as a child.”
- Pleasure: Deciphering the “secret code” of Latin, seeing the words behind words, learning to puzzle-solve, and reading great authors in their own tongue are all pleasures that will last students a lifetime.
- Simultaneous Learning: As you can see, studying Latin is a way of doing advanced study in several subject areas simultaneously. This is why we regard it as a master art—like a tool, it enables one to master other things, other subjects. It is no wonder that it has been a required subject in schools for centuries.