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Lapsed Classicists

(148 Posts)
TunipTheVegemal Tue 09-Oct-12 16:47:24

As mentioned on the Mary Beard thread.

My name is Tunip and it is twenty eight years since I last read a full-length piece of Latin or Greek literature.

However I am glowing at the discovery that I can still apparently translate 'What's your favourite biscuit?' into Latin.

Anyone else?

Fozzleyplum Tue 09-Oct-12 23:29:10

Yoo hoo! Another lapsed classicist here (only A Level latin - does that count?). Am rediscovering it now that DS1 has just started Latin at his new school; the books these days are much more interesting (and less militaristic) than the ones we had in the 80's.

Any chance that anyone on this thread was at Loughborough High School and did Latin with the legendary Mr Hammond?

funchum8am Wed 10-Oct-12 01:59:11

I am a classicist but not lapsed - teaching classical civ to gcse and a level, and Latin to gcse in a state comprehensive school. It's brilliant, the pupils who choose to do gcse absolutely love it. At the moment my school only offers Latin to those with high language aptitude and only as a lunchtime lesson, though from y10 they do it on timetable,but I will be changing that. Hope to start an A level course if enouh of my current y8 go on to do gcse.

There are various projects going to try to bring classics back in state schools eg the Love Latin scheme in London and the wonderful Iris Project for primaries. If you can volunteer to help, even if your Latin is very limited, lots of schools would be delighted.

I could probably round up some teachers to lead sessions at an MN weekend of classics...who is up for it?

WingDefence Wed 10-Oct-12 08:11:07

I'd be up for that funchum!

Cheddars - I meant Juvenal not Catullus! Catullus was the rude one but I loved the satire of Juvenal. Thanks for reminding me smile

LineRunner Wed 10-Oct-12 10:18:16

I have just remembered that years and years ago Ian Hislop did a TV documentary about Juvenal. I taped it on VHS but god knows where it is now.

I wonder if it still exists somewhere in an archive. It was wonderful.

funchum8am Wed 10-Oct-12 11:50:53

I have a friend who is also a classics teacher and she is due to have a baby in January so I'll see if she is on MN and/or is up for organising something. I have a 6 day old newborn so it might be a while before we could arrange but just putting it out there!

Could maybe organise it at my college in Oxford, they do conferences where accommodation is not that expensive. I might even be able to rope in a couple of tutors to say a few words... not sure how I sell it to them..."This group of women who know each other from a parenting website want to get back into Classics....."!!!

TunipTheVegemal Wed 10-Oct-12 12:18:43

There are a few people at Oxford that I could ask - either people who taught me all those years ago or who did their PhD in the same dept as me and who are now at Oxford.

I've just realised I got my sums wrong in my OP. I'm 40 not 50 - it's 18 years not 28 since I graduated blush

I wonder how the costings would work out for a weekend at Oxford. If MNHQ organised it then it would be profitmaking and we'd probably have to pay anyone we got involved. But it would be a big job organising it - is anyone up for that?

LRDtheFeministDragon Wed 10-Oct-12 12:25:03

Oooh! Oooh! I am so not up for organizing right now (sorry, I feel a bit guilty as I'm less busy than a lot of people, but right now I need to get job apps in).

But I would absolutely love a classics-y weekend in Oxford, it would be fantastic!

TunipTheVegemal Wed 10-Oct-12 12:33:50

Me neither tbh! blush
It might be better to led MNHQ do it but give them specific requests on how we'd like it organised?
I think it would be good with a proper Latin teacher (from school) plus a university person to talk to us about what's changed in Classics since our day.

LineRunner Wed 10-Oct-12 13:18:10

Get Ian Hislop.

Issy Wed 10-Oct-12 13:44:17

A Lapsed Classicist weekend in an Oxford/Cambridge college would be lovely. We may be able to get a good price from one of the smaller colleges who don't have facilities to host big events. Perhaps these guys can help:

LRDtheFeministDragon Wed 10-Oct-12 13:46:47

If all of this proves too hard to organize, we could see if anyone (inc people on this thread) would be up for doing a bit of teaching, and we could organize to go to one of the public lectures at Oxford? Every term they always have a certain number of lectures open to the public.

WingDefence Wed 10-Oct-12 14:37:48

I'm pregnant with my DC2 due at the start of April. Hmm, if we have it next summer when the students are off will babies be welcome?! grin

Mary mentioned Peter Jones who is the co-founder of Friends of Classics and he was one of my lecturers at Newcastle. Very funny man smile

TunipTheVegemal Wed 10-Oct-12 14:40:57

A Mumsnet Lapsed Classicists club HAS to allow small babies, surely? And that would determine the choice of venue if there were colleges that wouldn't allow them.

SuiGeneris Wed 10-Oct-12 14:44:27

whitepeacock: now that you mention it, I remember our literature teacher getting us to read "pedicabo..." and saying that he'd leave us to work it out by ourselves... Who was it? Memory suggests Catullus but I think Martial is more likely...

Would be very interested in a classics weekend at Oxford, would absolutely love it in fact BUT I have a fully breastfed baby in tow, so would need to drag DH and both DS with me and have DS2 brought in for feeds. It would be brilliant though...

WingDefence Wed 10-Oct-12 15:41:16

That's Catullus Sui. I was looking it up yesterday and found an interesting Mary Beard article on it.

Here it is! grin

Issy Wed 10-Oct-12 16:27:48

As the instigator of the Lapsed Classicists Summer Course, about which I feel equally guilty and proud, can I make a few very quick suggestions?

1. We should go for a Cambridge College as our first option, as the event should be irresistible to Mary Beard (!) and, even if she can't make it, we could probably persuade her to recruit some of her post-grads or colleagues to pitch up for a short talk.

2. If we go for Cambridge, the university conference centre will probably be able to help us organise the basics: which college, accommodation, meals, seminar room.

3. We should keep it small and simple. Aim for a maximum of, say, 20 attendees, one and a half days, one night stay. With a not overly ambitious programme.

4. We should invite non-Mnetters including, gasp, men, perhaps through Friends of Classics. Unless, of course, the theme is Lysistrata.

5. We should divide and rule, with one person taking on logistics and liaising with the Cambridge Conference people, another the programme, another the money, another communications to the attendees etc.. Money, as always, will be the toughest one as we'd probably have to cover the expenses of at least some of the speakers and we may want to pay an academic/teacher to design the programme.

6. Small babies, partners and children should all be welcome and it should be reasonably easy to accommodate them as I think some of the Cambridge Colleges offer B&B during the holidays. Could be wrong there.

That's more than a few points. Perhaps all ex-classicists are excessively strident! blush

LRDtheFeministDragon Wed 10-Oct-12 16:33:10




Nah, not really. That all sounds excellent, though being a lazy arse I did fancy Oxford.

I'm sure some of the colleges rent out their accommodation out of term, yeah.

TunipTheVegemal Wed 10-Oct-12 16:39:56

Oxford is more central and it's on the crosscountry routes. If someone's coming from the west then Cambridge is a bit of a trek.
Having said that, if Mary is on side she might be able to wangle us a teaching room in the Faculty.

Issy Wed 10-Oct-12 17:12:41

Good point on Oxford being more central. I only went for Cambridge because of the Mary Beard connection. Oxford would be my first choice personally - easier to get to for me and my alma mater. Oxford has an identical set up with a centre that helps you to arrange conferences at the colleges.

Toomuchtea Wed 10-Oct-12 17:23:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

vesela Wed 10-Oct-12 22:49:43

I got my sums wrong as well! It's been 22 years. I'm clearly even more of a lapsed mathematician.

I'd love to do a weekend. For various reasons, would prefer Oxford (although I was at Cambridge). The tutors at St. Hilda's in particular here) look as if they might be up our street - I wonder if any of them would be willing?

LineRunner Wed 10-Oct-12 22:51:30

The whole not good at maths thing - is it the Roman numerals?

LRDtheFeministDragon Wed 10-Oct-12 22:52:35

Oh, damn. You're Michael Gove, aren't you, linerunner.

I've realized I have DH's graduation year wrong too, he's even younger than I admitted.

LineRunner Wed 10-Oct-12 22:59:31

Ha! grin

My nearest political equivalant is certainly not that failed little Cicero-slug.

LRDtheFeministDragon Wed 10-Oct-12 23:07:58


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