Torch: WI - Page 12

classics in college

by paul weiskopf

Salvete Omnes! My name is Paul, and I’ve been involved in the JCL for 5 years. Though I’m no longer a member of the WJCL, as I’ve grown too old, I’m still trying to be as involved in the lives of Latin nerds as possible. Is that weird? Yeah, that's pretty weird. Currently, I'm a sophomore in college, attending Temple University, and though I had no plans going in to study classics, I quickly changed my mind. I guess I did kind of miss high school after all, or at least one aspect of it. Which brings me to the reason I’m writing to you all-- the effect the classics can have on your upcoming college years.

Before high school, I had little to no experience with Latin or the classics, but as soon as I started, I couldn’t stop. (Especially when it came to self-sabotaging my chances at being a state officer. Don’t get mono before you’re supposed to give election speeches, kids!) Back to the point, I knew that classics is a shrinking field-- not as many people studying it after high school, not as much need to practice it, and way too many patronizing family members asking “Isn’t that a dead language?” I of course had other interests-- I’ve always been a huge film fan, loved art, and politics and social issues. What I never realized was that all these interests of mine were also compatible with a classics education.

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I started off at Temple as a film major, taking two film analysis classes, and a

couple of gen eds. I quickly realized something, however-- I missed Latin. I was under the impression that Temple didn’t offer any classics programs, however, I simply hadn’t yet sifted through the mountain of courses and majors offered at Temple. The Temple classics department is small, it exists inside what is essentially a cluster of broom closets, and only has around 150 participants’ however the staff is extremely well-qualified, friendly, and dedicated to keeping the spirit of Rome and Greece alive. My point is, wherever you decide to go, or whatever you decide to do, there is a place for the classics! I’m sure anyone actually reading this piece is already a dedicated fan of Latin, and I assume

some of you boys, girls, and non-binaries are looking into a classics career. I can affirm your fears- there will be obstacles and roadblocks, doubt about your choices, and some really, REALLY, annoying family members. But when these things got in the way of making decisions about what I wanted

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...wherever you decide to go, or whatever you decide to do, there is a place for the classics!