Hi everybody, I'm glad to be back in action here at Fireside... I took some time off from everything (WHEW!!!) and then I got involved in some fabulous new projects - which actually give me some real hope for the expanding world of Latin online. One of these projects might be of interest to folks here at Fireside - a wonderful Latin teacher, Justin Schwamm, is about to launch an online Latin course (something we really need online - you'd think there'd be lots of such things already, but there aren't), and he's been blogging some pedagogical background for his project here: Tres Columnae.

Then, the "locutorium" chat room at Evan's Latin Ning, Schola, is going beautifully - although it's all in Latin, those of you who like chatroom and online conferencing might want to take a look - it's a Ning plug-in which Evan found and which allows both written chat AND audio/video chat: Viva Voce. So, I've been participating there, too, in a new project where I am transcribing some little "Bible dialogues" from a 17th-century book and then sharing them around with folks at the chat room. What fun! I am expecting such good things to come in 2010! :-)

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Comment by Evan Millner on January 2, 2010 at 9:10pm
Hi Laura.
I really enjoyed your session with Castellion, and everyone else really enjoyed themselves. Next time, it will flow more smoothly - we had so many people in the room - more than ever before.

We've been doing a lot of this meeting up this week - meeting up to read and discuss a text in Latin - after all, there is only so much shooting the breeze one can do. It helps to have couple of die-hard insomniacs to keep the place ticking over, and we have those too.

We've got an ongoing group going reading Schola Ludus, ( a delightful seventeenth century text, for those who don't know of COMENIUS, whch takes the school curriculum, and presents it as a drama production - we've been doing the section on botany) Today, in a digression from Comenius,, Iacove and I started reading Carolus Linnaeus' introductory student textbook, called Philosophica Botanicae. (None of this could be done without google books, so it is a wonderful syngergy of technologies all melding together - we can all open the same eighteenth century textbook book, on the same page, anywhere in the world, and read from it together. Amazing)
It is really good to read, and we've been having a lot of fun reading out all the numerical references aloud- its so hard reading dates in Latin when you're not used to them. Our next project will be a mathematics textbook. Ouch. I hate maths, but I might actually get to like it, in Latin....

This is the wonderful thing about the chatroom - it becomes a schoolroom, a lecture room, a study hall. It is great to read a text, and discuss it in Latin using the Socratic method, looking up words, etc, it makes reading and studying into a delightful social activity - so many of us struggle alone reading in out studies in isolation, it is WONDERFUL to meet up regularly with like minded people, and study together.
This week, I've spoken far more Latin than English - indeed, there was one day there last week, where I spoke not a word of English all day - all thanks to NING. Wonderful thing, this NING.
It is all your fault I even found about it in the first place.
Comment by Connie Weber on December 31, 2009 at 2:05pm
Yeah, a New Year is always pretty thrilling, so full of hope, new beginnings, lots of champagne. (Actually my favorite drink lately is Bailey's Irish Creme!)
I've been tracking wild turkeys in my area, and that made me think of you and your wild turkeys--are they around? One day I was not pleased to find them hanging out in the yard under the bird feeder (I like them at more of a distance), so I sent the dog out to greet them. That was very exciting! My son said, "I didn't even know those things could fly!" Fly they did... in a positive turkey explosion! And they're staying in the woods and fields now, not coming up to the house for handouts.
What are your turkeys up to?
Comment by Laura Gibbs on December 31, 2009 at 1:25pm
Hi Connie, I love the New Year - just the whole sense of beginning, but also the sense of the circular re-occurrence of the holiday year after year, is something I find so encouraging and soothing at the same time. I think it is my favorite holiday: not to mention that I LOVE champagne, ha ha. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! :-)
Comment by Connie Weber on December 31, 2009 at 1:00pm
Laura, you're always up to good stuff... Great finds here; nice to hear about the expanding world of Latin online.
Missed you while you were taking a break! But we always know you'll be back with adventures and reflections to share.
Happy New Year! (I wonder if Ian will tell us what the new decade feels like, since he's already in it?!)

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