Senior Janella Reiswig recounts her experience living the Roman life. The espresso, the monuments, the…LATIN?! yep. Here she is…
“This summer I was honored with the chance to study abroad in Italy with the Living Latin in Rome program though Princeton University. Not only did I get to live my dream by visiting Italy and walking the same roads that the Romans did thousands of years ago, but I was also able to hone my skills in the Latin language by doing just what the program is named for: Living Latin. Yes, folks, I spoke that “dead language” and made it anything but extinct. Sitting at cafés with friends, conversing in Latin over a cup of espresso, that’s the life. It was only improved by the trips we took to sites, such as the Forum, Tiberius’ Grotto, the hills of Rome, St. Peter’s, Vatican city, Virgil’s tomb, and Horace’s villa to name a few. Integrating Latin texts into our daily excursions was also a highlight, my favorite being memorizing parts of Cicero’s Third Catilinarian and reciting it on the spot where he had delivered it so long ago.”
“Sounds like all fun and games, right? For a Classics major, of course, but there was some “work” involved in my summer study abroad experience. I can’t say that it was work for me, since I enjoyed it too much, but we’ll call it that for now. My work consisted of improving my Latin grammar and conversational skills (with some Italian along the way); learning modern and ancient Rome like the back of my hand; and compiling ideas and information for my senior honors thesis back at good ol’ GAC. Now that I’m back on campus, I feel that this summer prepared me immensely for my Latin prose and composition class, as well as gave me an edge in my tutoring and in class teaching as a Latin assistant. I have also become very in tune with my love of teaching because of my experiences this summer and cannot wait to have a classroom of my own some day.
So the big question is: If I could do it again, would I? The answer is simple: YES! I encourage many of my peers to look into the LLiR program and cherish the friends and connections I made while overseas. Finally having gone and seen (and touched!) the monuments and streets that I’ve been studying for so long, all the while speaking the language that filled the air of Rome while it was growing and while it was mighty, was a chance of a lifetime that I would never trade, not even for infinite knowledge about the Greek middle voice!”