alter ego learns latin

For some time now, my alter ego has desired to surpass the status quo.

This alter ego, has wanted to build up its curriculum vitae, and achieve summa cum laude.

Ergo, I’ve wanted to learn latin.

Someone once told me that in order to be interesting, one must have interests.

I have since been gathering an unwritten list of interesting things I would like to do, try, learn et cetera.

Quickly, I have realised that tempus fugit and unless you carpe diem, you will never be able to say “veni, vidi, vici”, “I came, I saw, I conquered”

Yet circa late January, I could, verbatim.

I took up the class 1A at the Latin Summer School held at the University of Sydney.

My prima farcie was one of fright.

The stuffy college hall was filled with wrinkled people ab initio back at their alma mater.

As the twenty-three year old student, I felt like the young persona no grata and what had been a good idea a priori, seemed de facto, the opposite.

This was mea culpa. While the vox populi of my friends called from the beach, I remembered I had chosen to do this.

Yet as we moved into classes, a swarm of young School students came filling in the seats.

I don’t know where they had been in that first stuffy lecture. It was as if they came ex nihilo.

It was not just that they were young, per se, that made me excited, but it was the fact they coloured in the spectrum of people interested in learning.

My classmates, old and young, shared their stories of why they were at the course. Some were returning to the language, some returning with a tabula rasa.

Others were there, caveat emptor, looking for help with their law terms.

One new friend was learning the language for his magnus opus, needing to understand latin terms for his PhD in Jesuit music in Japan.

The vox populi, young and old, of the cohort now sang of interesting people with interests in learning.

Together, these were people who could hold onto the fine particles of a language that may one-day requiescat in pace. They too could maintain that this be a language for viva voce.

I chanted with them, “amo, amas, amat” ad naseum.

The week came and went with reading and speaking declensions and conjugations and vice versa.

I wandered through the Nicholson Museum as students attempted to use their new knowledge to uncover what was ignito.

A posteriori, I realise that although latin is a dead language, it is one that can be used to uncover interesting stories both before and after anno domini.

After all this, “qui bono?” from a Latin Summer School in the heat?

I would probably answer, “my more interesting ego”, the one who realises how tempus fugit.

And next summer, perhaps I’ll take up another interest in situ. Who was it that said ex astris scientia? From the stars, knowledge. Perhaps I’ll take up astronomy. Et tu Brutus?


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