Gratias maximas omnibus! Thank you to all of you for filling out the student survey. The information you provided helps us to get to know you a little better and it helps us to shape your GLA experience.
I wanted to take the time to answer some of the questions you asked in the survey.
Q: What's your favorite part about GLA?
A: For me personally, and I think I can speak for the rest of the staff too, my favorite part of GLA is the people. The GLA staff is INCREDIBLE. The teachers and RAs are knowledgable about all things Latin and they are fantastic human beings. And then add in you all, the students?! I mean, it doesn't get any better than that! Getting to work with brilliant people like you fills my heart with joy.
Q: Will there ever be even a possibility of a physical meet-up, or is that not going to happen at all this year?
A: Unfortunately, there is no in-person element to GLA this year. While we're all sad to not get to be together in person, we have a great program planned for you! You'll take two classes a day and also read Latin for a little bit every day. And then there are optional social events every afternoon to give you a chance to connect with each other!
Q: Are there any materials we will need for class?
A: A computer, a decent internet connection, and knowledge of when you're expected to be on Zoom for GLA activities. (See the calendar in the materials section). And of course enthusiasm and willingness to participate in our activities!
Q: Is there anything I should do in preparation for GLA?
A: Check out this blog every few days as we lead up to GLA. Staff members will be posting about themselves and the activities they're leading. This will help you get to know us and know what to expect! We'll also be updating the blog during GLA to keep a record of our activities.
Q: Will we be practicing conversational Latin? If so, what pronunciation?
A: We will be! You'll have three conversation Latin classes over the two weeks (check out the calendar in the materials section). We use the classical pronunciation, but it's totally fine if you learned a different way! Oh also on the second to last day we'll play a spoken Latin game for our social activity called "Latinae Minutiae." This is our only mandatory social activity and I promise you'll have fun!
Q: How much time will we spend studying Greek over the course of the program?
A: On the first day, you'll learn the Greek alphabet. Then you'll have three Greek classes over the course of our two weeks together (check out the calendar in the materials section). It's just enough time to get your feet wet and to see how cool ancient Greek is!
Q: How does the Latin Academy change between each year? Do the kids influence ideas for upcoming years?
A: This is actually a complicated question! The short answer is yes, GLA does change each year. We pick a new theme every year and that changes the way we approach some of our activities. We also take notes as a staff on things that went well and things that didn't so we can make positive changes in the following year. We definitely did that last year when GLA went online for the first time. We've made quite a few changes from last summer! At the end of each Academy, we have our students take a survey to give us feedback, and we use that feedback to make changes. For example, last year's virtual students requested Greek, conversational Latin, social activities, and synchronous activities, all of which we've implemented for this summer!
Q: Why did you want to take and continue to pursue Latin?
A: I'm going to hold off on answer this one for now. At the end of the first week of GLA, you'll have a chance to submit questions like this to the staff that we'll answer in an event called "De Vita Classica."
I hope this was helpful to you! Feel free to ask more questions in the comments or send me an email with any questions you have.
This blog with document the 2021 session of the Virginia Governor's Latin Academy.