Walking around the ancient city of Rome, visiting all the historical monuments and sites, and feeling the low buzz of Roman life swell around her, senior Marnie O’Boyle was experiencing life as a native latin speaker, and enjoying every minute of it. In Fall of the last year, O’Boyle signed up for the five week summer course Living Latin in Rome led by the Paideia Institute. She traveled to Rome with fellow students who were also enrolled in the course, and their latin experience began as they touched the ground.
As the course is quite costly, all of the enrolled students were genuinely interested in the Latin language, and took their experience seriously.
“I really liked it,” O’Boyle said. “Everyone there really likes Latin, enough that they would choose to spend some of their free time during the summer going there, so it was really enjoyable.”
Although she admits that Latin is a part of her life, O’Boyle said that she will not be pursuing a career in Latin further in the future.
“That’s just not something that draws me professionally,” she said. “But I definitely want to keep practicing Latin.”
One of the major components of the camp that drew O’Boyle to enroll was the fact that the course emphasized on the students speaking Latin.
“In most Latin classes, you traditionally just read texts all the times, so a lot of people don’t worry about speaking latin or having conversations too much,” she said. “But the people at Paideia Institute were really passionate about that.”
However, due to the fact that most Latin classes don’t enforce speaking in the language, many of the students had some trouble with talking in Latin.
“They slowly built up the talking more and more since so many people weren’t used to it,” O’Boyle said. “But by the end of the trip we were having classes where we would be speaking entirely in Latin.”
When the students were not in classrooms learning conversational Latin, they were out on the streets learning about and visiting all of Rome’s historical sites.
“We would talk about stuff that was relative to the Roman empire and Roman republic, before Italy was a thing,” O’Boyle said. “We would talk about the history of the Roman empire and everything, and sometimes we would do that in english, and sometimes in Latin.”
This major emphasis on Latin speaking was a large part of the program in order to bring together the Latin culture and language for the students in a way to educate them about the history and current culture of Rome.
“The trip was called ‘Living Latin in Rome’, so it was living more like a latin speaker, rather than just reading a bunch of Caesar,” O’Boyle said. “It’s just more enjoyable that way to me, and it was just really cool experience.”
Written by Jade Berry