CANE


Promoting the CANE Writing Contest 1

As I’m sure you know from the announcements, the deadline for the CANE Writing Contest is December 15th, which means NOW is a great time to introduce it to your students.  Today’s guest post is by Ruth Breindel, a teacher at the Moses Brown School in Providence, RI, who explains how she integrates the Writing Contest into her curriculum.


Do you want a really good way to get your students to perfect their English writing skills? Or does your school mandate that all students need to do writing in English, no matter the course? The CANE Writing Contest is a wonderful way to satisfy these needs.

Some background: the writing contest is open to all high school students who take Classics. (Middle School teachers – see the end of the article for a special offer just for your students!) The topic is set by the President of CANE, published in NECJ in August, and is also on the web. The parameters are very straightforward: write about the topic!  A student can write an essay, poem, dramatic piece, or short story.  All entries must be 700 words or less.  You, the teacher, pick the 3 best papers from your students and send them to the CANE State Representative, who will judge all the papers for your state, and send the one winning essay on to the CANE President-Elect, who will pick the overall winner.  See the link at the top of this post for contest details and where to send your entries!

So how do I use the contest? I give the students the topic about a month before I want the paper. Since I can’t help them write the paper, I discuss, in general terms, what they can write about.

For example, for this year’s topic, After Adversity: Survival, Recovery and Renewal in the Ancient World, I spoke about it with each class based on what they had read. The first year class has been reading about Aeneas, so they know that he had to leave Troy, travel a great distance, and face hardships.

The second year class, which has read lots of stories, could write about Manlius and the Sacred Geese, or Regulus and his sense of honor and renewal (even those he is killed most cruelly by the Carthaginians, his name lives on).

The third year class, if they can bear to think about Cicero and Catiline again, have a ready-made topic right there! My fourth year/AP class has book one of the Aeneid and we have just begun book 2 – this topic is really made for them! And the advanced class can discuss Catullus and Lesbia – the mind boggles!

If you meet resistance, explain to them that the first place in New England prize is an Amazon gift card – that goes a long way to winning kids over. In addition, this year we are authorizing the state Representative to grant CANE membership to the first place winner in the state, even if that person doesn’t win the grand prize.  For students, this means they’ll receive issues of NECJ and be introduced to the world of classical scholarship!

Next, I count the papers as either a test or a quiz. The things the kids come up with are fascinating – they have great imaginations, and when doing creative writing can really make a topic most interesting. Creative writing is different for my students, since they are used to doing analytical papers in English and history; this is a good change for them, and allows them to use a different part of their brain.

What is the downside? Well, of course you have to read them! But it is fun to see what they come up with, and if you can keep yourself from making grammatical corrections (we all know they don’t learn any English grammar in English class), you’ll have fun. Use a simple grading system: A for being on topic and interesting; B for noticing there is a topic and maybe not being as much fun. C is for sloppy work that really doesn’t answer the question, or does so only grudgingly. D or F is for not using the topic – and yes, I’ve had that happen too. However, mostly this is a good chance to give an A or B to students, especially those who might need a boost in their averages (and we all have those kids, too).

The other downside is that you need to give them a night or so without other homework to write the paper. How you do that is up to the homework policy of your school. My view is that I’m giving them a month – get going, kids! Remind them once a week or so that the paper will be due, and they usually rise to the challenge.

Give it a try – it might be great for the kids and you!

AND: Middle School teachers can assign the same topic, read the papers and pick their favorite one, and CANE will send you a certificate to give your student.


Announcements for 27 April

CANE

  • The theme for the 2014 CANE Summer Institute is “On the Shoulders of Giants”: Greco-Roman Giants and their Modern Emulators.”  Register now!
  • May 1st is the deadline to apply for the next installment of CANE Discretionary Funds. Use it for classroom materials, a certamen machine, anything you can get long-term use from! Apply to the Immediate Past President.
  • It isn’t too early to pay membership dues for the 2014-2015 school year.

BEYOND CANE

Conferences/Meetings

  • ”The spring meeting of CAM is Saturday, May 3, 2014 and will be held at Westwood High School (200 Nahatan St, Westwood, MA). The theme of the meeting will be “All Things Augustus” — appropriate for the year in which we celebrate (sive commemorate) the 2000th anniversary of his death. CLIPEUS also plans to hold a Prandium Latinum there!
  • The 15th Wyoming Summer Classics Institute, held in Laramie, Wyoming from June 15-20, is called “The Emperor and the Philosopher: Nero, Seneca, and Their World.” Download their flyer for more information!

Meetups and Certamina

  • CLIPEUS is running several Latin speaking meetups in Boston. Check the link for more information.
  • THE BROOKLINE CERTAMEN
    (formerly The 2766 Certamen)
    This Certamen, held May 31st at Brookline High School, is open to any student who has not placed 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in a Certamen in Massachusetts by April 1 of the 2013-2014 school year. All questions will be based on the National Latin Exam syllabus. There will be no final rounds: everybody will play all four rounds, with total points determining the winners. Rank pitting after the first round means that teams of similar abilities will play against each other. Register at the above link by May 12th, please!

Summer Opportunities

  • Registration for this summer’s American Classical League Summer Institute in Williamsburg, VA is now open.
  • SALVI’s Rusticatio Latin July 2014 immersion weeks and pedagogy seminars are filling up fast. Act now if you’re interested in attending!
  • McGill is offering a summer course in Classical Studies in June and July. Check out their flyer.
  • The American Institute for Roman Culture (AIRC) has a 2014 schedule for its Summer and Fall study abroad programs, and include Media Studies, Art History, and Field School Excavations.
  • Do your students ask you how they can improve their Latin? Do they ask you about summer opportunities in Latin or ancient history? Calder Classics invites students entering grades 9 through 12 to join us in Rome in July 20 – August 3, 2014. Over the course of a 2-week program, the Classics will come alive through the study of Latin, exploration of ancient and modern sites and immersion in daily Italian life. Calder’s small, personalized programs of 6-8 students allow us to provide individual instruction to each student in both Latin and ancient history.
  • Do you have a passion for Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance Latin? Would you like to improve the speed and fluency with which you read Latin? Then join the immersion program at the Conventiculum Bostoniense, taught by experts in Classical and Neo-Latin from both Europe and the United States. You can also earn graduate credit, by taking one of our two week-length courses. Find more information and application materials here:https://sites.google.com/site/conventiculumbostoniense

Jobs

  • Latin Instructor: Hopkins School, an independent, college-preparatory day school in New Haven, is seeking a part-time Latin instructor for the grade 7 introductory course. Instructor would work in close collaboration with other teachers of the same course, using Ecce Romani, 4th edition. Qualifications: A BA, grades 7-12 teaching experience and excellent Latin language skills are strongly preferred. Post-secondary teaching experience will be considered. Master’s For more information about Hopkins School, please visit our website www.hopkins.edu. If you would like to apply for this position, please contact: 203.397.1001 x118 or academicopening@hopkins.edu

30 March Announcements

CANE

BEYOND CANE

Conferences/Meetings

    • ”The spring meeting of CAM has been tentatively scheduled for Saturday, May 3, 2014 and will be held at Westwood High School (200 Nahatan St, Westwood, MA). The theme of the meeting will be “All Things Augustus” — appropriate for the year in which we celebrate (sive commemorate) the 2000th anniversary of his death.”

Meetups

      • CLIPEUS is running several Latin speaking meetups in Boston. Check the link for more information.

Summer Opportunities

      • Registration for this summer’s American Classical League Summer Institute in Williamsburg, VA is now open.
      • SALVI’s Rusticatio Latin July 2014 immersion weeks and pedagogy seminars are filling up fast. Act now if you’re interested in attending!
      • McGill is offering a summer course in Classical Studies in June and July. Check out their flyer.
      • The American Institute for Roman Culture (AIRC) has a 2014 schedule for its Summer and Fall study abroad programs, and include Media Studies, Art History, and Field School Excavations.
      • ”Do you have a passion for Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance Latin? Would you like to improve the speed and fluency with which you read Latin? Then join the immersion program at the Conventiculum Bostoniense, taught by experts in Classical and Neo-Latin from both Europe and the United States. You can also earn graduate credit, by taking one of our two week-length courses. Find more information and application materials here:https://sites.google.com/site/conventiculumbostoniense

Jobs

  • Latin Instructor: Hopkins School, an independent, college-preparatory day school in New Haven, is seeking a part-time Latin instructor for the grade 7 introductory course. Instructor would work in close collaboration with other teachers of the same course, using Ecce Romani, 4th edition. Qualifications: A BA, grades 7-12 teaching experience and excellent Latin language skills are strongly preferred. Post-
    secondary teaching experience will be considered. Master’s For more information about Hopkins School, please visit our website www.hopkins.edu. If you would like to apply for this position, please contact: 203.397.1001 x118 or academicopening@hopkins.edu