Classical Me Classical Thee (Part 3)

In the fourth chapter, “Behind the Drill: Latin,” Bekah moves on to individual subjects and components of a C&C education, beginning with Latin:

“As you expand your vocabulary, you’re learning much more than lists of words. You’re learning about the universe.

You’re parsing feelings, sensations, actions, categories … You are broadening your mind. This is why studying foreign languages is so good — it expands the benefit of vocabulary study exponentially

But there’s more than just vocabulary building going on when you study another language. There’s also the structure of the language — how the words are put together. And in just the same way that the right word brings greater clarity to your thoughts, so does sentence structure …

That means that you understand with greater precision how to use the English language because you bring that greater understanding back with you from Latin. It’s basically putting a sharper edge on your blade. And Latin is absolutely terrific at doing this because it is an incredibly methodical language. It’s very predictable and very methodical and extremely specific — and this means that it provides that mental sharpening unbelievably well …

even if you forget all the Latin chants you’ve ever had to memorize and you never go on to learn any other languages — your mind has already been shaped, expanded, and sharpened by your study of Latin, even if you haven’t noticed it happening …

When you come out the other end of the chute after years of this, you will have a brain that is more organized, discerning, attuned to nuance, and capable of saying exactly what you want to say … and (this is the most important part) your mind will have been trained to do that even if you forget all the Latin you ever studied.”

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