To the editor:
As a Latin teacher, I have often taken students abroad to witness firsthand the landscapes that comprise the backdrop for our society. Before we leave, students attend several classes to learn the history and topography of ancient Rome, as well as a smattering of Italian pleasantries that will encourage them to get involved in their new environment. Students have several buy-ins to the process: They pay their way to visit Rome, memorize 200 years of emperors, complete a blank map of ancient Rome with relevant sites, and prepare two detailed reports on ancient Roman sites. When we land and students sense all that is before them, from the Coliseum to the SPQR-clad manhole covers, it’s as if they’ve uncorked a bottle of 100-year-old wine after reading about grape horticulture.
Entering into a sister city relationship with Iniades, Greece, would unlock still deeper meaning for our students who study abroad. Students would become exposed to a community that simply cannot be experienced here in the States. All of the above-mentioned studies would undoubtedly serve to pique students’ interest and keep them focused while overseas. By living with locals, we would be able to exchange cultures and more deeply experience ancient traditions. Ancient ideals would jump off of bookcases and away from souvenir stands, as we celebrate local festivities, enjoy local produce and accept hospitality of an ancient sort, soaking in the guest-friendship (zenia) that Iniades is offering to us.
Lawrence High School teacher,