CAMWS Committee for the Promotion of Latin
This was a transitional year for both the CPL chair and the committee. Cathy Daugherty finished her successful term as chair in April, 1997, and handed the committee over to Tom Sienkewicz, whose task was made easier by the excellent state of organization in which Cathy left CPL and by the help and encouragement of the many regional and state/provincial CAMWS vice-presidents. With both a new chair and new members, the CPL committee itself has spent considerable time, by both ground- and e-mail, reflecting on its purpose and possible future projects, especially for the next millennium.
The first four topics represent the CPL goals for 1997-1998.
1.) Increased and more geographically diverse CPL grant requests:
Seventeen awards, representing fourteen states and eight regions, have been approved. Perhaps next year Canada and the Southeast regions will also be represented. These grants represent a variety of exciting projects: pedagogical materials for Latin students in inner-city Detroit, promotional materials for a small college program in Minnesota, certamen materials in Illinois, Kentucky, and Minnesota, seed money for a JCL meeting in West Virginia, pedagogical materials in Colorado and New Mexico, a public lecture in Louisiana, mailings in Tennessee and Ohio, and a legionnary reenactment at a regional certamen in Virginia. While one event supported by a CPL award had to be canceled eventually, all of the $3,500.00 budgeted for CPL grants in 1997-98 has been encumbered and several worthwhile projects remain unfunded.
The CPL committee has been considering ways to become more
pro-active in regard to promotional grants. Instead of leaving the initiative
entirely up to individuals, the committee would like to find ways to promote
Latin more actively in CAMWS territory by working with state Classical
organizations, political groups, and the general public.
2.) Increased communication and brainstorming among CAMWS vice-presidents:
E-mail has proved to be an effective means of communication as more and more CAMWS vice-presidents get e-mail addresses. Considerable CPL business has been conducted electronically, not only among members of the committee itself, but in communications among vice-presidents. The CPL chair has sent out numerous electronic messages to regional and state vice-presidents in addition to the more traditional letters sent by ground mail. A similar pattern is occurring on the regional and state/provincial level as more and more people obtain e-mail accounts.
The CPL chair has gathered basic information about state organizations, including the names and addresses of presidents, dates of annual meetings, newsletter editors and addresses, etc., as well as information about state standards for the teaching of Latin. This has proven to be only partially successful, perhaps because some states and regions are less formally organized than others. It might be worth considering for CPL to help the less organized areas to work together to produce multi-state newsletters and create multi-state organizations where there are insufficient numbers for individual states to do so.
The revolution in electronic communication has also resulted in the creation of an impressive number of websites by state organizations in CAMWS territory. These include:
CAC (Classical Association of Canada): http://www.trentu.ca/faculty/cac/welcome.html
Classics websites in the CAMWS region: http://126.96.36.199/classics/hpdircamws.html
3.) Increased number of applications for CAMWS scholarships and awards:
This goal is now more appropriately the concern of the membership committee, although the CPL committee and its chair recognize the effectiveness of these activities in promoting Latin in CAMWS territory. State and regional vice-presidents, of course, are encouraged to publicize these opportunities in their state newsletters and at meetings.
4.) Anticipating trouble:
CPL has addressed a number of difficult situations in CAMWS territory with mixed success. CPL has worked with and written letters for Classicists at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, where the university senate voted to close all undergraduate programs, including Classics, in the School for Languages, Literatures and Comparative Literary Studies (SLLCLS), at George Mason University in Virginia where a new technological thrust has threatened a dynamic Classics program, and at Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa, and at Muncie Central High School in Muncie, Indiana. While members of the CPL committee certainly recognize the need to do such trouble-shooting, they are hopeful that in the future the committee can also focus on some success stories, perhaps by circulating information about thriving Latin programs which can be used as models by others. It is also important for CAMWS in general, and CPL in particular, to remember that while CPL is interested in the promotion and preservation of Latin programs, it is not a union representative and should not deal with personnel matters in any way.
It is the view of members of the CPL committee that trouble-shooting should no longer be an annual goal of CPL. Certainly, the committee needs to respond when programs are in jeopardy, but it would also be appropriate for the committee celebrate the accomplishments of excellent teachers and students in the CAMWS territory. The committee is in process of considering ways to accomplish this long-term goal.
5.) CPL Panels for CAMWS meetings
This yearís CPL panel is devoted to recent work on Latin teaching standards at the state and national level. At this panel representatives from four states will describe their experiences in working with standards, summarize their state standards, and offer advice to Classicists who face similar tasks in their own states. CPL is presently considering the possibility of sponsoring a panel at the Southern section of CAMWS next fall in Waco, Texas, possibly on methodology in general and on the newly published Latin for the Twenty-First Century, edited by Richard LaFleur. Plans for the CPL panel in Cleveland in 1999 presently center around ways for Classicists to reach out to broader constituencies in their classes.
6. Promotional Materials
The CPL committee is quite pleased with the initial reaction to its new promotional flyer entitled "Latin: Try it--youíll like it!", which was prepared by last yearís CPL and which owes a great deal to last yearís CPL committee, and to Cathy Daugherty and Anne Groton in particular. The committee is also discussing the possibility of reproducing a number of other promotional materials including Bruce Johnsonís Presentation to the Classical Association of Minnesota meeting November 2, 1997: "Reflections of a Casual Classicist" (also known as "Eight Reasons to Study Latin"); and "Mini-Pages" about Greece and Rome published in some local newspapers by Universal Press Syndicate.
In general, 1997-1998 has been a good year for the promotion of Latin in CAMWS territory. CPL is fortunate to have a cadre of outstanding state and regional vice-presidents who pursue their tasks tirelessly and enthusiastically. States where numbers are small make up for the numbers with extra effort in regard to promotion. Many of the larger states continue to maintain their momentum. No state, province or region, however, can afford to rest on its laurels as CPL looks towards the promotion of Latin in a new century and a new millennium.
Thomas J. Sienkewicz, Chair
This material was posted on the web by CPL Chair, Tom Sienkewicz, at Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois. If you have any questions, you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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