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Latin on My First May 4th

For some reason, this morning I woke too early. Even more strange: I was actually rewarded for lying there and scrolling through Twitter before getting up. Legonium had posted their illustrated Bella Stellaria Pars Quarta: Spes Nova. It was nice to have the opportunity read through those gorgeous slides, but this turned out to be just the prelude to my first memborable May the 4th. I didn’t grow up watching Star Wars, but after today I’m going to make time for them this summer.

As I was sitting down to prep for today’s classes, one of my colleagues messaged us about how we prefer to say “live stream” in Latin. “Where is he going with this?” Well, we ended up combining our classes as he Twitch streamed and played a PS4 Star Wars game for us. We were in the language for almost a full hour, which to me felt like 10 minutes.

The class that I participated in combined a Latin 2 and a Latin 1A. It was awesome how Hayden kept his description of the game play comprehensible for my Latin 1A students, while the Latin 2 students and I commented in the chatbox. A few of my Latin 1As were brave enough to join in the chat, as well. Some just watched, which was fine because, of course, that is what 1A is all about — input.

Hayden managed the difficult task of playing the game well while keeping an eye on the chat box and talking almost constantly in Latin. If I heard something I thought my 1A students wouldn’t understand, I would ask “quid significat x” for them. I had a blast making randomish comments tailored to my 1As.

Trans murum ambulat! Vir mirabiliter salit. Milites in manibus caeruleum lumen habent! Caeruleum significat “blue.” [Hayden says lumensis] Quid significat lumensis? Ah, “lightsaber.” Lumensis est rubrus et videtur similis duo gladiis! Vir pugnat sicut “ninja.” Quomodo dicitur “ninja”?

A student suggested occidor for “ninja.” I liked that.

The game itself is gorgeous, the animations were realistic but not gory, and the stream was seamless. This means the activity felt essentially like having control of a movie. You control the main character, and you provide the color commentary for all that is happening in the target language. Hayden provided the narration and dialogue; it was the job of the students (and me) to provide the commentary.

We played for about fifty minutes, debriefed, and for the final ten minutes, students were to write five to seven good Latin sentences about what they saw. It was optional, but if they made a good attempt, it counted as a ten point class grade. By the way, none of this was my idea. I was just happy to cheer on and enjoy Hayden’s good ideas.

I could go on, but suffice it to say this “let’s try something new” activity was a success. I’m grateful for leadership that takes chances in order to strive towards better and best. I’m looking forward to a couple more rounds tomorrow before we jump back into our novella and wrap up the year.

Oh, and I think we settled on spectatio vivens for “live stream.”