Academia Thules staff recruitment: Join the Fac. Litterarum!

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Academia Thules staff recruitment: Join the Fac. Litterarum!

Postby A. Gratius Avitus on Fri Jul 07, 2006 4:58 pm

Avitus Latinistis optimis suís S·P·D

The Academia Thules
(parts of the site undergoing refurbishment) is an independent institution of learning about all things Roman which, following very positive discussions with the curatores of the Societas Via Romana, is looking forward to developing increasingly closer ties with it. I am now writing to you as Decanus Facultatis Litterarum of the Academia Thules, and in an adhoc capacity as an envoy of the Triumviri of the Academia, to announce the following.

The Facultas Litterarum of the Academia Thules has been extremely successful and grown tremendously in the last couple of years. Different Latin language courses (two rather grammar oriented ones, based on Wheelock's method, which will next academic year be called "Grammatica Latina [I and II]", and three others rather active-usage oriented ones, based on Desessard's method, which will next academic year be called "Sermo Latinus [I and II and I&II]"), plus an introduction to classical Graeco-Latin literature (called "Litterae
Classicae"), are now in place and running. We are expecting the number of students for those courses to rise once more next year in a similar proportion as they have so far been growing, and we would also like to enlarge the provision of courses offered by the faculty to cater for further interests.

We need more staff to be able to do this and we are sure that in this Collegium there are many people who should be perfectly ready to assist with correcting, marking and of course teaching some courses, and who would surely find the experience a very enjoyable and enriching one. Remember that we are all volunteers here, and that it's our enthusiasm for the culture of our ancestors that alone makes all of this possible.

I would like to invite you therefore first of all to have a very close look at, and in fact peruse in detail, the main page of the Facultas Litterarum ... itterarum/
There you will find an outline of our project, as well as details of the courses offered at present (those named above) and of some of the ones we would like to be able to offer in the hopefully near future. A more detailed description of presently running courses (with the old course names) is still only to be found in the previous site
but forseen courses are only on the new one.

First of all, if you've read the page carefully, you will realise that our project is to establish a Latin faculty where Latin is the working language. No one in this Collegium should need much persuading about the fact that we have inherited from our ancestors a glorious language that knows no limits in space or time and that it should be adopted as our common language. Mastering that language makes all the more sense when we are talking about a context of learning about all things Roman and accessing the Roman sources directly in their Latin original. All members of Facultas Litterarum staff are therefore expected to be able to communicate in Latin. In order to ensure this ability, all candidates are requested to have completed (or be prepared to follow next academic year) our Sermo Latinus I&II course, which is also the best possible way to familiarise themselves with the teaching practice and quality standards at the Facultas Litterarum. People competent enough in classical philology to be able to teach a course should have absolutely no problem to surf through our Sermo Latinus I&II as a matter of fact.

Of course, not all courses will be taught in Latin. Other language courses, like our proposed Greek, Sanskrit, Hebrew or Celtic Languages ones, can be taught in different vernaculars, especially in the lower levels; but the majority of our courses, namely all Latin related ones, especially at the intermediate and advanced levels, should be expected to be taught in the language. For one thing, our spoken Latin courses have produced, and will go on to produce, considerable amounts of Latin speakers with Spanish mother tongue who know no English or other vernaculars, as well as Latin speakers with English mother tongue who know no Spanish or other vernaculars, and eventually many other such combinations will arise. It only makes sense that all those students go on to be taught in the only language they now goriously have in common, the language of our Roman forefathers, our own language, Latin.

After having read the faculty's page, I would like briefly to send you now to the Open Positions page, where you will find a description of the two types of position we are hoping to fill, and an application form. PLEASE DO NOT COMPLETE THE APPLICATION FORM until we have clarified further through this forum the needs of the faculty, and have started discussions with the candidates. The forms would just end up in my hands in any case. The Open Positions page is

Basically we need, first of all, people to help with the correction and marking of homework and tests. It is, once again, obvious that they must have a level of Latin good enough to be able to do this with confidence. We are in desperate need for such assistants. The ever growing number of students joining our courses means that we are starting to struggle to cope with the corrections and the marking, and this is jeopardising the continuity of the courses we offer. If we don't find help, we might have to discontinue some of them or limit the number of students, either option being rather unfortunate when they are being so successful.

Other than that, we need volunteers to write and teach the other courses we wish to offer, or any other ones prospective teachers themselves would like to propose. Although present members of staff, for the reasons given above, are too busy to be likely to be able to offer any new courses in the near future, we have been counting on you all to build up a curriculum worth of a proper faculty of languages and literature in the Roman context. As I said, we are all volunteers here, and it's our enthusiasm for this Roman cultural project that is alone going to make it at all possible or otherwise. We have, for instance, included in our list possible future courses like "Latinitas Forensis", which we thought our Jus Romanum expert, A. Apollonius Cordus, could one day find the time to teach; or "Linguae Celticae", which our Celtic languages expert, Cn. Salvius Astur, once suggested. I have also included a "Compositio Latina I" course, which someone like my soon completing student Johannes Patruus has given me more than enough evidence to understand he would be quite qualified to teach. Other courses have been proposed just because they are basically essential for any self-respecting Latinist. We need teachers for all of those. Please be particularly aware that teaching is not a mere one-direction process, it is also an enriching learning experience. All teachers will, in the process of preparing and teaching their courses (including answering queries), be themselves learning loads about the subject matter they like and so have chosen to teach. It is a great opportunity for all, believe me! Expertus dico!

You have to be aware, furthermore, that once a course has been designed and written, it will be uploaded onto a system that will provide the lessons to the students automatically (new software to be used next year); so, after the first year of test running, teaching will become much less taxing, and there will only remain the need to answer students queries, which, if the course is well designed, shouldn't be that many. Other than correcting and marking homework and tests, that is.

Not only are there two types of positions we need to fill (corrector/marker and teacher), which could of course be done by different but also by the same people. There are two main types of courses as well. Some of them are more along the lines of what is traditionally understood by teaching, and require writing a series of lessons to be delivered in progression (we call them lecture courses); but others are what we call book courses, where students just read one or more set books on their own and are then examined about them. Of course, this second type of courses requires much less effort from the teachers, who have to write no lessons (lectures) themselves, but just answer student queries, if any, and prepare and mark an exam for the end. Many such book courses have been proposed in our list, but others can be proposed too. Of course the teachers must be very well familiarised with the book/s they are proposing to offer a book course about. We don't envisage requiring correcting/marking assisstance for teachers of those courses.

The next academic year is closer than you think, and the summer is a great chance for any volunteers to start planning and writing their courses and/or exams. We can contribute to create a great cultural enterprise if we want to. It's all in our hands. Don't be shy!

Please come back through this thread with any feedback and your proposals and applications.

Curate ut valeatis!
A. Gratius Avitus

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