This is—by far—my metrical magnum opus, yet that doesn’t mean it’s beyond the reach of Latin 1 students. Forget any meter of mine you’ve ever met. If your pupils haven’t cared much for poor Piso’s poetry, no problem. This book is for them! It basically makes fun of Latin class, and school in general, which is a very different, yet delightful read, and it’s for students. I keep pointing that out because I’ve come to find that a lot of teaching materials are actually written for teachers, who then of course go on to use them with students (my own Piso Workbook included). This book, however, instead is written for students, directly…
“Wait, we have to read…Eutropius…who’s that?! Homework on a Friday?! Class for an hour straight without a break?! Oh no, more tests in Math?! What, no glossary?! Why can’t we just read?! Honestly, I was in bed (but the teacher doesn’t know!)…”
This collection of 33 poems is a humorous yet honest reflection of school, Latin class, homework, tests, Romans, teaching, and remote learning.
What makes this good? Why do I need this? I can answer with some numbers:
I teamed up with Michael Sintros (Duinneall) to create an audiobook accompanying Quintus’ scary night home alone, a personal favorite of my novellas. The ambient music makes for quite the cinematic experience when listening (with or without reading). Just like interactive sound effect reading in the classroom, this audiobook helps “play a movie in your mind” of what you’re listening to/reading—a true sign of comprehension. The music and effects could be straight out of a suspense film. In fact, listen to this at home, in the dark. I dare you! I can’t wait to get back to the classroom next year, set up chairs in a circle, turn off the lights, close the blinds, and recreate a bit of “campfire fright!” Until then, students can stream the audio at home…
This audiobook is available on Bandcamp. If you’re not familiar with that site, it’s basically a donation-based way of musicians getting their music to fans. There’s a suggested cost, usually much lower than its value, so fans can choose to throw a few more dollars towards the musicians if they want to support them a bit more. One great feature is that you can stream the tracks a few times before Bandcamp gets sad. That means students can listen to this Latin without any cost to them whatsoever! Obviously, this is a helpful option right now during remote learning. Back in the classroom, though, you might want to have the albums downloaded so you always have them ready to queue up.
Alternatively, I can send USB thumbdrives with any (or all) of the audio on them. Find those on my Square site with discounts for packs and sets, here.
New Audio Albums For a few years now, there have been three different kinds of audio albums available: an audiobook for Rūfus et arma ātra, a complete Latin learning course for Agrippīna: māter fortis, and rhythmic accompaniment to the poetry of Pīsō Ille Poētulus. Over the past weeks, I’ve added seven additional audio albums of a fourth kind: just narration. These albums give students the opportunity to hear Latin that’s not your voice, which we know is novel in itself. When used in the classroom, these albums can also give you a break, reserving your energy for questions, etc. That’s how I’ve been using the Rūfus et arma ātra Audiobook for the past few years, and will continue to do so with the new albums. Here’s a list of what’s available: