Athens, Greece, Georgia and the prices I charge.

People often ask me, “How can you afford to move to, and live in Europe?”

It’s simple.  Europe is about 40% cheaper than the United States.

I received an email offer from Holiday Lettings.   You could stay in California for about $110 per night.  Texas for about $75.

And… Italy?  Tuscany, Italy?  THE Tuscany, Italy that everyone dreams of visiting?

You could stay there for about $50 per night.

Here’s a fun one.

I went to Airbnb.com.  I plugged in the dates for this weekend.  June 29 – July 3.

I picked two cities.  Athens, Georgia and Athens, Greece.

This is what I got:

The average price for a place to stay in Athens, Greece this weekend is $66.

The average price for a place to stay in Athens, Georgia this weekend is $295.

Not to put too fine a point on it… America is expensive.  The rest of the world is available at a discount…. for the most part.  There are always exceptions, of course.

Flying to Europe is expensive.   Living there is not.

As Tim Ferris points out in the Four Hour Workweek, “… if you can escape the confines of the United States, you will find your money is worth five to ten times as much.”

This, by the way, is why I offer my classes at low prices.  I was born in Europe.  I was raised in Europe.  I am still a British citizen.

I have a very hard time charging high prices just because I am also an American citizen.

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Oh, and one more thing.  Athens, Georgia… you are Athens, Georgia.  You need to stop acting like you are THE Athens.

You aren’t.

Made my day…

I received this note:

Thank you so much for leading us through Henle 2 this past year. I didn’t attend your live online class very much, because I was directing Challenge 2 and juggling many balls at once. Sigh. 

Now, my son is moving on to Challenge 3 and trying to talk me out of having him study Latin this fall. Sigh again.

I have learned to LOVE Latin, and owe much of that to you. Studying Latin has taught me a LOT about English grammar. I see Latin everywhere!

You are a gifted writer, and I have greatly enjoyed your blog posts. I just signed up to continue receiving them, even though we are finished with Henle 2. 

Thank you for helping out all of us desperate CC Latin learners!!

– Tammy

Lingua Latina, Quiz 22

This quiz is to help those going through the Lingua Latina course.  Spot any mistakes?  If so, please let me know…

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  1. Quid est nomen servi qui aperit et claudet ostium?     A)  magister     B) ostiarius     C) tabellarius    D)  domina
  2. Quid est catena?     A) Catena est anuli ferrei inter se coniungitur.     B) Catena poculum aureum est.     C)  Cibum canium est.     D)  Lignum portae est.
  3. Quid faber est?     A) Faber est vir qui res farreas lignasque facit.     B) Faber est vir qui naves naviculasque facit.     C) Faber est vir qui discipulos docet.     D) Faber est deus fabrorum.
  4. Quis Vulcanunus est.     A) Vulcanus deus pulchritudinis est.     B) Vulcanus deus nautarum est.     C) Vulcanus deus fabrorum est.     D) Vulcanus deus of car repairs est .    
  5. .     A)     B)     C)     D)
  6. Num canis tabellarium amat?     A) Eum non amat et ad eum fremit.    B) Canis eum amat.     C) Canis et ianitor eum amant.     D) Omnes Romani tabellarium amant.
  7. Quid est ianitoris officium?     A) Is aperit et claudit bottles.     B) Is navem gubernat.     C) Is aperit et claudit scholam discipulorum.     D) Is aperit et claudit ostium. 
  8. Cur necesse est canem ianitoris vincire?     A) Canis ferox est.    B) Canis pecuniam Julii habet.     C) Canis Marcum pulsat.     D) Canis at bos iratus amici sunt.
  9. Cur canis saliens catena non retinetur?     A) Catena de rosae facta est.     B) Canis combination to the lock scit.     C) Canis catenam rumpit.     D) Bos iratus venit et catenam rumpit.
  10. Ex qua materia constat ianua villae?     A) Cera     B) Lignum     C) Aurum     D) Rosae et lilia
  11. Quid in solo intra limen videtur?     A) Salve     B) Vale     C) Intra et moriris     D) Go away
  12. Quid tabellarius secum fert?     A) Is epistulam fert.     B) Is gladios fert.     C) Is cibum fert.     D) Is rosas fert.
  13. Unde venit Tlepolemus?     A) Is venit the land down under.     B) You’d better run.     C) You’d better take cover.     D) Is venit Tusculo.
  14. Quis facit is qui villam intrare vult?     A) Ianuam pulsat.     B) Is qui intrare vult latrat.     C) Is in ianuam in bove irato vehit.     D) Is epistulam scribit.
  15. Quem Tlepolemus quaerit?     A) Is quaerit Julium.     B) Is quaerit the six fingered man.     C) Is quaerit canem ferocem.     D) Is quaerit Diodorum. 
  16.   Quid facit ianitor antequam tabellarius intrat?     A) Is epistulam ad Diodorum scribit.     B) Is dormit.     C) Is bos iratus in horto vehitur.     D) In impluvio natat cum Quinto.
  17.   Cur tablellarius non statim ianitori respondet?     A) Is epistulas scribit.     B) Is cum cane ludit.     C) Is librum legit.     D) Is dormit.
  18.   Quomodo ianitor e somno excitatur?      A) Is alarm in phone eius habet.     B) Is Julium audit.     C) Tlepolemus eum pulsat.     D) Canis latrat.
  19. Quae imago in solo intra limen videtur?     A) imago canis     B) imago Juliae     C) imago bovis     D) Lingua Latina per se Illustrata
  20. Quid agit Julius post meridiem?     A) Is dormit.     B) Is Galliam oppugnat.     C) Is epistulas respondet.     D) In rosas et lilia in horto carpit.
  21. In Lingua Latina, nomen tabellarii est ___________     A) Diodorus     B) Tlepolemus     C) Cleopatralemus     D) Peter MacQuackery
  22. Ostiarius tabellarius ___________ monet.    A) de cane feroce     B) de Aemilia feroce     C) de Julia     D) de the bad economy
  23. Anulus ex auro factus est anulus ___________     A) aureus     B) ligneus     C) aquaeus     D) ferreus
  24. Ianua e ligno facta est ___________     A) ianua ligneum     B) ianua lignea     C) ianua ligneus     D) ianuary
  25. Postquam Julius in agris ambulavit ___________ it.     A) ambulatum     B) navigatum     C) pugnatum     D) lavatum
  26. Nocte Julius et familia eius ___________ eunt.     A) ambulatum     B) navigatum     C) dormitum     D) lavatum
  27. Quae est puella pulcherrima.  Difficile est ___________.     A) dictu     B) auditu     C) creditu     D) ambulatu
  28. Non difficile est vocem lupi ___________.     A) visum     B) auditu     C) laudatu     D) tranquillatu
  29. Cum sunt apud adjectivis ‘facilis’ et ‘difficilis’, verba supinum desinit cum litteris ___________     A) -tu    B) -tum     C) -tu vel -tum    D) Looney toons
  30. Verba supinum desinit literras ___ aut ___.     A) -tus aut -tum     B) -tum aut -ta     C) -tu aut -tum     D) King Tut
  31. Fero __________     A) I carry     B) you carry     C) he, she, or it carries     D) they carry
  32. Fert __________     A) I carry     B) you carry     C) he, she, or it carries     D) they carry
  33. Ferimus __________     A) I carry     B) you carry     C) he, she, or it carries     D) we carry
  34. Fertis __________     A) We carry     B) you (pl.) carry     C) they carry     D) Everyone carries
  35. Ferunt __________     A) We carry     B) you (pl.) carry     C) they carry     D) Everyone carries
  36. Ferre __________     A) You (sing.) carry!    B) You (pl.) carry!     C) to carry     D) we carry
  37. Fer! __________     A) You (sing.) carry!    B) You (pl.) carry!     C) to carry     D) we carry
  38. Ferte! __________     A) You (sing.) carry!    B) You (pl.) carry!     C) to carry     D) we carry
  39. Fertur __________     A) I carry     B) I am carried     C) he is carried     D) they are carried
  40. Feruntur __________     A) I carry     B) I am carried     C) he is carried     D) they are carried
  41. Ostiarius __________    A) ianitor    B) gubernator     C) magister     D) tabellarius
  42. Sicut __________     A) enim     B) num     C) nonne     D) ut
  43. Accedere __________     A) venire     B) abire     C) interrogare     D) navigare
  44. Deridere __________     A) to mock     B) to believe     C) to know     D) to hope
  45. Foras __________     A) outside     B) inside     C) topside     D) seaside
  46. Fremere __________     A) to believe     B) to see     C) to smile     D) to growl
  47. Imago __________     A) image     B) likeness     C) appearance     D) all of the above
  48. Scindere __________     A) to tear     B) to wear     C) to bear     D) to care
  49.   Anulus aureus habet minoris pretium quam anulus ferreus.     A) Verum est.     B) Falsum est.   
  50.   Anulus ferreus est multo pulchrior quam anulus aureus.     A) Verum est.     B) Falsum est.    

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Should we keep going in Latin?

I received this letter:

Comment: Hi, My son is going into ninth grade and is taking Lingua Latina with you. He really enjoys it but also wants to learn other languages. We didn’t do a good job of passing on our Spanish to him and he wants to learn it before he graduates but he also wants to learn other languages. I am not sure what the best way is. I would really like him to finish lingua latina before doing another formal study but I’m not sure he will finish in two years. Ideally, he would finish lingua latina in the ninth grade and move on to other languages for tenth through twelfth. He recently started Spanish on DuoLingo and I encourage him to continue with that. I am also going to be doing some conversational Spanish with him and the little ones so he can grow. He understands well but speaking is difficult. I really think he is capable of learning both languages at once because he already understands so much Spanish but I don’t want to overwhelm his academic load next year. I am thinking about removing something to replace it with Spanish but its a tough choice. What are your suggestions? What is the best way to keep up Latin when Lingua Latina is finished? I would hate to see him forget the Latin he has learned. Thanks!
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Here is my reply:
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You can definitely learn more than one language at once.  Though it’s a bit ridiculous, I am currently working on seven.  The thought of this does not bother me.  I have seen it done, and know it can be done.  Europeans and Africans verify this truth every time I meet them.  It is not uncommon for them to speak four or five languages.
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If you don’t want your son to lose the Latin and that he has learned, continue on with it.  Yours is a good plan.  Jump from Latin to Spanish, or another modern language.
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However, I do think it’s a tragedy when students spend three or four or five years studying Latin and, in the end, are unable to speak it.  They have no one to talk to, and no country to visit.
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Much better to learn Spanish, French, or Italian fluently and then come back to Latin.  Latin isn’t going anywhere.  It will be there when he comes back.  I didn’t start learning Latin until I was 23.  According to his autobiography, Benjamin Franklin didn’t start learning Latin until he was 40.

Laughter is the best medicine…

A few months ago, my son was in a terrible car accident.  Now, he can’t work, can’t workout, can’t type, and has trouble reading. While he is expected to make a full recovery, he is pretty disappointed while he waits.  He is fighting depression.

This morning, he told me that he was going to start each day with comedy.  “I think it will cheer me up”, he told me.

I was immediately reminded of Norman Cousins’ book, The Anatomy of an Illness.  In the 1960’s Mr. Cousins was diagnosed with a degenerative disease.  He was given a few months to live.  He decided that if he was going to die, he was going to die laughing.

He started watching as many funny movies as he could find.

Sure enough, he didn’t die.  Instead, he recovered, went back to work, and ultimately told the story in The Anatomy of an Illness. The book remains a classic.

You can watch a short clip of Norman Cousins speaking about this here: http://www.laughteronlineuniversity.com/norman-cousins-a-laughterpain-case-study/

Turns out, laughter might be the best medicine after all.  So, with that in mind, watch this:

Have a happy Saturday!
Dwane Thomas

P.S.  How many bureaucrats does it take to change a lightbulb?  Two.  One bureaucrat assures everyone that all is going to be fine.  Everything is going to be okay.  Meanwhile, the other bureaucrat screws the new lightbulb into the kitchen faucet.

P.S.S.  Why does NASA no longer send dogs into space?  Their faces kept burning off on re-entry.

How does Harry Potter come down hills?  He walks.  J.K. Rolling.
Okay, okay.  I’ll stop.

Every Saturday, I send out a tip of the week.  I also include announcements, upcoming classes, and so on.  If you would like to hear from me every weekend, sign up for my weekly updates here:

What are the online classes like?

One of the most frequent questions I receive on my site is this one:

“What are the online classes like?”

Fair enough.

First of all, you should know that the online classes are designed for two types of students.

First, the online classes are designed for those who enjoyed Visual Latin and want to go beyond.  The online classes are next level Latin classes.  They are not easy.  In fact, they are highly challenging.  Please do not ignore this warning.  I typically do not allow students under the age of 13 into these classes.

Second, the online classes are designed for Classical Conversations students studying Latin using First Year Latin by Robert Henle.  I recommend the Henle classes only for students required read the Henle series.  For everyone else, I recommend Lingua Latina by Hans Ørberg.

The online classes are not a well-produced series like Visual Latin.  Instead, they are a series of screencasts.  Students watch me explain the text on my screen.

Here is an example of what class is like:

You will also have access to explanatory videos.   For example, if you are having a hard time with a difficult concept, or exercise, I will create extra videos to explain.  Here’s an example of one of those videos:

You will have access to about 800 videos.  Currently (June 2017) there are 771 videos.

In the past, I graded the work of my students.  I spent 6 to 8 hours a day grading.  I did this for years.  Eventually, I had to stop.

However, I kept a record of all of my notes to my students.  I am now in the process of making those notes available to all subscribers.

Here is an example of question from Lingua Latina (My corrections are in red.  If a student gets the answer is correct, there will be no red corrections.)

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1.  Quis Iuliam pulsat?  Who punches Julia?

  • Marcus
  • Marcus Iuliam pulsat.
  • Marcus pulsat Juliam.
  • Mārcus Iūliam pulsat et rīdet.
  • Mārcus Iūliam pulsat, quia Iūlia cantat.

Puer quis Iuliam pulsat est Marcus.  If you are going to use the relative pronoun (and I think it’s impressive that you did), you will need the masculine relative pronoun in this case.  Qui, instead of Quis  I’m not taking any points off, because you missed it by one letter, and you had the courage to even attempt it.

Marcum Juliam pulsat.  Since Marcus is the subject of the sentence, he is in the nominative case.   Change his name from Marcum to Marcus  -1

Marcus pulsat Ioliam.   One small spelling mistake… Julium, not Joliam -1

Marcus pulsat Julia.  Julia receives the action… she is in the accusative case.  Marcus pulsat Juliam.  -1

Iulia non pulsat  True.  But, the question is, “Who punches Julia?”  Of course, Marcus Juliam pulsat.  -2

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Many people ask, “How will I grade the work of my children?”

Now that I am done grading, I am in the process of uploading even more answer keys.  I am also in the process of creating more automatic quizzes on my site.  Using the quizzes on my site, students will be able to immediately receive feedback, and parents will be able to track the grades of their children.  My site will keep track of students grades.

As students take quizzes, my site tracks their progress.  Here is my progress, for example:

As you can see, I am pretty good at English vocabulary and not so good at Latin.  I’m teasing.   🙂

As I write the quizzes, I intentionally insert wrong answers to test the system.

This site is how I make my living.  I am doing everything I can to make my site more user-friendly and even more powerful for those attempting to learn Latin or Greek.  I have stopped grading the work of individual students so that I can dedicate more time to everyone.

If you are unsure about signing up, you are welcome to see what others are saying over in “Kudos” section of my site.

Or, you can just read the letter of another subscriber:

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Dear Dwane,

Let me start by telling you how happy I am to have found your website!!  You have totally revolutionized the way we study Latin in my home. 🙂  This will be my 4thyear being a Challenge director for Classical Conversations, therefore 4 years of trying to diligently learn Latin in order to teach both my students in class and my 4 children at home.  Even though I actually enjoy learning Latin, it has been an uphill battle using Henle Latin.  But now that I have been watching (and re-watching) your videos I feel like it’s finally starting to truly make sense.  You have a remarkable teaching style…and it just clicks!!  Thank you!! 🙂

Last year I really wanted my older Challenge level kids to join in on your Henle classes, but unfortunately the finances just weren’t there (even though your prices were SUPER reasonable, especially with your sibling discounts).  However, when you opened your site to a family rate, I just couldn’t pass it up.  I prayed about it, and God provided (He is so good)!!  Well, being the one-income, frugal homeschooling family that we are, we get our money’s worth…with everything!! 😉  Last year we would have ONLY gone through Henle.  However…since you’ve opened your website to include ALL of your classes, and since I have discovered so many wonderful gems in terms of learning language with your videos, I am having my kids view many of your other classes as well.  (I am not quite sure they are as excited about all the classes you offer as I am, since in their minds that equates to ‘more school.’ 😉 But I do know that they are learning so much more than they could ever have gotten with just doing Henle.)  As a family, we have added Lingua Latina and love it!!  And even though my kids may grumble sometimes when I call them to watch a video, they giggle their way through them.  You throw out so many interesting tidbits.  I just love the conversations it opens up for us!   

Even though my 10 year old’s main Latin curriculum is Visual Latin, she enjoys watching and reading/listening to Lingua Latina as well.  I am absolutely amazed at how quickly she is picking Latin up with your videos.  She absolutely loves VL, even now that we have reached lesson 13 and it’s starting to get more intense for her.  But that’s o.k., she has plenty of time….and we are just taking it slowly.  You truly have a wonderful God-given gift of teaching and relating to kids.  Thank you so much for making learning Latin fun!!

I know you are a super busy guy, and I am sorry that this letter is so long, I just really wanted to tell you how much I appreciate all that you do: making a great service extremely affordable (especially to families with multiple children), making learning Latin FUN, and providing great content in all of your classes.

– Anita

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