Settling in…

After days of travel, my family and I are settling in at our apartment in Greece.

I am going to begin blogging once more.  It was my goal to blog every day this year.  I lost quite a few days due to travel, but, that’s okay.  I will be picking up the pace again… starting now.

There are many questions to answer.  In class today, one of my students wanted to know, “How can you afford to move your entire family over to Greece?”  Good question.  I intend to blog a response tomorrow.

Another student wanted to know, “How do you stay motivated to learn new things and how can I (the student) keep myself motivated?”  I hope to start a series of responses to that question as well.

As for now, I am dealing with new, unanticipated problems.  Classes today worked.   For that, I am very grateful.  I was able to teach from Greece last year, and I was quite certain I would be able to teach from Greece this year.  Alas, it seems the internet may be a bit slower this year.  Naturally, I am not thrilled about that.  Still, classes worked today, and for the most part, my students reported that the experience was not all that different for them.

Now, I am in the process of uploading the classes from today and I have hit a snag.  I have not decided if it is a major snag.  The upload speed in Athens (in our apartment, at least) is not good at all.  It usually takes me about an hour to upload 3 videos at home.  I have been uploading today’s classes for about an hour now, and I have one video at 15%, with two videos in line.  Not cool.

I am not exactly sure how I am going to solve this problem.  But… that’s okay.  Seems like there is always a solution.  I just have to go hunting for it.

On the bright side, there is a small restaurant around the corner that serves cheap, delicious gyros.

It’s 11 pm here.  Goodnight from Athens.

Begin it.

The famous German writer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said,

“Whatever you can do or dream you can,
begin it; boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”

I love that quote.  My favorite part of the quote lies right in the middle.

“Begin it.”

I believe that is the key.  Start.  Go.  Take action.  Begin.

It is my job to study Latin, to study Greek, and to write.  There are many, many days I don’t feel like doing any of the three.

For example, writing is hard.  Writing is a bit lonely.  It is easy to trick yourself into procrastination.  It is easy to lie to yourself.  “I just don’t feel like writing today.”

It doesn’t matter.  Who cares how I feel?

Some of my friends and some of my students see what I have done.  They want the same results.  They want to be geographically free.  They want to move overseas to study.  They want to provide for themselves by writing.

But, they forget that I spent 20 years in the classroom.  They forget that I spent 10 of those years getting up at 3, or 4 in the morning in order to study Latin.  They forget that for 20 years, I showed up, whether I felt like it or not.

If you want to be a writer, start writing.

Do not wait for inspiration.  Do not wait for motivation.  Do not wait for the muse.  Just start writing.

If it is your job to write, write.  If your job is something else, you do it … whether or not you are motivated.  You show up to work, and you do your job.

Also, don’t worry about the quality of your writing.  Just start writing. Write bad stuff.  Then, edit the bad stuff.

Remember two things.  First, you can’t edit what you haven’t written.  And, second, good writing happens when you edit.

And finally, remember this.  The time is going to pass anyway. I have dreamed of returning to England for a long time.  It took me 32 years.

Today, my family and I fly to Greece.  We are stopping in London for a day.  I never let the dream go.  In part, my writing brought me to this point.

Do you have a dream?  Copy Goethe’s quote.  Carry it around with you.  Read it.  Believe it.

Most of all, begin it.

“Whatever you can do or dream you can,
begin it; boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”

Have a happy Saturday!
Dwane Thomas

P.S.  I will not be responding to email, messages, or texts for the next several days.  I will be catching up next week.


I will be on the road, or in the air, from Wednesday, March 22 to Monday, March 27.  I will check email, and I will check my site when I am able.  I apologize for the inconvenience.  

There are NO more scheduled online class breaks.  I AM planning to teach classes on March 28, and on March 29.  If I do not show up to class on Tuesday, I must have missed a flight somewhere.

One Backpack

Next week, my family and I are flying back to Athens, Greece.

Long story short, a local mission organization found out that I possessed a British passport.  They needed a European to manage their work among the refugees in Greece.  So, they contacted my family, we said yes, and my wife is now the field coordinator for Servant Group International in Athens, Greece.

Earlier this month, I posted a letter from her.  You can read it here:

As for me, I will be studying Greek.  I will be teaching Greek again in the fall.

Sooo… what is the tip of the week?

Okay.  Here goes.

Pack light.

We are going to be in Athens for four months.  How do you pack for four months?  Turns out, it isn’t that complicated.  I will be traveling with my wife and my four girls.  Each of us will carry one backpack.  Yep.  Just one.  How can we do this?

We rely heavily on the advice of the world class traveler Rick Steves.  Rick showsexactly what to pack on this page:

In fact, if you click on the link: Download Rick’s packing checklist, you will find a printable file.  Today, I printed 4 copies and handed them to my girls.

Okay.  I am not telling the full truth.  We will bring one extra suitcase.  Just one.  (Each of us will not bring an extra suitcase.)  The extra suitcase will be filled with a few schoolbooks, and items we could not find in Greece the last time we were there.  Peanut butter, for example.  My girls like peanut butter.  Good luck finding peanut butter in Greece.  Nutella flows freely.  But, peanut butter?  Bring your own.

Check out Rick’s packing list.  You might be surprised how little you need to take when you travel.

By the way, this is my 100th tip of the week!  Thanks for reading along with me.  If you want to see the tip’s you missed, I keep them all here:

Have a happy Saturday!
Dwane Thomas

Visual Latin errata: Test 23.

A student pointed a mistake out to me.  I have corrected it.  Here is my note to her.

Thanks for your help on this.  I finally have the time to take a look.

For question 24, quod should not be the answer in the answer key.  It should be qui.   Qui is the masculine plural relative pronoun.  

Thank you for helping me spot this mistake!  I have fixed it. 

Have a great day!

Dwane Thomas

The History of Rome

Several years ago, I worked my way through the entire podcast series, “The History of Rome” by Mike Duncan.  It was excellent.

I am planning to go through the series again.   In fact, I hope to start again in Greece.

I am teaching my way through Hans Ørberg’s Roma Aeterna at the moment.  The book is a 400-page history of Rome, in Latin.

Though the site is a bit difficult to navigate, but trust me.  It’s worth it.  If you have a dog to walk, a yard to mow, a car to wash, or a long lonely drive ahead, the History of Rome will keep you company.

Warning: There is periodic swearing in this podcast.  If I had to rate it, I would rate it PG – 13.

Here is page 6 of the series (Start at page 6 and work your way back):

Subscribe and receive the following

  • Language learning tip of the week!
  • Advance notice of upcoming classes!
  • Advance notice of upcoming sales!

Skip to toolbar