De Bello Gallico in Italiano.

I use this blog as a means of communication.  I use it to communicate with students and parents.

From time to time, I use this blog to vent some of my frustrations. As none of my friends or family read my blog, it is a perfect place to hide my feelings in plain site.  If it frustrates you that, from time to time, I use this blog as my own personal journal then read the URL again: www.dwanethomas.com.

I also use it to gather information I may later want.  As I am teaching myself Italian, I was pretty happy, while researching Caesar’s ancient romp through France, to discover several Italian videos discussing Caesar’s Gallic Wars.

This is for me, but you may find it enjoyable as well.  At least you can get a feeling for how Latin may have once sounded.  When it comes to pronunciation, Italian is the closest thing we have.

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How my son is doing.

Many of you have asked how my son is doing.

For those who don’t know, my son, Jackson, nearly died on April 13, 2017, when the 15 passenger van he was driving flipped on I-70.  He was just west of Strasburg, Colorado.

Here is the newspaper article where the picture appears: http://i-70scout.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/04-18-2017-Full-Edition.pdf

He and a friend, Mitchell, were heading home.  They had finished a photography road trip out west.  You can look at some of their pictures if you like.

You can see some of their pictures if you like.

Here is Jackson’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jacksonkthomas/

Here is Mitchell’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mitchell_mullins/

My son was critically injured.  Miraculously, he survived.  Even more miraculously, he is recovering at a ridiculous rate.  We are so grateful.

My wife, Gretchen, has been blogging through the entire ordeal.  You can follow her updates here:

https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/jackson.thomas?utm_source=SilverpopTransact&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Repeat%20Author%20Autoresponder%20(10.24.16)

As for me, I’m not blogging through the events the way I would like.  Had to get back to work.

Kudos

I just wanted to add that we have loved Visual Latin, my daughter has laughed at something every single lesson…and you can’t say that about any other curriculum (not that we’ve discovered yet anyway). Thank you for your work, it is much appreciated!

– Alyssa 

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High speed Henle Latin?

I received this question:

Last year I was in Challenge A of Classical Conversations. After making my way through some of the Henle latin program(and many slaughtered Gauls) we went to a different co-op this year. Almost halfway through the school year, we realized staying with Challenge would have been a better idea. So this coming school year I’ll be in Challenge 1 (and unfortunately, Henle latin).   I have heard that you teach Henle 1 but at a much faster pace…

I often wish that we could just switch altogether from Henle to Lingua Latina and I might just to that individually.

Here is my reply:

Good morning!

Gosh.  I feel for you.  Such a common story.  

Fortunately, with my site, you do not have to choose.  A subscription grants access to every live class I teach. It also grants access to every recorded class on my site.  You could attend the Henle classes as well as the Lingua Latina classes.  

I do teach First Year Latin at a higher speed.  Maybe.  I teach First Year Latin in, well, the first year.  

If you take three years to go through First Year Latin, and if you go through the entire Henle series, you will spend seven years learning Latin.  At the end of seven years, you will have mastered a language that you cannot speak.  If you try to speak it, you will end up in arguments about pronunciation.  Those arguments will be in English.  Sigh.

I recommend getting through Latin as rapidly as possible.  Three years should do it. Two, if you work hard. After that, move on to a modern language.  You will be able to speak the language with millions of people.

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Doing whatever just to stay alive.

In 2017, a hacker named “Lucy Pat” invaded my site and sent flirtatious messages to all of my middle school students.  Thank you, internet.

Instantly, I received angry messages from a bunch of homeschool moms.  They sent angry messages because they thought that I sent flirtatious messages to a bunch of middle school students.

Not to put too fine a point on it, please do not be stupid when you email me.  Do you really think that I would do that?  Do you really think that I would torpedo my means of income and provision?  Do you really think that I would burn my own financial house down?  Do you really think that I would send out flirtatious messages to a bunch of kids online?  Please think before you yell at me.

Those who were angry with me canceled their accounts and left.  I was glad to see them go.

Most people recognized the hack as a hack.  Most people encouraged me to hang in there.  You know who you are.  Thank you.

On this side of the hack, I remain nervous.  I do not want to get hacked again.

I have probably overdone website security on my end.  Now, there is a new problem.  From time to time, my students will receive one of two messages.  Either they will get a “Forbidden” notice, or they will get this notice:

“ERROR: JavaScript and Cookies are required in order to register. Please be sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled in your browser and reload the page.”

The problem is an overzealous security feature.  This affects about 2% of my students.  If you find yourself in this number, please email me at dwane@visuallatin.com.  I know how to fix the problem.  It will take a few emails.  I apologize for the hassle.

If you don’t want to wait around, here are my online hours.  I start about 4:30 am every morning.  I finish up around 7 am.    I am usually back online from about 9 pm until I fall asleep at 11 pm.  Most days, I am in the Central Time Zone.

I know the objections.  Put your hands down.  I know these hours are not healthy.  But, with a large family, hours and hours of Latin and Greek research, writing, teaching, filming, taxes, bills, the DMV, website repair, and on and on, I don’t know how to get off this train.

Doing whatever just to stay alive.

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Why I do what I do….

I received this note from the parent of an online student:

Thank you so much!  As someone who is part of my “educational team” for my kids, you should know my daughter received a Gold Summa Cum Laude award this evening for her NLE this year. She missed 3 on the Latin 1 test, and her younger sister by 2 years missed 5 on the Intro. What a surprise to mom!  Thanks for making a difference!

This is our first online class, and I have to say that I am beyond impressed that our teacher who is somewhere out in the Internet world actually knows who we are!  I have always figured that you had so so many students….never would I have dreamed that you would know us the way you do.  Thanks for being personal, even if we never meet face to face!

You made her year of Latin so much better than if we had attempted it alone!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!  

– Julie

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Annual subscription?

I received this question:

I’ve had some conflicting answers from friends that do your Latin on-line. The price for the year is $250, correct?

Here is my reply:

It used to be.  I charged $250 a year, per family, for every class I teach.  When it comes to affordability, there is nothing like it among online Latin classes.  No one else provides the service I provide at such affordable rates.  

The problem is, my site, ThinkOutsideTheBorder.com renews membership automatically.  This is designed to make the process easy for students and their families.  You do not have to go through the registration process every year.  

I was trying to make things easier on everyone.  

Instead, people started taking advantage of me.  They would sign up for one year, take the discount, and ask for a refund when the second automatic payment went through.   Unfortunately, the refund process on my end is time-consuming and difficult.  Often, the refund request would come with an abrupt, or rude email.  It is demoralizing.  I have grown weary of it.  I canceled the annual option.  I have left only the monthly option open.  I am sorry.  

You joined under the annual subscription just before I canceled that option.  You are good to go.  I have not yet canceled your subscription yet because I was waiting for your final decision.  Just let me know.  If you are ready to cancel, you can do it here: https://dwanethomas.com/updating-your-information/.  If you cancel, I will refund the annual payment.

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