“I wish I may, I wish I might…”

It’s funny.  I always thought you decided what you were going to be when you grew up when you were…well, not grown up.  For example, I was entirely convinced that I was going to be a Latin teacher.  I was good at it, thoroughly enjoyed both the language and Roman culture, and there are too, too few Latin teachers in the world today.  It was almost a calling, I tell ya!

Three years into college I married the man I met when I was twelve.  We promptly got pregnant the first month.  Between being newly married (do you know how hard it is to concentrate on Latin with a new spouse?), newly pregnant (the toilet and I became quite intimate), and my husband’s need to continue his own degree, I quit school and got a crash course in being a stay-at-home mom. But I still kept all three (or is it four) sets of Latin textbooks for when I eventually returned to school and became a Latin teacher.  After all, I’d need something to do when the kids were all gone.

A couple of years into our marriage I realized two things:  I loved to cook and probably should have been a culinary arts major in college; and I lived just a few blocks away from a college where I could finish a degree.  DUH.  Yah, it took me a little bit to notice the university in town.  It’s so unobtrusive and all.

I went back to school but they didn’t have a Latin major.  So I fell back on my previous minor:  History.  However, I realized two more things:  I really should have taken a culinary arts major while they still offered it; and I was right in the middle of the history department dumbing down their courses.  Students were complaining, y’know.  Poor babies.

I also realized that I just didn’t have the ability to finish a bachelor’s degree for now.  I hate making that admission and do worry that 10 years down the road I will wake up in bed realizing I bailed on my only opportunity to get a real degree.  But for now, I feel an amazing sense of peace over my decision to take an associate’s.  I know that it would be impossible for me to homeschool while worrying about my own academic readings and deadlines.  And I want to homeschool.  If I can accomplish it, my children can have an education tailor-made for them.  Hopefully, this will help them gain a true passion for learning and do a great deal of good in their world.

But what about Latin?  Have I thrown it to the curb to thumb its way to someone younger and more able to pursue that dream?  Nope.  I think learning Latin is too important to not be encouraged by every capable individual.  I plan to offer Latin tutoring wherever we move as a source of extra income.  Many school systems, especially out west, don’t offer Latin.  I can provide another foreign language offering that would be impressive on a college application and give a more rounded education.  Furthermore, I will have a trump card in the homeschooling world.  Many homeschoolers would like their children to learn Latin, and I can always trade services for something my children want to learn.  Like the tuba.  😉

But the nagging feeling still persists about cooking.  I love cooking for my family.  Remember the mother from My Big Fat Greek Wedding?  In a similar fashion, I equate love and nurturing with food.  If you’re my friend you’re more likely to find yourself with plates of over-rich desserts and jars of delicious jams and jellies than with me sitting down and talking for hours.  Food is a useful language when you’re shy like me.  (Yes, in real life I’m somewhat reserved.)

But I want to cook for more than just my family.  I want to offer wonderful food and knowledge and skills to others.  So many in my generation have grown up without even the knowledge of how to boil water.  I want to emphatically change that.

How?  Ah, that’s for the next post.


One Comment Add yours

  1. You are totally right — you are going to be able to trade some pretty sweet classes and lessons for your ability to teach Latin. 😉

    My oldest took Latin one year at co-op. At the end, he said, “I just don’t think Latin is my thing.” LOL

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