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.