Is Latin Necessary?
By Dr. Marciene Mattleman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Every September Jacob Weiss, a senior at Edgemont High School in Scarsdale, NY, is asked what courses he’s taking, although it’s known that one will be Latin.
Recently, his father reported attending a conference at which it was lamented that our young people are wasting time on useless classes, citing Latin, instead of something “more practical” like computer programming.
Undeterred, Jacob, pointed out that many English words have Latin roots, such as “magnificent” and “jovial.”
Jacob wrote an article appearing in Education Week, citing Mark Zuckerberg, of Facebook fame, who did as well in school in Latin as he did in math and science and Jacob believes that reading and writing in Latin is fundamentally no different from reading and writing a line of Java.
Jacob is a four time gold medal winner of the National Latin exam and his zeal and enthusiasm motivated me to investigate. More schools are teaching Latin these days, hopefully with experience such as his.