Enjoying the Process


Latin is fun. Well, it can be, if you work at it.

I’ve taught a Latin class (or two) for a decade at ECS. A few years ago we started using the “Lingua Latina” curriculum for our high school students. Caput VIII is about a run-away servant who takes his girlfriend to shop for jewelry in Rome. It’s not really that dramatic, but I like to play it up.

When we read through the story (and we just got to Caput VIII again this week in class, which is part of the reason I’m posting this now, even though there are a lot of other important things happening in terra) I take the opportunity to upgrade the imagery a bit. Medus is looking to buy some bling for his baby-lady. But the first time I read it this way one of the students raised her hand and said, “Mr. Higgins, it’s not really called bling anymore. It’s drip.”

Turns out, I had a lot to learn. It can be just a synonym for bling, along with swag, you know, when you’re bougie. More precisely, when your bling has a lot of diamonds, that’s ice. And when your ice is really hot, well, you can see where this is going, right? You get drip.

So I’ve been celebrating the drip ever since, and have shared with my classes that it would be so cool to get some Latin drip. Last year, for Teacher Appreciation Week, some of my students made me my very own. (You can see the original thread here.)

The gold chain is heavy, but not gold. The (covered cardboard) medallion has “Latin Drip” on one side, and “QUID?” on the other side. Quid? means “What?” and it’s how I like to imagine first-century Gs greeting each other: “Quid, quid?”

It should be noted that my students gave me more than a linea. Caput XV famously (at least in my classes) refers to the tergum. It’s a part of the body that isn’t necessarily translated, but it can be identified. It’s the part where a kid might get a spanking. It’s the lower than the lower back part. Anyway, one day I mentioned how cool it might be to get some J.Lo like sweats with “tergum” written across the tergum. My students hot-glue-gunned some strategic sequins for me.

A few more follow-ups.

First, I may or may not still have the sweats. But I look at the DRIP every day while sitting at the desk in my home study. It hangs in front of me and reminds me that DRIP is not just style, it’s a way of life. (For the curious, here’s an explanation of the bearded mermaid.)

Second, after my previous school coffee cup broke, one of my students updated my title:

And finally, my “gift” for being part of my daughter’s wedding last summer was a DRIP tie clip. Actually, it’s a hair barrette, but I used it as a tie clip. I probably got to tell the story a couple dozen times during the reception, and I regularly rotate it in as one of my Twitter header pics.

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