In many ways, I have never been much of a student, especially if you are talking about being a student within the confines of a classroom. I’ve always loved learning, don’t get me wrong, but get me inside a classroom for months on end and there is little that can be done to keep me interested in even the most fascinating subjects. I have no real idea how I managed to make it through four years of college. My Latin class in particular almost had the power to ruin my college career. I am convinced that I might have quite school had it not been for my Latin dictionary. It saved my education, and hence, my life.
I realize the previous statement may sound extreme, but it is true. I was so fed up with the stresses of my Latin class in college that I nearly dropped out of school. I guess I didn’t have things in the best perspective, but that is how deeply I was being affected by the class. In the sixth week of the fifteen week class I called my father on the phone and finally told him of the truth of my current plight. He simply listened and then laughed at me and muttered two words. “Latin dictionary,” he said. I had no idea how much I needed to hear those two words nor how much they would change my semester and literally the rest of my life.
I have absolutely no idea why my Latin professor didn’t suggest that I buy a Latin dictionary. I’m actually a little bitter about it now that I think about it. Anyway, I rushed off to a bookstore the next day and purchased the cheapest and biggest Latin dictionary I could find. I had little money, but I felt like bigger must be better when it came to a dictionary.
Over the days and weeks ahead, I poured over that dictionary as I studied for my Latin class. Having that resource taught me an amazing amount that I just wasn’t getting in the classroom. I pulled my grade up from a failing score to a B in the remaining weeks of the class. But that’s not all that happened: I had a renewed love of learning. Yes, the Latin dictionary was responsible for my pursuit of learning and of new knowledge in many areas. It did little to make me enjoy time in a classroom, but it did inspire me to pursue many of the things I now love.