My favorite role at Trinity Church these days is “Latin tutor” and writing instructor at the TEEP program. I get to come to Trinity after teaching Art classes near Harrison Ave/Boston Medical Center, and the No. 9 bus drops me right off near the Church’s doors. There’s always lively bustling energy at 4:00pm around Copley Square and in Trinity’s vestibule: the students start arriving, full of energy and ready to tackle those “tougher” subjects like Chemistry, SAT Math, and of course LATIN. Choristers can be heard on the floors singing. And yes, it is warm! Inside those massive doors….lo, there is Ken, Front Desk Central, with special greetings for all! Truly the place to be.
Tuesdays I am often helping a TEEP student with writing or vocabulary, or sometimes a few sticky arithmetic problems. Maybe it’s a special day: pasta dinner and conversation about 8th grade admissions essays. Wednesdays, I can be found with TEEP juniors and seniors reviewing their writing as they wrestle with the themes of Virgil’s AENEID.
All those literary memories come rushing back to mind: oh Queen Dido! so in love with Aeneas that her Capital Campaign fundraising has halted and “the cranes stand idle” in building her Carthage stronghold. But what of Aeneas’ destiny to found Rome? “Tell him to SAIL!” says mighty Jupiter.
It is a joy to find a way to share my enthusiasm for literature and writing, whether it is investigating a puzzling text, wrestling for the “exact” words, for “look it up!” energy, or just listening to students organizing their thoughts for the “admissions essay” due at the end of term.
Each week I am reminded that I am part of a church that is IN the City of Boston. Right in the midst of it. And yet thankfully, I have a sanctuary and quiet spot to sit and focus on writing with my students.
Thanks for all the support that makes it possible ….
– Sara “Latin Teacher” Hamlen