Anchored by the Classic Learning Test

Latin and the Art of Slowing Down | Karen Moore

January 18, 2024 Classic Learning Test
Latin and the Art of Slowing Down | Karen Moore
Anchored by the Classic Learning Test
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Anchored by the Classic Learning Test
Latin and the Art of Slowing Down | Karen Moore
Jan 18, 2024
Classic Learning Test

On this episode of Anchored, Soren is joined by Karen Moore and her student assistant, Naomi Noble from Grace Academy of Georgetown. Karen is the Classical Languages Chair at Grace Academy and the author of several books. The guests talk about how they first encountered the classics and how the study has allowed them to slow down and appreciate a wider world of language and history. They also discuss their current project: the inaugural Tournament of Laurels, taking place June 25-29 at Houston Christian University. Classical language students nationwide are invited to attend and participate in academic, oral, and fine arts competitions and events. 

Show Notes Transcript

On this episode of Anchored, Soren is joined by Karen Moore and her student assistant, Naomi Noble from Grace Academy of Georgetown. Karen is the Classical Languages Chair at Grace Academy and the author of several books. The guests talk about how they first encountered the classics and how the study has allowed them to slow down and appreciate a wider world of language and history. They also discuss their current project: the inaugural Tournament of Laurels, taking place June 25-29 at Houston Christian University. Classical language students nationwide are invited to attend and participate in academic, oral, and fine arts competitions and events. 

Soren Schwab (CLT) (00:00.842)
Welcome back to the Anchor podcast, the official podcast of the Classic Learning Test. My name is Soren Schwab, VP of partnerships here at CLT. And today we are joined by Naomi Noble and Karen Moore. Naomi is a senior at Grace Academy of Georgetown, where she has attended since kindergarten. During her tenure at Grace Academy, she served as an officer in the Latin club, and she presently serves as captain for the varsity volleyball team and the mock trial team. She is now acting as Karen Moore's assistant in organizing

the inaugural Tournament of Laurels, a national student event designed for classical language students in classical schools across the USA. After graduation, she aspires to study law at some fortunate but yet to be named university. Karen T. Moore has served as the Classical Languages Chair at Grace of Georgetown since 2002. During her years at Grace Academy, she has taught Latin, Greek, ancient humanities, and assisted with curriculum development.

Karen is also the author of several Latin books, including the Libellus, the Historia series, the Latin Alive series, and Hankus, Ille Vaconis. And I hope I didn't butcher that, Karen, so forgive me. She is, of course, lecturer with Classical U, an adjunct professor in Classics with Houston Christian University, and a board member with the ACCS Institute for Classical Languages.

Karen holds a BA in Classics from the University of Texas at Austin and an MSc with distinction in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Karen and her husband Brian are the proud parents of three Grace Academy alumni. When she's not reading Latin literature, Karen can be found working in her garden, hiking with her family, or leading her students in adventures across Italy. And we are so delighted to have Naomi and Karen on the podcast today. Welcome.

Karen Moore (01:50.179)
Thank you for having us. We're so glad to be here.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (01:53.41)
Oh, absolutely. I mean, just reading about you two and obviously Grace Academy is a dear CLT partner school, Houston Christian and Classical You and CAP. There's just so much synergy and I just love the work that you're doing, Karen. And I'm really excited about this podcast. As we always do, we start with kind of our guests own educational journey. And since we're going to talk about classic languages and the classics,

Maybe I'll tweak the question a little bit, Karen, and start with you. When did you first fall in love or were exposed to the classics and classical languages in particular?

Karen Moore (02:30.031)
Well, exposure came first, falling in love came later. I actually began my journey with Latin in seventh grade and it was not by choice. Probably like a lot of our classical students, actually whose parents might be listening to this podcast. I was in a public school, but the choice sheet I had filled out, I actually put French first because I was determined I'd be a classical ballerina.

I put German second because I had family who was German. And I put Latin third because my mother kept insisting I really should study that because it would be so good for my English. And providentially, and I do believe it was providentially, that choice sheet was lost. And I refilled it two weeks before school.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (02:58.446)
Thank you.

Karen Moore (03:08.055)
French class was full, German class didn't make, and so I was stuck in Latin and not very happy about it. And I still vividly remember the first day of class when our teacher said, how many of you are here because your mother made you? And I was definitely one of those. But when I began to realize that how much history and literature was encapsulated in the language of Latin, and I love history, and the idea of being able to read primary sources in the original language

them, not somebody else's interpretation, really began to excite me. And as I continued that journey through high school, my high school teacher, Susan Fugate, just is my role model, is my mentor, just lifelong teacher, mentor model right there, still in touch with her occasionally. And she

just made the language come to life. All the beauty began to realize that the study of Latin isn't simply a study in a dead irrelevant language, but it's really a course in world knowledge because of the great spans of time, genre that Latin has touched through the ages. So I ended up continuing my studies in Latin, added Greek to them when I was at the University of Texas at Austin. So a classics degree, both Latin and Greek. And then after that,

and kind of off and on teaching as my husband and I married and then had children. So my teaching career was kind of on and off again for a little while, but taught my first job was at Regent School of Austin. And then I also taught at O. Henry Middle School very, very briefly. And then most of my career has been here at Grace Academy of Georgetown. And then as you mentioned, I really wanted to further my deep study of Latin and particularly its relation to material

Soren Schwab (CLT) (04:38.638)

Karen Moore (04:54.513)
to archeology and to classical art. And so I pursued the degree you mentioned at the University of Edinburgh. So that would be the journey in a nutshell. It's been a, I can't believe how, I start to look back at how many years I've been studying Latin. It's longer than I really want to add up the numbers to.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (05:13.984)
We won't do the math, but wow, what a story. And just to think, you know, what if that first choice sheet wouldn't have been, maybe we'd be talking in French right now, but who knows? Who knows? Yeah.

Karen Moore (05:20.631)

Karen Moore (05:24.431)
Could be, could be. Well, and my mother, I always tease her that it's her fault. And she says, yes, but you were just supposed to take a few years. And I said, well, you didn't tell me that far. So it's, but it's been, it's been a wonderful, it's really become a love and a passion for sure.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (05:31.934)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (05:38.846)
Right. Well, and you have really become, I mean, one of the authorities, right, in this classical movement on the study of Latin and just the passion, just talking about your own journey, just the passion that you exude. And I'm sure, Naomi, that's something that, you know, as a student of Karen's at Grace Academy, did your mom make you do Latin? I guess the school did, right? Because I assume that everyone at Grace takes some Latin. But yeah, tell us a little bit about when you started.

Karen Moore (06:00.728)

Karen Moore (06:04.482)
It's true.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (06:07.254)
you know, taking Latin and kind of how you were exposed to it and maybe fell in love with it.

Karen Moore (06:12.335)
So everyone at Grace takes Latin since third grade up to ninth grade and you can choose you can branch off do different things. So of course I started in third grade, kept going with it through high school and then it kind of culminated in AP Latin last year and then I can't get away from it. This year I've been. It's addictive. It is addictive. It really is. And so I just.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (06:30.702)
I'm going to go.

Karen Moore (06:36.947)
I really did love Latin class. There's something so satisfying, so puzzling about figuring out translations and figuring out the grammar. And Mrs. Moore's enthusiasm seeps into almost every single thing you do in Latin. And it's infectious. And so, absolutely, I've loved it. And I'm excited it's brought me to here today. And I hope it, I continue. And in college, going through classics.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (07:01.73)

Karen Moore (07:05.463)
I don't want to get rid of it anytime soon. Yeah, she's actually going to study classics at university.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (07:07.404)

That is amazing. Well, that's a whole, wow, let me backtrack a little bit. Because I'm curious, I was not a Latin teacher, but my school offered Latin. And talking to the students there, they were excited about Latin for different reasons, and especially year one. And some of them, it was just the stories, right? And you mentioned the story, history and the stories around it. For some, it was kind of almost like the...

I was like math, like the puzzle of piecing things together and endings, right? And seeing the connection, you know, for some of us. Wow, I'm actually I was the English teacher like Mr. Schwab. I'm getting so much better at English just by taking Latin. Was there something in particular kind of early, early on where you felt like, wow, this is something that I really, really enjoy, apart from Miss Moore, of course.

Karen Moore (08:00.34)
Honestly, in third grade, we did chants during chapel, and they were my favorite. It was such a moment where all these children are singing these fun little songs, and you're with your friends and you're going, I'm oh, I'm awesome. And it was that's what initially I was like, I love this. And then you learn what that means. And you parse it out and it grows and grows. And there's all these more chance. And I loved that. And then on top of that, you talked about that puzzle aspect of it. And that was addictive to me. It's

There's a moment when you look back on the passage you translated and you go, I did that. Like what? And so those two things in particular, were really what drew me to Latin. I think that puzzling analogy is very apt. You know, I've always, I've heard that so many times, but I thought have we really thought that through to its full extension? Because when you create a puzzle and I think about the, you know, the puzzle of assisting chapel ceiling that's hanging in my classroom, I had some seniors work on that during study halls and option.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (08:35.478)
Wow, that is amazing.

Karen Moore (08:55.127)
You're looking through all these little pieces that may not make sense, but as they come together, they form a picture. But then when that picture is done, you step back and you look at it. And especially for something like the Sistine Chapel, which is a great classical work, much like Virgil or Cicero, great classical work, masterpiece. You sit back and see how you were able to engage with that. I think that's something that it still just gives me chills, honestly. It really does.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (09:22.954)
incredible. Yeah, I mean, there's an ordering, you know, when you take that step back and look at the completeness and the order that was created and that you recreated, whether through a puzzle or through a translation, right? It is satisfying. It makes me excited about going back and restarting my Latin. But Karen, I think you mentioned earlier, right, that kind of mom wanted you to

Karen Moore (09:41.027)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (09:52.994)
I have nephews and one of them is having to decide what language to take. And I'm pushing him really hard to take Latin even though he says, you didn't even take Latin. Why? Because I wish I had. I started with French and then English and then Spanish and then Latin. And I look back like, oh my God, you knucklehead. I'm more mad at my mom. Why didn't you make me? I guess what we're hearing a lot is just that Latin is a dead language. Right?

Karen Moore (10:05.595)

Karen Moore (10:20.387)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (10:21.226)
in today's society, right? And we wanna have all the 21st century skills and be ready for our, what do we call it? Our global economy. And why would anyone still want to take Latin? I know that you have a different opinion on that. And I would love to hear kind of from you and with your expertise, if you talk to a parent who's just kind of skeptical of their child taking Latin, what would you tell them?

Karen Moore (10:50.063)
That's a great question. And I definitely want to get Naomi's input too, because I value so much her being here with us today, Sorin, because as you know, we have a view and a perspective from the adults who've been in this for a while, who are now in the different classical organizations and administrative teacher, what have you. But I think it's also so great to hear where the students are and the value that they're seeing into it, because I can tell you.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (11:07.932)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (11:17.896)
Ha ha.

Karen Moore (11:18.307)
And I can tell my students, but when Naomi speaks it, who's a senior, it's like, oh, now it has truth and value. For the young people, but for young people, that's very true. So, you know, the first thing my mother talked about,

Soren Schwab (CLT) (11:25.942)
better salesperson than you probably.

Karen Moore (11:33.131)
way back when I was in seventh grade was the value that it has in strengthening your understanding of English. And I see that so many times too as we have new students come into Grace Academy. And I have students right now who are in a they've come in their in their high school years haven't taken Latin. We require at least two years of classical language in high school if you've not had it up before ninth grade up until through ninth grade. And as I'm teaching them Latin

they're uncovering and unraveling some things that they never knew about English, very basic things like parts of speech, the operations, the syntactical uses of words in a sentence. And I actually just this week went into Mr. Pop's office, our head of school for the upper school and said, you know, I'm finding that this is so valuable for these new incoming students, simply because it's not only helping them with this requirement for classical language,

helping them right now with their literature and their English and their composition classes because they're understanding their own language better. And yes, you could go look at an English dictionary, you could go look at a roots list, but

The thing about Latin, and I often liken it to exercising in a swimming pool, right? You have a lot of doctors or PT people who will talk about exercising in a swimming pool. Why? Because it has a little bit more resistance. It offers you more resistance than the air does. If you learn things through Latin, through a foreign language, it gives you a little bit of resistance. It slows you down. You can't just blow over it and assume things that you might when you do in English.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (12:56.226)

Karen Moore (13:11.243)
Shakespeare does kind of the same thing in that he uses some great language that we're not accustomed to, but because he's English we can gloss over it and not worry too much.

Or at least we shouldn't, but students do. But in Latin class, you really do have to kind of slow down and really immerse yourself in understanding the grammar and understanding the syntax and understanding the word choice and how these things come together like the Sistine Chapel puzzle to create this beautiful masterpiece. And that leads into another reason that I am so passionate about Latin literature is that unlike other languages,

you study Latin from the get-go. There are memes and TikTok videos and social media all about this. You know, what are the kind of things you learn to say in your French class or your Spanish class, right? Just kind of how to order food, how to get around where things are. In Latin class, you're talking about Caesar and how he's killing people. So you're already going into, which could say some very interesting things about classicists, but you're already going into advanced texts almost from the get-go.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (14:08.918)

Karen Moore (14:18.143)
And so you're looking at these master pieces by master poets and master orators. Virgil has inspired.

countless number of authors who've come after him. Cicero the same. So to be able to come to a place where you can read those original works, not as someone else interpreted them, but as the author wrote them. How did he choose his words? Why did he choose these words? Why did he arrange them this way? What are the rhetorical literary devices this plays out to create? And what effect does that have on the audience? In our mission statement at Grace Academy, we talk about how our

is to construe these texts, these original Latin texts, in order to decipher the design and intent of the author.

So that we as modern Americans, whether it's in English or any other language, we have that skill then to really think through how to create form, shape, compose pieces of writing, pieces for speaking orally. And I have found that my students at Grace Academy who stayed with me through reading the advanced compositions of Virgil and Cicero, that

they actually tend to be my strongest writers because of just their mastery, their ability to really look at words as an artist looks at a canvas with paints and a paintbrush. And they really begin to understand the artistry of language, I think in a deeper way.

Karen Moore (15:47.867)
So I think those are two of the ones that are most passionate for me. Of course, being an exam like the CLT exam, the SAT exam, typically your Latin students, and they've done statistics and studies on this, are going to be your higher performing students. So for parents, they always like to hear that one, right? Because it's a tangible fruit. But that's just a symptom.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (16:06.718)
I like the practice. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Karen Moore (16:11.691)
of what I just spoke about, right? Really immersing yourself in the study and the beauty of language and understanding difficult texts. I also heard a comparison made, I've often heard a comparison made going back to Shakespeare about if we think about it from our English speaking brains, the idea of reading Shakespeare in English versus reading it in translation, like in German or in French, and how much is going to be lost in that.

And you see people in France, in Germany, other language, and other cultures wanting to learn English to read Shakespeare in the original language. Because again, there's just so much that is lost in translation. I'm actually just wrapping up a course for classical you on the Aeneid, where I go into this in multiple sections, looking at how it was translated, and what the original language says, and the nuance that's lost. And really trying to even encourage teachers, both Latin, literature, history together, to start really trying to integrate more

of study of language even alongside reading the translations. Because there are times just to stop and see what the author did. It really just creates a whole new dimension to reading that scene or that work. So I guess that's my nutshell version. That's not really a very small nutshell.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (17:20.459)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (17:26.298)
I wonder if that's, yeah, no, it's like a cultural symptom too, because I remember, so I grew up in Germany and learned English and we read Shakespeare and it's original. I remember we read Macbeth and it took forever. And thank goodness it took forever, right? But I think we're so used to instant gratification, right? And like, why would I spend so much time, we're all about excerpts and not sitting down to read an entirety.

Karen Moore (17:38.767)
Mm-hmm. Yes!

Karen Moore (17:45.923)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (17:52.518)
And so I think I was yeah as you were speaking like wow Yeah, and I'm sure at that point my gosh the reading Macbeth for 12 weeks But I think as a non non, you know classics major, but I really think What it does to you as a person Right, like that's so hard to measure right when parents want like but I give me the data on what Latin does

Karen Moore (18:00.503)

Karen Moore (18:11.809)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (18:18.05)
but what is the impact on your thinking, on your soul, on your reasoning, right? And that's, I think that's the, to me, it's the biggest indicator, but it's because I've met people like Naomi, right? Who's gone, who've gone through that. And so I always say, you know, the, you know, if you want to sell the classical education movement, talk to students that have received that education. So Naomi, what would be kind of your, so to speak, your apology of your defense of taking lapses?

Karen Moore (18:30.105)

Karen Moore (18:43.511)
Yes, absolutely. So right now, because it's so in my world, I'm looking ahead at what I want to be, what I want to do, and that's law. And in looking at that, there's just...

so many things in law that are Latin-centric. And so of course that's just a minor part is, well, I know what hobbyist corpus translates to literally, but also looking back the foundations of law are in classical society. Cicero, the original translations of what law started as, what our public started as in ancient Rome, things like that where you can reference back to the original language. And

I found personally that when you look back at those inspirational courses, those inspirational texts that you can see a line straight from, well here's what he said in Rome and here's how in modern day America. And I think that's so cool. Part of the reason why I want to be a lawyer in the first place is because I can be a part of that great conversation of Latin throughout all of history.

And it's the same thing for the Bible, it's the same thing for theology, it's just all encompassing for every discipline, even math. And it's just really an awe-inspiring moment to be a part of that. I think it provides a wider perspective, kind of steps you outside of your own world and see what you're actually participating in.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (20:11.426)
I love that last point, right? It forces you to take a step back. I mean, as a culture, right? We're so immersed in the, everything is about us constantly, right? And how does it, and just taking a step back and removing kind of our contemporary biases and go back, right? Karen, correct me. Ad fontes, right? You go kind of back to, right? You go back to the source and look at that, but then also be able to connect the dots.

Karen Moore (20:23.279)

Karen Moore (20:31.603)
Yes, excellent. Mm-hmm, two sources.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (20:39.882)
What a powerful thing to do and to be able to demonstrate then. So yeah, I mentioned, you know, not yet decided on college and university, but I'm sure there's many suitors, Naomi. So keep us definitely, yeah. Right.

Karen Moore (20:53.672)
She's already got some very exciting offers. Somebody's going to be very fortunate to have her, but she's already got some really exciting offers ahead for her. It's such an exciting time that senior year, right? Like the world is suddenly opening up before you. It's terrifying.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (21:08.206)
Well, I'm glad you're putting it that way because I'm sure there's a lot of seniors that face it with more anxiety than you are. So I'm glad it speaks to Grace Academy as well and how you approach that next chapter. I want to talk about something really, really exciting, and that is the Tournament of Laurels that both of you are obviously very much involved with. And so I guess...

First of all, I would love to kind of hear the nuts and bolts and kind of the inception of the idea and then what is it all about? And then I'll ask you some follow-up questions. But Karen, do you want to kind of start with, yeah, what is the tournament of laurels?

Karen Moore (21:49.591)
Sure, and Naomi, I just openly invite you to jump in.

as you want to add something, as you see something I missed. Because this is, as you mentioned at the beginning in the bio, Naomi is my teacher's assistant this year. And she is specifically my assistant in organizing and forming this term of Laurels, which, by the way, I should say, is being sponsored by the Institute for Classical Languages, which you also mentioned I'm a board member with. And they put out the universal Latin exam. So our organization, Institute for Classical Languages, is really all about trying to provide

Soren Schwab (CLT) (22:15.426)

Karen Moore (22:23.229)
opportunities resources for teachers and students to support the study of classical languages and So the tournament is a five-day event The event is June 25th through the 29th of 2024

It's going to invite classical language students from classical Christian, I'm just saying education because even school, we have such a different idea. It can be homeschool, it can be a co-op, it can be the traditional brick and mortar school. There's so many different forms and shapes that's taking, but students who are engaged in learning classical languages and classical education from all over the US. And we're inviting them to Houston Christian University and for this Tournament of Laurels,

Soren Schwab (CLT) (22:47.006)

Karen Moore (23:07.545)
that the School of Christian Thought at HCU in which their classics department is housed is also helping us to host and put on this event so we're so very grateful for them to do that but so the impetus you know Sorin you and I and Jeremy Chris Perrin a lot of us we get together each year at ACCS at SCL at various conferences right and we

renew old friendships, we renew conversations, we take time to share challenges in the year that we've had, to share inspirations and encouragement in the year that we come. I remember talking to Nancy Donaldson, another mutual friend once, and Nancy would always say,

I come into the conference a bit tired from the year before, and it puts all the gas in my tank to jet out and be prepared for the year after. And I want the same thing for our classical students. So often, their world is their school, their homeschool co-op, and they don't really know much outside of that.

And what they might even see in their city is not another classical school, but the local public schools or other charter schools and different things that they're happening. And they don't necessarily have a shared experience or a fair comparison to.

And something that I was involved in as a young person was the Junior Classical League. And those competitions, those conferences that we would come together at, I started attending in 7th through 12th grade. I formed JCL Latin chapters at each school I have been at. And they did something to really invigorate students. And we can talk more about that later, but getting back to the nuts and bolts. So we're inviting students from all over to Five Days at HCU.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (24:28.81)

Karen Moore (24:54.017)
The students get to actually live on campus. So you spend the night in the dorm you eat in the cafeteria We have all sorts of crazy social events and this is one of the only departments. I'm like, okay, what's cool and fun? For high school students now, right?

So, but it's also competition because the greatest two motivators for teenagers in learning anything are food and competition. So we will have both. So we have all sorts of different events. So we'll let's kind of do a rundown very quickly. First are the academic events. So these are written contests kind of like CLT, a very engaging fun contest. Some of them are in things like grammar, reading, etymology, or both Latin and Greek.

Karen Moore (25:41.089)
and literature connected to the classical realm. These however will embrace both secular and sacred texts. So we will not only be looking at Virgil and Cicero and Pliny and Seneca.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (25:43.874)

Karen Moore (25:56.011)
But we can look at Augustine, we can look at Tertullian, we can look at Erasmus, we can look at all sorts of different people down in the late antique and even the early middle ages because we really want students, our Christian classical students, to see how this relates to their history not only as a human being but also specifically as a worshiper of Christ. You know, how does this in fact play against our soul

So there are the academic events, then there are the oral events. The oral events. These have always been some of my students' favorites because we emphasize so much memorization, presentations, speaking in our schools. And so these are competitions where you memorize a passage of prose or a passage of poetry. We have the bards is the competition for the poets and the orators the competition for the orators, for the oratory. And you memorize a passage in Latin or Greek.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (26:38.532)

Karen Moore (26:56.229)
our competitions are not only reaching out to the Latinists but also to the Greeks because we do have a lot of Greek studies which is wonderful. We have Greek studies here at Grace Academy too is offered and we love having that opportunity so we want to encourage that and this allows them to recite, to perform, but in a classical language. 

Karen Moore 
Oh, and Naomi, we cannot forget to mention that the first full day of the tournament is going to be a glorious spoken Latin day. Marcus Foster, who hosts the Bidum each year at Covenant Classical in Fort Worth, is going to lead students in a series of workshops with all sorts of games and events and activities, just immersing themselves in spoken Latin. And that will be followed up with some fun workshops throughout the tournament.

And then of course there are the fine arts, the fine arts. What's your favorite fine arts event? So actually going back to JCL

in a memory I still cherish today was I drew a picture of Icarus falling into the ocean. And it was probably one of the first times where I connected, oh, like classics and art overlap. And it's a moment that I loved. I loved being able to take that creative liberty and really dive into different texts, use different words to describe certain things, do little nuances in the painting.

I found it as a fun challenge. And then we also have vocal solos, vocal ensembles, theaters, which are short plays, just things like that really just take classics just outside the text itself into performing for other people and to making it alive.

Well, as Naomi said, seeing how these classical languages inspired theater, inspired music, inspired art, because one thing we really want to do in classical education is integrate across disciplines and not have them isolated. And so this is a great way to do that. Also to make sure that we offer something at this tournament that really connects with each and every student. And some of us might like the language piece more, some of us might like the art piece or the music

competition because that's their nature. So we covered plays and what else is on our list? The Olympica, the track and field events which we were going to have those and then

Soren Schwab (CLT) (28:40.492)

Karen Moore (28:51.235)
Let's see, we covered the fine arts. Oh, the seminars. Yes, the seminars. So just like at our ACCS and SEL conferences, we have some fantastic speakers who are coming really to speak into the lives and the studies of our high school students. So at Houston Christian University, of course a fan favorite for ACCS and SEL is Dr. Lou Marcos. And so he signed up immediately. He was so excited to participate. And he is going to dress up as Odysseus

Soren Schwab (CLT) (29:06.507)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (29:11.959)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (29:19.499)

Karen Moore (29:21.149)
Odysseus in persona

and then allow the students to ask him questions that he will answer in the persona of Odysseus. So fun. I'm so excited. Yeah, and you know what an eccentric he is. It is gonna be crazy fun. Dr. Chris Hammons is the director for the law, the Institute of Law and Liberty at Houston Christian University. Do you know, HCU has a replica of Independence Hall to scale, to detail on their campus, and the students are going to get to sit in that building, in seats that look like

and Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson sat and they're going to hear Dr. Hammond's talk about the classical foundations of our founding fathers and then also engage in some activities with him.

And then another one is on Dr. Davis, is going to be speaking on the heritage of language in the Anglo-Saxon England and make some connections between classical works and Beowulf. And we have a couple of others too in the works, but not yet ready to be announced. And then of course, not everything is a competition, but we have some great social events. So what are some of the ones that we have going on? I'm really excited for the community that's gonna foster. We have things like Togo parties, movie nights.

maybe some scavenger hunts that are really going to bring the classics also into the community um for toga parties dressing up as when do you not want to dress up as a roman like that's all let's just clarify we're not talking about the old world um fraternity sorority toga parties we're talking about maybe playing a game of how did you say it was roman no

Soren Schwab (CLT) (30:45.038)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (30:52.494)
I was just gonna say, I'm sure it's gonna look different.

Karen Moore (31:01.271)
It was the Roman Empire Toga party. Yes. But we're playing the game Empire via costing. That's right. Yeah. Yes. But yes, and then we have, you know, HCU has this giant movie screen. We're going to watch movies out under the stars at night, glow in the dark parties. And there's also just great museums. The campus has great museums on campus. And Houston has some fantastic museums off campus. But we have times that you can take your students, if you wish to, off to go see those museums on their free day. So as you can see, there's just a lot going on.

But it's all been intentionally designed with three purposes in mind. Number one, we really want to promote the study of classical languages amongst students and help them really feel the excitement and the benefits and the engagement with that. Secondly, as I mentioned earlier, I really want to foster fellowship amongst our classical students from all over the US. An opportunity for them to come together and talk about their shared experiences. Oh, you do senior thesis too? Oh my goodness. You study Latin too?

Soren Schwab (CLT) (31:31.926)

Karen Moore (32:01.105)
about that thing. Let's talk about Plato. What do you think about Plato? These are actually conversations that will naturally come up, but it's because of a shared like experience that they might not have with others in outside of their school community, and I think there's great encouragement in that. And then the last reason is I really want to foster vision for the study of classics beyond 12th grade, because another thing that I often hear from high school students is, well I've read Plato. I've read Virgil. I've read Cicero. I'm done

I don't need classics again. So I really want to partner with schools like Houston Christian University to really give students an idea, a vision of what that looks like beyond 12th grade. And we're at Houston Christian University this year and likely next year, but I'd like to open an invitation to any of you who are connected with universities that are hearing my voice, that we would love to consider your campus and bringing hundreds of prospective students

campus, see what you do and the value that you place on classics and the benefit that classics can offer them beyond 12th grade, even if they're not going to be a lawyer or a doctor that uses actual Latin, but to see the richness that it brings to their studies and to their really understanding of the world around them.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (33:01.858)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (33:24.442)
good on Houston Christian to jump on that right away and say, I mean, I'm sure there are gonna be some universities listening and say, gosh, how did they get that, right? But I mean, what an...

Karen Moore (33:26.227)

Karen Moore (33:34.667)
Well, and I have to shout out to Phil Tallon. He's the director for the School of Christian Thought. And when I first reached out to him, I said, hey, would you possibly maybe consider doing this crazy idea? And he didn't even breathe. He just said, oh, this is a slam dunk. This is amazing. We're doing this. And he has just been so on board. And Gary Harttenberg, who's the director of the Honors College there.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (33:38.818)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (33:57.046)
Yeah, it's great.

Karen Moore (33:58.591)
fantastic. My own daughter is a senior now there and this is one of the reasons why I chose HCU. First of all, it's in Texas and I know the campus. I know so many of the professors there and the programs that they have there in the Honors College, the mentoring that they do with that, I am impressed both as a professional teacher but even more so as a parent.

and what they do for their students and not just speaking to the mind, but also developing the soul in both of those places, School of Christian Thought and the Honors College. They've just been fantastic, so I'm really excited to showcase them this summer.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (34:33.038)
I mean, there are so many things to be excited about, right? And kudos to both of you. And gosh, just listening to you, I can't even imagine. It's a lot on the organizational front. So great work and thanks for, sure there's some sacrifice with that. But I think kind of big picture, like the scaling of the classical education movement. And so many times I've talked to teachers that felt a little siloed, right? In their own school. And then they go to one of these conferences, like you said earlier, Karen,

And they say things like, oh my gosh, this is much bigger than, like this movement is bigger, right? And I found my tribe. I've heard that before. I found my people. I found my community. And the fact that you're doing this for students, because I think that's one thing that our movement has not quite been able to capture as much, right? Like we're getting the philosophy and, you know, with the teachers and with Classical U, but what about the students receiving this education?

Karen Moore (35:11.797)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (35:31.594)
And for them, for Naomi and the peers to go and be in community and find their tribe, and be able to share and to, I can't even overstate how crucial that's going to be and how rejuvenated they're going to be coming back to their schools and talking about it.

Karen Moore (35:44.527)
We're very excited for it.

Karen Moore (35:50.947)
Thank you, Sonia. I am excited too. This has long been a dream and long been a vision. As I mentioned, JCL for our students was that at first because they could go and they could see, oh, look, somebody else is studying this too. And I loved JCL. I'm so thankful for that. But JCL being a secular organization was limited in a bit. And so for years I've dreamed of thinking, okay, someday I would love to expand this.

to include the ecclesiastical text, to include the Christian literature.

to go a little bit past the Golden Age, to go down in the late antique, early medieval, and just to open this up in a way that really supports what we study. Because unlike the public schools, we are reading Herodotus, we are reading Thucydides, we are reading Machiavelli. So we are reading Dante, the whole kit and caboodle, not just the inferno. We are reading more of Homer. So doing something like this also, I feel like it really supports teachers and what they're doing in the classroom. Like I've been asked the question,

What does a teacher need to do? And I said, well, there are some guidelines and rubrics now posted on the website, which I should add. It's at the Institute for Classical Languages. And then you'll click on the tournament link there. But if you go to, you will find it. And all of the guidelines, all the rubrics are put there. So if you wanna do oratory or art, you can see what the requirements are and start working on it.

But really, it's just about supporting what you're already doing. It's not about adding another thing. And I have found the carrot of competition can motivate a student more than any grade on a paper, a report card, even a transcript can. But it also, again, you know, Naomi mentioned camaraderie.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (37:19.052)

Karen Moore (37:35.099)
For our students at Grace, when we started a Latin club, the alumni still joke that was our first sport because we did not have a basketball team. We weren't big enough. But Latin became that because it's this idea of coming together as a team from Grace Academy, but then also interacting with teams and students from all over the country and sharing those experiences.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (37:41.494)

Soren Schwab (CLT) (37:59.046)
We'll be sure to put it in the show notes and obviously your contact that people can get in touch and I'm sure a lot of want to get involved and so we'll have that information but thanks for sharing and yeah, I'm fired up and Remind you remind us of the dates again just to make sure my calendar is open 25th

Karen Moore (38:15.003)
June 25th through the 29th. And you not only need to check the website, but one of the reasons I needed Naomi is because she has been our social networking marketing media.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (38:27.79)

Karen Moore (38:29.671)
guru. So you can find us, what are we finding us? We're on instagram at tournament.of.laurals and go follow us there and that should take you to all our other social media websites, it's the same for Facebook and threads. I think we're on threads now, we just started threading. So and the beauty and the design of that is full credit to Naomi. So it looks great and you can follow us there as well. We do some fun things, I think recently we just did two truths and a lie

Soren Schwab (CLT) (38:45.03)
All right. Nice. All right.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (38:59.51)
So go check it out wonderful. Well, this has been delightful and as you both know There's there's one last question that I ask every guest on the podcast it's usually the most difficult one and requires discipline to not pick 17 of favorite books, but Naomi I'm gonna start with you if there's one text or one book that you could point to that really has been impactful in Your life classical or not. What would it be and why?

Karen Moore (38:59.606)
fun. It's good fun.

Karen Moore (39:12.475)
I'm sorry.

Karen Moore (39:25.207)
Absolutely. My brain goes to Plato's Republic initially. I think I read that first in seventh grade right over my head. Not even, I just knew what it basically said, enough to do well on the test and then moved on. And I reread it two years ago and then read it this past year. And it's really sunk in.

What's amazing about it is I know, I can't know, I don't know who to credit this to, but someone said if Plato was born when Christ was around, he would absolutely be a Christian. And so it's just a really cool moment. It's really humbling to look back and say, this man was thinking this way back when, way before Christ, but it's just such a.

nugget of what it's providential that he was thinking that and it translates to our philosophy today and pulls through even with modern theologians. I love considering philosophy. There's something about it when you just stew on words, stew on their thoughts that really makes you feel alive and so that's definitely one of my favorites and just how it's structured our entire society and you see it everywhere around you all the time.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (40:36.202)
Wonderful. What about you, Karen?

Karen Moore (40:38.859)
Oh, that's such a hard question, Soren. Well, when you first said this, and I was thinking, well, any work, Milton's Paradise Lost came to mind. And because when I was a senior in high school, it was reading Milton that really showed me the great reach of Virgil.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (40:58.926)

Karen Moore (40:59.207)
and some and the classics into the modern era and just what Milton does in pulling from Homer, pulling from Virgil and the way he uses the illusions of their text, the imagery from their text to create an epic that applies to us as Christians, which is something that was really a profound experience for me as a young person and for that reason too I'd say if you were going to talk about a classical text for the first two or three decades of my life I would have said in a

be Virgil, just his artistry, his language. But in this season of my life, 
When I was at the University of Edinburgh though, to speak to Naomi's point, I wrote a dissertation on the work of Victorinus, who is the first Latin commentator on the Pauline Epistles. And he's really credited as the inspiration for Augustine and he brings platonic and neoplatonic philosophy into the study of scripture. And so inspired me that his work is not only the inspiration for my dissertation, but his work is definitely what is shaping the next season of my professional

studies in Latin language. He's just what he has done and even his life itself is just marvelous.

Soren Schwab (CLT) (42:22.158)
Amazing, wonderful. Well, Karen, Naomi, thank you so much. This has been delightful. I know we could talk for a few more hours about all the amazing things that you're doing. I encourage everyone to check out the Tournament of the Laurels. It's gonna be a smashing hit, thanks to both of you. And definitely keep us in the loop. Let us know. We're gonna follow you on all the social medias and tag you. Naomi, thanks for that. And...

If you're ever looking for an internship or anything, we're always looking for talent, so just give us a holler. But again, we're here with Naomi Noble and Karen Moore from Grace Academy. Thank you both so much for joining us at Anchor today.