I have taught Latin I for the majority of my career at Harrisburg Academy. After a short hiatus and a move to the Upper School, I was fortunate enough to begin teaching Latin again. When I came back to it, I knew one thing that I wanted to restart was caroling through the halls during the last class in December. We sing songs translated into Latin, like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (Rudolphus Reno)” and others that were originally written in Latin, like “Adeste Fideles (O Come All Ye Faithful)”. In the early years, we mainly caroled in the MS hallways. It was always well received by the faculty and other MS students. Now, I am primarily an Upper School teacher, but Latin I is still filled with 8th grade students, so we now carol up and down both the MS and US hallways.
This year, something special and unexpected happened. When the current Latin students and I went around singing holiday songs, several Upper School students who have caroled with me over the last few years asked if they could sing along as well. It was a lot of fun to see the older students smile and join my current students in singing songs in Latin. One student even sang a challenging song, “Frosty the Snowman,” as a solo.
The holidays allow us all to come together and celebrate beliefs that we hold dear. I believe that Latin is important, and I am glad that it has a home at our school. Harrisburg Academy is a community in in Southcentral Pennsylvania unlike any other. The fact that my former Latin I students still felt a connection to an experience that they had during a previous year is something that will help keep my heart warm as the temperature drops over the next few weeks.