Paris Review: "Human Life Is Punishment," and Other Pleasures of Studying Latin.

Our translation exercises are epic, portentous, full of grandeur and violence.

Fac fortia et patere ... "Be strong and endure" ... I started Latin in 7th grade, stuck through it to basic Greek in 12th. More fun were our mistranslations. "Three cyclops on a raft." "Cicero throwing himself into the sea ... with books." We had some doozies. Mr Carman at PHS made it all fun - and applicable to the real world. Each NY Times crossword had one Latin word or phrase back then. We were exempted from having to do a translation up on the chalkboard if we got the crossword latin question correct.