For Jacqui Bloomberg, the start of summer didn’t mean a break from teaching. The Upper School Latin teacher taught at SALVI’s Rusticatio Tironum, an immersion retreat for beginning Latin speakers near Charles Town, West Virginia.
Bloomberg has attended these retreats since 2009, with Dana Hall’s professional development funds underwriting most of her expenses, but this was her first experience teaching there. While past participants have included composers, engineers, business people and accountants, this year’s students were all fellow Latin teachers, from the elementary to college level.
“This was an incredible challenge for me,” Bloomberg said. “As the repetitores [teachers] were invaluable to me at previous retreats, I wanted to serve the same function for the tirones [beginners]. They are all fabulous teachers who haven’t had as much experience with spoken Latin.”
The weeklong program brings participants together to speak, read, cook and relax all while communicating entirely in Latin. The full immersion takes place in a supportive, intimidation-free environment.
“Our motto is Serva Patientiam!” Bloomberg said. “This means to be patient with yourself, because we all have very high expectations. I now have a much better idea of how to introduce spoken Latin to my high school students. Before, I was learning to improve my own fluency and to learn new pedagogical methods; this time, I had to practice what I preached.”
"My favorite Dana Hall memory would be the first time I ever sang the Alma Mater with my fellow classmates. That was most definitely the first time I felt like I was truly a part of something. Joining hands with my future Silver Sisters made me truly feel like I was a Dana girl."