Wednesday, November 29, 2017



Jeffrey M. Duban, The Lesbian Lyre: Reclaiming Sappho for the 21st Century (West Hoathly: Clairview, 2016), pp. xxix-xxx:
Students at The Boston Public Latin School of the 1960s were expected to keep up with their lessons, learning Latin enough to translate without the use of a crib. Accordingly, cribs were always a matter of high drama and trepidation, as they were the ultimate contraband. The cheating student, tearing out the day's translation and laying it into his Cicero or Virgil, would rise to recite. Stammering his way through, he trembled, responding n-nothing to the master's (pointing) What's that you've got there? There was no greater punishment than that for the use, or even possession, of a crib: the student's parents summoned to the headmaster, suspension or disciplinary censure following (two censures in a school year and you were out). For it was not simply cheating, it was treason—a betrayal of the core educational values and good citizenship embodied in the study of Latin at the Latin School. The severity of the sanction, the opprobrium, kept us well studied and respectful.

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