A Classical Education
David Housewright’s fascination with Roman culture and interest in Latin was inspired by his high school Latin teacher, Joyce McFall. But it was his experience attending UT Latin Day as a junior in high school that influenced his college plans.
At Latin Day I heard a lecture on “Arma virumque cano.” This is the first half of the first line of the Aeneid by Vergil. Professor Robert Sklenar gave an entire lecture on that seemingly simple phrase. After that lecture, I decided that I simply had to attend UT and take one of his Latin courses,” David said.
David has pursued a major in Classics with a concentration in Latin, taking classes from a number of faculty, including the department head, Chris Craig. “Classics is one of the most interesting subjects in the world to me,” offers David. “Being taught by teachers who are passionate about the subject has kindled my interest. This is definitely the case with Professor Craig.”
David observes that Professor Craig really cares about his students and is a great advisor. “He is concerned about all aspects of his students’ academic careers and helps them to grapple with their tough decisions.
He makes sure he is connected with his students and goes so far as to give them his home phone number so they can call him about anything. This kind of support is encouraging.”
Now in his senior year, David’s accomplishments are admirable. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, holds office in the UT chapter of Eta Sigma Phi, the national Classics Honor Society, serves on the Dean’s Student Advisory Council, and volunteers at THRIVE Lonsdale, a program for children.
He was set to graduate in May 2015 summa cum laude. Instead, he has decided to continue his studies in a fifth year program that will lead to his certification to teach Latin in high school. “Teaching is one of the most important careers.” he said. “I’ve not chosen this field to acquire wealth, but to influence lives. I also want to draw interest toward Latin just as my interest was drawn by my teachers. Of equal importance, as a teacher I will have the opportunity to be a good role model and to influence students in important ways beyond academics.”
Professor Craig observes, “David Housewright is bright enough and dedicated enough to succeed at anything he chooses. Never mind the fact that, besides mastering Latin, he also speaks Japanese. His analytical abilities are simply first-rate. What I like most about David is the way he combines lively intellectual ability with a powerful desire to give back. Out of all the directions open to him, David has chosen a vocation that will allow him to use his gifts to make a positive difference in young people’s lives. For a person of his talent to become a Latin teacher is not a glitzy choice. It is a noble one. He makes me proud.”