The Path Ahead: Collaborations and Relinquishing Editorial Control

The purpose of these commentaries has always been to promote lifelong reading habits in Latin and Greek. The free pdf files, the relatively inexpensive paperbacks, and even the decision to include two or more texts from each author has always been designed to encourage readers to pick up new titles before they break their habits and stop reading altogether.

Although I have not worked out all the details, my plan is to format the text and corresponding vocabulary pages and allow others with more nuanced understanding of the texts to assume editorial control, write the commentaries, and become the primary (and sole) authors. While I will encourage collaborators to consider POD and to make their files accessible to all, the authors will be free to publish the works however they wish. This measure, I believe, will produce better commentaries for readers in the near future.

While Odyssey 17-20, Aristotle’s NE 2-3, Lysias 18, Livy AUC Book 1, and Augustine’s Confessiones Book 1 are certainly candidates for this sort of collaboration, I will also be open to relinquishing copyright and offering up previously published titles such as Oedipus Rex and Antigone–both of which deserve more attention.  I will still publish the occasional work on my own–particularly if no interest is expressed by collaborators.

Of course, if I find that this approach does not work or, more importantly, does not serve the original purpose outlined in the first paragraph, I will pick up where I left off and continue to publish work on my own.

If you have titles to recommend, please include them in the comments. I take all recommendations seriously.

How teachers can use the pdf to enhance instruction

Teachers have contacted me and offered a number of ways that they use the pdf to enhance instruction. Below are a few tips worth passing along:

(1) Enlarge the pdf on your desktop and connect the computer to a projector to create a quick and easy presentation.

(2) Enlarge the pdf on the desktop and take screenshot images of the selected text (Mac: shift-command-4, Windows: Snipping tool) to insert in presentations, quizzes, and tests. (Enlarging the pdf improves the image resolution.) This is a very easy way to maintain formatting between the book, presentations, and tests.

(3) Copy and paste the Greek or Latin text to insert in translation quizzes and tests.

(4) Use the search function in the pdf to find relevant grammar constructions throughout the commentary: e.g. search “subj” to find all labeled subjunctive constructions and “dat” to find labeled dative constructions.

(5) If the students have mastered the core vocabulary, copy and paste selected dictionary entries from the corresponding vocabulary sections (e.g. word occurring 3-8 times) as you read to create vocabulary lists for students to review and memorize.

(6) In a secondary school setting, post the pdf (or a link to the pdf) on your class website and ask that students use the paperback in class and pdf at home or vice versa and not carry the book in their book bags. This is an easy way to discourage daily wear-and-tear on your books and yet ensure that students always have access to the commentary.

(7) If you wish to add selected vocabulary to Quizlet or Anki to make flashcards, Quizlet and other programs allow you to copy and paste lists of vocabulary and then ask what punctuation you wish to use to divide up the word from the definition. Choose “:” and within seconds you will convert the vocabulary list copied from the pdf into a functional set of flashcards. Then, simply copy the link to the flashcard set and send it to your students.

If you have any other suggestions to add to this list, please let me know.