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Wednesday, March 22, 2000

Retired teacher honored for online contributions
By Loretta Fulton
Reporter-News Staff Writer

Rose Williams would likely never have to offer a culpa est mea because she rarely commits a lapsus linguae.

Nor is it imaginable that the prim “Ms. Rose” would ever be a persona non grata in any of the countries of the old Roman Empire that she frequents each summer.

However, a hearty carpe diem isn’t out of the question for the retired Latin teacher, who now devotes her time to writing educational material and contributing to educational Web sites.

Williams recently was awarded the Bronze Chalice for her “outstanding submissions of the week” to Classics Technology Center. CTC is part of a Web site operated by AbleMedia, a management and technology consulting firm that develops techniques for integrating multimedia technology into existing educational curricula.

Williams’ contributions to the Web site included common Latin phrases and mottoes such as those used by universities. Included in her list of phrases were culpa est mea, or “the fault is mine,” lapsus linguae or “a slip of the tongue,” persona non grata or “a person unwelcome,” and carpe diem or “seize the day.”

Her entire lists can be found on the Web site www.ablemedia.com/ctcweb under the heading, “Ms. Rose’s Latin Phrases & Mottoes.”

Williams began collecting phrases and mottoes when she was teaching, first at Abilene High School for two years, then Cooper for 32 years and McMurry University for five years.

“Students love finding these phrases in newspapers and their other textbooks,” Williams said.

Since retiring, Williams has devoted her energy to writing material for Latin teachers and to contributing to educational Web sites where teachers can draw on each other’s work and answer one another’s questions.

“It’s like posting something on an international electronic bulletin board,” she said.

An international stage is a long way from Lamesa High School, where Williams got her first introduction to Latin. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in English and history from Baylor University with a minor in Latin. She later earned a master’s degree in Latin from the University of North Carolina.

In her nearly 40 years of teaching, Williams never had any trouble getting students to take Latin. They soon learned that it helped them master other foreign languages, improved their English grammar, and helped them score higher on college entrance exams.

“I’m still teaching Latin,” she said. “It’s just kind of undergone a metamorphosis.”

Contact staff writer Loretta Fulton at 676-6778 or fultonl@abinews.com.

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