World of Words


Parlez-vous francais? Habla usted español? Legisne Latine? The correct reply yo one of these questions could have been pronounced “oui! isi! or certe!” by a majority of nearly fluent language students. The members of the three tongued trio, French, Spanish, and Latin, were constantly engaged in one activity or another, but the most prevalent and mandatory of the items on the agenda were the lessons themselves. This included an involved study of grammar, translations of ancient classics, and conversational drills. Also on the calendar for the linguists was a Parisian banquet, a fiesta-like picnic, and a dinner in an ancicent Roman atmosphere. Provincial French costumes evolved from black skirts, peasant blouses, and paper dolies in order to clothe the French carolers, while the advanced Latin students, in robed procession, enlightened the Christmasy Shawnee-Mission catacombs with a serenade. These tri-lingual groups took part in a constant flow of activities representing le meilleure, el mejor, and magnissime of the language department at Shawnee-Mission East.