Thursday, August 18, 2016

The First Day of School

 The students arrive today, and there are a million things I should be doing, especially working on my first book order of the year, which has usually already been delivered by this point in the proceedings. 

Instead, I am obsessing about the Latin on my Hogwarts lapel pin. The red pin underneath says "Librarian". The motto reads (From the Harry Potter Wiki): The school's motto is Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus, which, translated from Latin, means "Never tickle a sleeping dragon".

The Latin is clearly wrong. Since it is an imperative, it should use the "noli me tangere" construction, and read something like Nunquam Titilla Draconem Dormiendum. Unless you want to warn ALL the students. Then it would be Titillate.

This is my 19th year teaching. My first four were spent teaching Latin. About once a year, I start wishing I were still doing that. Why is that day today?

I studied Latin at the University of Cincinnati. Today, Picky Reader is moving into Siddall Hall there. On the bright side, it will be very difficult for her to make life choices that are a fraction of the amount of horrible mine were! She is majoring in accounting and finance, and is in one of the business honors programs, which seems to have a lot of support. She is looking forward to studying, and loves the campus, which is improved to the point that not a single building where I lived still stands. 

All will be well. We do not raise our children to be always by our sides. We raise them to have their own lives. 

The library lies in readiness, as soon as I find the hidden USB port on my new Acer Chromething at the circ desk and can plug in the bar code scanner. 

Off to work. It's already 5:10, and as my grandmother would say, the day's not getting any younger.

Have a good one, whatever you're doing.


  1. Good luck to you and Picky Reader!

  2. I like your lapel pin, despite the incorrect Latin. In fact, I like it better than the new Harry Potter book. Thanks for reading and reviewing so many books, always with your students in mind, and sharing your thoughts. Have a fantastic school year and don't let any students see you slap those cheeky book characters!

  3. Love the pin! I have a lanyard for my school key which say "I solemnly swear I am up to no good!"

    The library look great and ready.

    We are now into our second week.

    Best of luck on having a college student! Ours is in 8th and I'm already wondering what that must be like. Wow.

    Here's hoping for a great year for you both!

  4. Hope by the time you get this that you've had a great first day of school, Karen!

  5. Hope you're having a lovely first day back!

  6. Good luck on this year at school! We're getting ready to go back too. We have a week left.

    Dena @ Batch of Books

  7. Best of luck in the new school year to you and Picky Reader!

  8. Anonymous8:57 PM EST

    It is not so much that the Latin is wrong, it is that the usual English translation is not exactly precise, although it does preserve the general sentiment.

    "Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus" literally means "a sleeping dragon must never be tickled". "Titillandus" being a future passive participle / gerundive with implied 'est' indicating a sense of obligation which is negated my nunquam (numquam).