man statue

A Classical Summer

A&S Pre-College Programs is partnering with the WashU Classics department to offer a new exciting summer opportunity for high school students: the Ancient Studies Institute. Maurice Gonzales, instructor for this summer's program, recently shared with us what motivated him to pursue the Classics and drew him to teach pre-college students.

Athens, Greece Photo by Spencer Davis on Unsplash

In my second year of college, I took my first Classics course: Folktales, Monsters, and Magic. At the time, I thought of this class as little more than an elective. Little did I know that that course would change my outlook not only on my student career but also my life.

My effervescent professor, Dr. Wendy Raschke took us through so many different mythologies from Sumerian to Greco-Roman. We read translations of ancient texts critically each week, and I particularly marveled at just how many parallels we found between ancient and modern cultures across millennia.  I gained not only an entirely new perspective on ancient cultures, but also a greater appreciation for the humanities.

"This is what especially drew me to the pre-college program: outreach. I want as many people as possible to know what 'Classics' is." 

After this class, I wanted so badly to learn Latin and Greek so that I could read those translated texts in their original language. I enrolled as soon as I could, which was a year later. These languages were so impactful to me that I decided I wanted to study Classics for a living. Accordingly, I only wish that I could have started sooner, that I had the opportunity to learn Latin and Greek right away in my first year of college. This is what especially drew me to the pre-college program: outreach. I want as many people as possible to know what “Classics” is. 

City view of Rome, Italy
Rome, Italy Photo by Carlos Ibáñez on Unsplash

Applications are now open for the 2024 Ancient Studies Institute. You can learn more about the program here

Curious to learn more about Classics at WashU? Timothy Moore, the John and Penelope Biggs Distinguished Professor of Classics, shares the joys and practical benefits of majoring in Classics. Dr. Moore is joined by two alumni who share their experiences in the department and what they've taken away from their studies.