GREEK IN A WEEK 2000
Greek In A Week is a concept pioneered by Mr. John Schwandt, Fellow of Languages at New St. Andrews College in Moscow, Idaho. In GIAW an entire year of college level biblical Greek, using Machen's New Testament Greek for Beginners, is covered in one mind-bogglingly intensive week. Mr. Schwandt first tried it on four men in the summer of 1999 and had sufficient success to want to try it again. In the summer of 2000, GIAW is sponsored by Schola Classical Tutorials, with Mr. Schwandt teaching and Mr. Callihan assisting, and 11 students from Schola are participating. Most have had some Greek and Latin, but some have had none at all. The class runs from 8:00 a.m. till 6:00 every day of the week of June 12-16, with a 30 minute break in the morning and afternoon, and a one hour break for lunch. The class is being conducted in the home of Dr. Robert Callihan, father of Mr. Wes "Schola" Callihan, on the Callihan Farm in Potlatch, Idaho.
The students (and where they're from):
Candace Spain (TX)
On Saturday, June 12th, Mr. Callihan picked up half a dozen students at the Spokane, WA, airport. Candace was the first to arrive, followed shortly by Brendan and Ben. Also arriving were Ashleigh, Meghan, Ruth Ann, and Stephen. That evening the students relaxed at Mr. Callihan's house and the girls made dinner. Sunday evening, after a day of church and then more resting up for the week, Ruth Ann played the piano and some of the students sang. Jake McCloy had flight delays and didn't make it to Potlatch till after 5:00 a.m. Monday morning the first day of GIAW, so he put in his his first 9-hour day of Greek on 2 hours of sleep.
On Monday morning, Mr. Schwandt met his students and we took a class picture. Front row: Deadra, Emily, Meghan, Ruth Ann. Second row: Candace, Ashleigh, Ben, Brendan, Mr. Schwandt. Back row: Mr. Callihan, Stephen, David, Jake. We'll see how we look at the end of the week! The students were looking and feeling fresh on Monday, as was Mr. Schwandt. But by evening, the class was feeling different.
Tuesday morning. Mr. Schwandt likes to change our settings to keep us from becoming too weary of one position, so we sometimes sit on the floor, and even sit outside in the sun. We also had breaks outside. Brendan is still feeling invincible. Emily and Candace. Jake and Stephen. Ruth Ann translates. Even Mr. Callihan has to translate. The girls read The Princess Bride on break. Stephen is unfazed by new paradigms. So are the girls. In the evenings, Mr. Callihan conducts review sessions.
Wednesday. Things got much harder. The day begins with breakfast for the boys at Mr. Callihan's house and the girls at Mr. Callihan's parents' house. Class begins again, with Mr. Schwandt as energetic as ever. Ashleigh and Deadra, Meghan and Emily, and Stephen show the strain. At break, the room empties, and ultimate frisbee is a favorite way to work out kinks. Frisbee is tiring, however. The boys consider the benefits of outside bathing. At lunch, Brendan entertains us, he and Jake enjoy the food, Jake keeps an eye on things, Mr. Callihan Sr. entertains Mr. Schwandt's baby John Jr., and the girls read email from home. John Jr. gets lots of attention. Mr. Schwandt does Show and Tell with his Greek books. All the guys and all the girls are still in good spirits. Wednesday evening we had a sausage roast around the fire; the guys roasted sausages and played ball with Robert (or shook change out of his pockets), afterward we had short vocab review, and George found lots of new big sispeaking termssters and brothers. So did Robert.
Thursday: the most brutal of all. David managed to at least start the day smiling...evening was another story. Mr. Schwandt strove to keep us on top of things. Caffeine was needed to keep some awake. Fresh air also helped. Comic relief (and a little more) was needed to keep the students from completely cracking. Some did anyway. The day was brought to a close with Mr. C reading short stories in the Callihan living room, a little amusement to rest the weary student's brains.
Friday, the final day. Even after all he'd put them through, the students were still on speaking terms with Mr. Schwandt! On account of gorgeous weather, much of the class took place outside. The week was finished off with readings from John, also outside. Even after 45 hours of Greek, everyone was still able to plaster on a smile. As the best reward for any good work is chocolate, the students were given their fill at dinner. By evening most of the students were in a state of utter collapse.
Postscript to GIAW: In spite of some real doubt in some quarters as to whether students can actually learn basic Greek in one week, the project was wonderfully successful. Mr. Schwandt pushed the students harder than they thought they could be pushed, but he did it with great patience, consideration of their human frame, marvelous insight into scope and sequence, and constant good humor, and the students loved him. By the end of the week, the students had worked through all of Machen and Friday afternoon were translating the first chapter of 1 John and surprising themselves with how much they could do. Congratulations to the first Schola Greek In A Week students and many thanks for Mr. John Schwandt for conducting such a successful experiment. We hope to do it again next year.
Post postscript: we *did*!]