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Rebirth of Reason

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Post 60

Thursday, October 25, 2012 - 6:08amSanction this postReply
NCSSM Community Service Present and Past

I may as well say something about community service now. This has been one of my pet peeves from the outset. But it is what it is -- a graduation requirement.

Per the NCSSM Course Catalog, all students must complete community service as follows:

SSL105 Summer Service Learning
Credit: Service Learning graduation credit
60 hours in summer between junior and senior year or in summer prior to first enrollment at NCSSM.
This experience introduces students to service learning. Students work for a non-profit organization in their home community. Students maintain a daily journal of their experiences, interview staff members of the organization, and share with other members of the NCSSM community in a small group reflection session based on their experiences.

If you already volunteer for something you already love to do, see if you can get your 60 hours done prior to grade 11 to leave the summer prior to grade 12 free for NCSSM internships. If not, start looking. I normally would say to wait until after grade 11 so if you decide not to return to NCSSM for grade 12, you just saved yourself 60 hours of drudgery. That is also a valid approach though it can smother opportunities for summer internships if you want those. So you need to weigh your options. Make sure whatever you do meets NCSSM criteria to satisfy the requirement. Talk to those in power if needed.

I could not find a direct contact for the person who coordinates this at NCSSM. For newly admitted rising juniors, see if you can locate that person and get your papers in order before Welcome Day to substantiate the work done thus far and approval to use that toward the NCSSM requirement. That would be a fine leverage of time right there.

There are some summer research opportunities for which rising NCSSM seniors can compete. There are many more applicants than positions. But you would at least want to keep yourself open for that opportunity if it interests you. Make sure you ask about them at Welcome Day or whenever you get a chance. This would be a good motive for completing the community service requirement before grade 11.

A bit of history is in order here to give a full context to this onerous requirement. When NCSSM first started, the idea of community service was to "pay back" the City of Durham for "donating" the Watts campus for use by NCSSM. (My own suspicion is that the city had a condemned property liability on its hands and was more than happy to unload it onto the state!) Students had the option of serving their 60 hours locally during their junior year either two hours per week or one very long Saturday per quarter. (Note that were on quarters in those days.) Students who could live in the Durham area during the preceding or succeeding summers could also satisfy the requirement that way "with special arrangement" from NCSSM. Evidently Durham long ago felt "well paid back" so now the idea is to "pay back" the State of North Carolina. At least NCSSM finally had the sense to understand that this service ought to be done during the summer rather than cramming more nonsense into an already overstuffed junior year schedule. These are all "funny money" games that I discuss in my YouTube videos since the numbers never work anyway. I do understand that NCSSM also wants students exposed to the idea of service, volunteer experience, etc. so it is not just about "paying back" the disembodied concept of "the state." But I just thought readers would find the origins of the requirement interesting.

I took the "one long Saturday per quarter" option with the NCSSM coordinator designating where we went for those sessions. My four Saturdays consisted of:
  1. Cleaning the yard of a little old lady and contracting poison ivy as a result.
  2. Insulating homes of poor people by placing foam behind power outlet covers and plastic over windows of their homes, concurrently encountering random passersby who wanted us to do the same for them (without their doing the work of applying and qualifying for the privilege) and, when we declined, hearing colorful language like, "F*** YOU!"
  3. More of (2).
  4. Scraping wallpaper and repainting a halfway house for recovering drug addicts, concurrently encountering a street wino in a trench coat with eyes of two different colors who explained that he "majored in the humanities" in college between sips from the brown bag bottle of liquor concealed beneath his trench coat.
I am not here to denigrate people in need. I just have to wonder what could possibly be the most productive use of a gifted student's time. In my opinion, these were not good examples of how to do so. If NCSSM wanted to instill a positive attitude about volunteering, it backfired.

Choose your community service intelligently!

Post 61

Saturday, November 3, 2012 - 6:18pmSanction this postReply
Individualism versus Collectivism at NCSSM

I initially gave this post the title "Conservatism versus Progressivism at NCSSM" but realized that does not really describe the contrast as well as the final working title "Individualism versus Collectivism at NCSSM." The former has much "loaded language" whereas the latter does not. This is a very broad topic and hard to convey to students not already exposed to the contrast. So I will make an attempt at a concise treatment and its relevance to those entering the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM) though it has applications to academia in general. I base this post on my experiences as an NCSSM student 1982-84 and my subsequent reviews of the ongoing evolution of the school and its students.

Much of the public discourse today from the classroom to the boardroom contains many assumptions about human nature and government that go largely unchallenged. Phrases like "the general welfare" have their roots all the way back to the Constitution itself. Debates become mired in deadlock because few have the ability or courage to challenge these assumptions openly. In addition, "loaded language" buzzwords like "conservative," "liberal," "libertarian," and others have changed meanings radically over time. For instance, "classical liberal" means a viewpoint quite different from "progressive liberal." I have no doubt that others in this forum will even argue with me about that preceding statement. This is my point. Any discussion that has any hope of making progress toward a productive resolution, i.e. a new insight that illuminates the subject for all participants, requires clear and common definitions of key terms in the minds of those participants.

Students entering NCSSM will not only find their academic skills challenged harder than they have ever previously experienced, but will also find their core values challenged. This happens because of the great diversity of the student body and the faculty. The typical rural high school in North Carolina likely has a much more homogeneous composition due to geographical limitations than an urban high school. But even urban high schools with advanced courses still suffer from the limitations intrinsic in the nature of public schools, meaning they will be filled with people of "average" intellects and backgrounds. The typical NCSSM "well above average" intellect makes relating to "average" people quite difficult. While the "highly gifted" student has highly abstract thoughts like the space-time continuum lurking through his mind constantly, the "average" student's thoughts more likely revolve around more immediate and concrete issues like the athletic continuum or the beauty contest continuum. The resulting social disconnection and consequent sense of isolation and loneliness serve as a major motivator to apply to NCSSM.

This brings me to the subject of religion. The overwhelming numbers of North Carolina residents identify with the Christian faith and at least pay lip service to traditional conservative values such as straight marriage, monogamy, moderation in drinking, lawfulness, etc. Notice I said "identify" and "lip service" since clearly many do not "practice what they preach." Nevertheless, at the ballot box, these values make themselves known repeatedly. The recent passage of Amendment One to the North Carolina State Constitution formally defining marriage as one man and one woman show this conclusively. In that sense, the state population plainly shows itself as leaning strongly "conservative" meaning "contrary to change against tradition" for better or for worse. On the other hand, the 61% passage of Amendment One shows a substantial minority with a contrary viewpoint.

These observations bring me to the point of this post. Anyone raised with "conservative" values opting to attend NCSSM had better come prepared for major culture shock. The school has many students, arguably a majority of them, whose values run counter to that tradition. Much of this counter-culture comes from the international backgrounds of those students, e.g. nations in the Middle and Far East. Even those from families with multiple generations in North Carolina often have values that run contrary to the majority, e.g. the stereotypical "far-left, hippie, tree-hugging queers," to use loaded language again. Those conservatives who encounter these contrary viewpoints unprepared will have to face them in person around the clock. Therein rests the challenge. An ordinary high school at least gives a psychological break after hours for the student to recover from the trials of the day. A boarding school offers no such relief. The same person with whom you engaged in an acrimonious "classroom discussion" earlier in the day might be your own roommate or hall mate or even have an authority position over you such as Residential Life Assistant (RLA). Does this prospect excite or drain you emotionally?

Perhaps more importantly, the "traditionalist" viewpoint represents, in my opinion, a minority one at NCSSM. So while you may have enjoyed at least some connection with your peers at this "sense of life" level at your old high school, you may find yourself suddenly feeling socially disconnected, isolated, and lonely at NCSSM in new and highly unexpected ways. With this in mind, it should become crucially important to you to identify clearly to yourself your core values, i.e. your fundamental "sense of life" philosophy, and, more importantly, how you came to draw those conclusions. This means becoming even more introspective and inquisitive and mercilessly judgmental of the contents of your own mind.

Philosophy, the integrative discipline that studies existence and man's relationship to it, evolved from the earliest religions as a more methodical and rational approach to explaining human experience. Coming after religion and before science, the discipline sought answers to the five "Big Questions" of life in their respective areas:

Metaphysics: What is out there?
Epistemology: How do I know it?
Ethics: What should I do?
Politics: What may I do?
Aesthetics: What might and ought I become?

Notice the key term "I" in each of these questions. Critics will charge me with language loading even for my use of capital "I" as a common subject for each question. Nevertheless, by my own chosen standards, this question collection represents the most effective way to convey my point, namely that anyone who identifies with any label or viewpoint needs to ask these questions and begin cultivating well-reasoned answers in order to experience a flourishing life worthy of living.

Any student considering NCSSM needs to understand that the packed schedule of NCSSM allows very little time or "excess mental capacity" for investigating and answering these questions independently. In a downright cultish fashion, the brutal NCSSM schedule keeps students "broke and busy" around the clock. Given the vast predisposition of academics into the "progressive" camp, "conservative" leaning students need to practice a special vigilance in their personal scholasticism given the dearth of such resources at NCSSM. This means acting now on your time and not waiting until "stress time" to pull your ideas together into a cohesive and defensible whole. Understand that ultimately you must defend your ideology to your own satisfaction just to live well but might have to work much harder to defend it to the satisfaction of professors assigning grades to your papers or to the peers arguing with you in "class discussions." Moreover, few people ever have their minds changed against their will, so accept that discussions can reach a certain point where even if you feel satisfied, your opponent never will, and your goal is simply to earn "class discussion" points, not to win arguments with others. You only need to argue and win with yourself to be happy.

To get you started, I recommend Philosophy: Who Needs It by Ayn Rand. Love her or hate her, she will make you think about these deep questions of life. As a radical individualist, she saw the individual human life as ultimately an end in itself, not the means to the ends of others. Contrast her view with the collectivist views of both "conservatives" and "progressives," both types who too often cheerfully sacrifice the individual and his property to nebulously defined "greater good" causes. As Ayn Rand would ask: "Good to whom? Good for what purpose?" Begin investigating these ideas well before NCSSM so you can at least make better oral and written arguments at NCSSM. If you can articulate your own philosophy concisely as a "personal mission statement" a la Sean Covey in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens," so much the better. Prepare to exchange ideas well into the night in dormitory discussions with classmates. This core contrast explains the title of this post. As I will show later, my own choice to embrace Ayn Rand's philosophy, Objectivism, will explain my ultimate disappointment with the toll of time on my many classmates both old and new.

Now I will share some candid observations and strictly my own opinions. Those who identify themselves as "conservative" tend to stick with proven traditions and the "risk-averse" path to life. Those who identify themselves as "progressive" tend to investigate new ideas and apply them without necessarily doing a full and rational investigation of those ideas and their merits, preferring instead an "experimental" approach to see if they work. The "highly inquisitive" nature of the gifted mind might explain the reckless "social experiments" I saw at NCSSM in terms of the usual adolescent testing of boundaries such as underage drinking and fornication, often to the detriment of those involved. Notice that both approaches have their benefits and risks. Conservatives can miss opportunities for beneficial changes long overdue while progressives can miss opportunities to assess and mitigate risks before their "experiments" explode in their faces. Regardless, much of a person's "personal identity" has already formed before entry to NCSSM and threats to that "sense of self" can shake the soul of the unprepared.

Now for long list of provocative questions only you can answer:

How do you intend to deal with people very different from yourself? How do you intend to deal with an administration that stuffs a "Student Handbook" so full of rules and regulations that you feel like a micromanaged refugee in an "intellectual concentration camp"? Are there traits common to all humanity around which you can build meaningful working relationships and lasting friendships? Do you even need to do so? Does your idea of "challenge" include social challenge or mere academic challenge? Might staying in your current high school to save your brain power exclusively for AP and dual enrollment courses better serve your future? Are your brain and personal energy reserve prepared for the piranha attack of the NCSSM social environment? Would you do better to stay put and focus on earning college credit at the expense of potential lifelong friends of similar intellectual caliber? Can you really be friends with people so different from yourself? Would you benefit from making an extra effort where you are now to relate to people in your own vicinity based on their "less than intellectual" terms?

If I had to name a single disappointment in the many years since I graduated NCSSM, it came in October 2009 at my 25th graduation reunions at both my old high school and NCSSM. I called it "Journey to the Lands of the Pod People" because of the stark contrasts between myself and both class compositions. My "conservative" old high school classmates had evolved mainly into "Jesus freaks" while my "progressive" NCSSM high school classmates had evolved primarily into "Obama freaks." My entry into Facebook to reconnect with them prior to the reunions led to arguments and "Unfriend" exchanges that left me feeling burned right, but burned. As the Thomas Wolfe novel says, You Can't Go Home Again. So if you go to NCSSM, expect to incur this type of risk.

In conclusion, take the time now to form a well-reasoned personal philosophy while understanding the viewpoints of its opponents. This will prepare you for the wildly diverse population of NCSSM and the "challenges" both real and fabricated that the school offers. In terms of the perspectives of individualism versus collectivism, many other cultures hew to the latter much more than do Americans. Books about global culture and business such as Riding the Waves of Innovation: Harness the Power of Global Culture to Drive Creativity and Growth by Fons Trompenaars and Charles Hampden-Turner show how to make the most of the strengths of both viewpoints to help teams to set and achieve worthy goals productively. The best NCSSM students will proactively seek these resources to prepare to harvest the best NCSSM has to offer while mitigating risks against the school's worst aspects. Likewise, even those who choose to forego NCSSM in favor of local opportunities will benefit from these exercises. College and "real life" itself offer many of the same strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats as NCSSM. The sooner the student acts to acquire new and relevant knowledge, the better prospects for success that student will enjoy.

Post 62

Monday, July 15, 2013 - 4:53amSanction this postReply
Christina Hammock, NCSSM Class of 1997 and NCSU Class of 2002, recently achieved another milestone with her selection for the next class of NASA astronauts.

Snobs who snub NCSU as "a joke" should take note.

In other news:

A Hyper-Successful STEM School and Its Dark Side

(Edited by Luke Setzer on 7/15, 8:08am)

Post 63

Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 9:40amSanction this postReply
Save FIT Tuition with Placement Testing

By Luther Setzer in Florida Tech Online Students on Facebook


1. Lessons in this post apply to other colleges as appropriate.
2. Readers will need to copy and paste listed links to their browser URL windows as needed.

Undergraduate students considering Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) Online have many reasons to attend. The convenience and flexibility of the University Alliance (UA) interface removes many of the logistical barriers of earning a degree. That said, those considering undergraduate degrees this way should first consider earning as much credit as possible through placement testing. Note that FIT has extremely generous placement testing guidelines:


Note also that applicants must earn these credits before applying to FIT.

A student can save literally tens of thousands of dollars using College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) Credit and other placement examinations per the standard tuition costs outlined at:


To get started:

1. Consider which major you want.
2. Look at the courses that major demands.
3. Locate those courses on the first link mentioned earlier
4. Determine which placement tests you would like to take for credit.
5. Locate the study resources you would like to use.
6. Gather those resources and study them.
7. Concurrently with (6) locate the nearest testing center that offers them so you can contact them and schedule your placement test in a timely manner. Note that testing centers usually offer these only one day per month so you must plan well in advance.

Here are some sites that offer excellent placement test study tools:


Finally, a word of caution: Placement testing is not for everyone. If you are apathetic, sloppy, or lazy, placement testing will not work for you because you will not work for it. See


for the full story.

Through her mother, I suggested this idea to a current high school student who responded via text: "Can you like sign me up for like English with that or somethin I do not want to take English with bird and do summer reading" exactly as quoted. LOL! The "bird" is Mr. Byrd, the senior Honors English instructor, who regularly employs Ayn Rand's massive novel ATLAS SHRUGGED as summer reading. That quote was too good not to share. Sadly, too many people have not a clue about what CLEP is and how to employ it as a high school supplement to turn almost any high school class into a college credit class.

Post 64

Thursday, August 29, 2013 - 6:45amSanction this postReply
Quora has interesting discussions about NCSSM:

Any advice for an incoming junior?

What is it like to attend NCSSM?

Post 65

Sunday, September 8, 2013 - 10:03amSanction this postReply
This article about College Confidential by the Chronicle of Higher Education should give all users pause when researching education.

Post 66

Saturday, September 14, 2013 - 4:39amSanction this postReply
This Facebook discussion about transgenders at NCSSM should give anyone uncomfortable with that notion second thoughts about attending ... or fair warning to expand your comfort zone now to include people of indeterminate gender.

For a contrary view, read this economist's blog entry for an argument against government compulsion of some to indulge in the "gender bender" fantasies of others.

A continuing theme running through my writings here about NCSSM involves the "no tangible value added" aspects of the school. Earning at NCSSM college credits on college transcripts that save huge sums of money later adds tangible value. Learning to cope with people who fall well outside statistical norms via "forced association" adds no tangible value. Both consume huge sums of psychological energy. Choose your school carefully.

(Edited by Luke Setzer on 9/14, 10:57am)

Post 67

Sunday, September 15, 2013 - 5:01amSanction this postReply
Read additional discussion of the economist's blog entry about indeterminate gender here.

Post 68

Monday, September 23, 2013 - 5:33amSanction this postReply
See Handling Conflicts Productively for insight into conflict management at NCSSM.

See Project Management Lessons from "The Invasion of NCSSM" for insight into Mini-Term at NCSSM.

Post 69

Friday, November 1, 2013 - 5:08amSanction this postReply
The new Facebook page called NCSSM Seniors' & Alumni's Words of Wisdom: Things I Wish I Knew as a Junior warrants a like and an ongoing read.

Post 70

Monday, January 13, 2014 - 1:26pmSanction this postReply
The recent blog A NCSSM Journey warrants a look.

Post 71

Sunday, February 2, 2014 - 12:11pmSanction this postReply

Seniors of a conservative leaning will find the Choosing the Right College site indispensable.

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Post 72

Sunday, February 2, 2014 - 1:52pmSanction this postReply



There are two problems in high school, both of which I've mildly encountered.


* Basic high-school work does not prepare you for college level. Rather, there is, for many, a jolting quantum leap upwards.


In many rural areas which do not offer 'college prep' that really prepares, boarding school is the only viable solution to do getting on a smooth curve-- for those serious about learning.


* A few of us found high-school work too easy; our tested level showd as much.


So again, in a rural area with no nearby college, boarding school can offer you some semblance of college level work.


But having grown up in Atlanta, neither of these issues were relevant. Unlike most all of Georgia, metro schools do offer 'accelerated' courses that really do interface with fresh/soph level college work.


Testing high in math, I trundled down to North Avenue Trade School (Ga Tech) twice a week, doing my physics, as well .


Then back home I went, to family life. 'Never missed a dance.


Moreover, my gut feeling as a psychologist wannabe/nearlythere is that taking teens away from home is a really, truly bad idea.



Post 73

Sunday, February 2, 2014 - 2:08pmSanction this postReply

Eva, thanks for the feedback.  I agree that NCSSM came far closer to college than BHHS.  What was frustrating was that NCSSM came closer to graduate school than undergraduate school in its intensity.  Several of my classmates have said as much so this is not just I saying this.  There were so many things I would have done differently knowing what I know now.  This includes a rigorous Plan B had I stayed at BHHS which would have involved intense self-study for CLEP and AP tests.  Today's technology makes this approach especially accessible and achievable.


You observed:

Moreover, my gut feeling as a psychologist wannabe/nearlythere is that taking teens away from home is a really, truly bad idea.

I agree completely though many of my classmates would not.  It really depends on the person and the parents.  Some people grow and others flounder at NCSSM.  Most are just happy to survive and graduate.  The same happens in college.  I still think the local community colleges are the best bet for most students most of the time to give them the skill and maturity needed to flourish in a university environment.


Some NCSSM students apply to escape toxic home environments rather than to master STEM subjects in an intense academic atmosphere.  This is a factor I doubt the politicians accounted when they founded the school.  If a student is socially well-adjusted and has lots of meaningful relations at home, what would motivate that student to pull stakes contra his spiritual opposite, namely a miserable nerd seeking escape?  This especially applies to maligned persons such as homosexuals and explains their disproportionate representation at NCSSM.


Feel free to read the article and browse the thread for other observations corroborating your gut feeling.


(Edited by Luke Setzer on 2/02, 2:10pm)

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Post 74

Sunday, February 2, 2014 - 4:24pmSanction this postReply



Thanks for the response.


You mentioned several motivations for transferring to boarding school that I saw in two others while I, myself was in high school:


*An unhappy family life

* Nerd harassment.


The first * needs no explanation other than to say yes, many whom I knew even as friends were unhappy at home.


The nerd issue merits examination. Briefly, there's an emormous anti-intellectual environment in today's high schools that really rubs against those who want to learn.


Among those of negro culture, there are even threats of violence. (Here, I use the archaic 'negro' to distinguish pigmentation from culture. There is no genetic reason why those of dark pigmnet cannot learn as fast as those of lighter.)


My point is that anti-intellectual behavior is codified, with all the acoutrements of peer pressure and sanction.


Of course, sissy and I were were immune to all this by virtue of having academic, strong & loving parental unit that made us just assume that school was about learning all you could in a four-year span.


Regarding all those rules....my suspicion is that this is what the North Carolinian leadership-people are really all about: advanced EE in the desk, Thomas Wolfe on the bedstand, but The New testament under the pillow...(!?)...



Post 75

Thursday, May 29, 2014 - 5:23amSanction this postReply

My second semester at NCSSM in my junior year, I enrolled for a course in Pascal with the infamous Dr. Steve Davis.  The instructor had an earned notoriety I experienced for a week before dropping the class.  His approach amounted to little more than consuming time with boring golf stories and only hints about how actually to learn the material and use the campus mainframe, all interspersed with insults to random students.  Other students swore by the method of his forcing students to learn the material themselves.  I refused to buy it.  You can read his "Rate My Teachers" ratings here based on his subsequent years at Durham Academy.  Another former NCSSM student and I submitted our much belated negative ratings but they have subsequently been removed for whatever reason.


Leonard Peikoff's excellent new book Teaching Johnny to Think offers this fine passage slamming the method in question:

I asked one group of high school students if their teachers ever delivered lectures in class. “Oh no!” they cried incredulously, as though I had come from another planet or a barbaric past . “No one does that anymore.”


All the arguments offered to defend this anti-teaching approach are senseless.


“Students,” I have heard it said, “should develop initiative; they should discover knowledge on their own, not be spoon-fed by the teachers.” Then why should they go to school at all? Schooling is a process in which an expert is paid to impart his superior knowledge to ignorant beginners. How can this involve shelving the expert and leaving the ignorant to shift for themselves? What would you think of a doctor who told a patient to cure himself because the doctor opposed spoon-feeding?


“Students,” I have heard, “should be creative, not merely passive and receptive.” How can they be creative before they know anything? Creativity does not arise in a void; it can develop only after one has mastered the current cognitive context. A creative ignoramus is a contradiction in terms.

Peikoff, Leonard (2014-03-16). Teaching Johnny to Think . Ayn Rand Institute Press. Kindle Edition. 

Post 76

Saturday, March 14, 2015 - 2:10pmSanction this postReply

The new book Homeschooling for College Credit by Jennifer Cook DeRosa is a "must read" for aspiring NCSSM students to make the most of courses at NCSSM.


The new book The Selfish Path to Romance by Ellen Kenner and Edwin Locke is also a "must read" given the numbers of "young love" opportunities presenting themselves at NCSSM.


(Edited by Luke Setzer on 3/14, 4:38pm)

Post 77

Friday, June 19, 2015 - 3:21pmSanction this postReply

Total Institution – A total institution is an institution which is enclosed and where a large number of people live a formally administered type of life. This kind of institution includes the military, nursing homes, boarding schools, or insane asylums.

Orgeron, Justin (2013-07-21). Introductory Sociology CLEP Quick Prep Sheet (www.Free-Clep-Prep.com Quick Prep Series) (Kindle Locations 224-226). Cognosco Publications LLC. Kindle Edition.  Emphasis added.


Seeing boarding schools lumped with those other total institutions made me laugh.  We used to joke about NCSSM being a prison camp where we were told when to eat, sleep, and defecate.  Now academia confirms it!


(Edited by Luke Setzer on 6/19, 3:52pm)

Post 78

Thursday, June 25, 2015 - 9:49amSanction this postReply

The NCSSM motto is Maius Opus Moveo which means "Accept the Greater Challenge," a line lifted from Virgil.


For fun, I had a professional Latin translator create these mottos for me:


“Reject the Greater Challenge”



“Pursue the Greater Benefit”



“Slay the Unicorn”



When I asked the translator about the order of the words, he replied:

“Maius Opus Moveo” was WRONGLY translated “Accept the Greater Challenge”. The true translation is “I Accept the Greater Challenge” or “A Grander Theme I Open”, because the word MOVEO is not the second person of the Imperative mood but the first person of the Indicative mood.

Coming now the the verb position in Latin sentences, I agree with you that GENERALLY the verb goes at the end of the phrase, but there are exceptions to the rule in case you wish to emphasize the action. Do you remember the classis motto: CARPE DIEM - SEIZE THE DAY of the Roman poet Horace? He wished to emphasize the word CARPE. So yes, it is grammatically acceptable to say:


“Reject the Greater Challenge”                MAIUS OPUS REJICE

“Pursue the Greater Benefit”                    MAIUS COMMODUM CARPE

“Slay the Unicorn”                                   UNICORNEM OCCIDE

unless you wish to emphasize the action. Please see this page for more info: https://latinisenglish.wordpress.com/2009/01/17/the-significance-of-latin-word-order/



(Edited by Luke Setzer on 6/25, 10:35am)

Post 79

Monday, June 29, 2015 - 5:20pmSanction this postReply

For some reason, non-commissioned officers in the military seem to like Latin mottoes in their siglines.  If you want to get along, you have to go along.  So, this is mine:

Sapientia ardua est.  Wisdom is hard work. 


My favorite is Fortuna fortis favit: Fortune favors the bold.  It was the motto of Pliny the Elder.  He died investigating the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius.

Another good one is (in Hebrew) Arachai! Follow me.  It is the command to charge -- which explains the high mortality rate among junior officers in the Israeli Defence Force.


(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 6/29, 5:21pm)

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