Name: Isabella Villanueva
Hometown: Anthem, Ariz.
BS: Why did you choose Classics as your major?
IV: In high school, [Latin] was the only language offered at my school, a Great Hearts school. Yep, I’m one of those. But, because it was the only language, I was forced to take it. As the years went on and we learned more and more, I loved it too much to let it go. I started Latin my freshman year, and part-way into my freshman year we started a Greek club, where we learned some basic Greek.
BS: Tell us a little bit about the Classics department.
IV: Well, it’s quite small. There are history classes and lyric classes, with poetry and stuff. We always look at the Latin itself, not translations, except in consulting translations. I’ve taken Tacitus, a historian, and this semester, I’m taking Virgil and Horace, poets. So you get a mix of everything. I’m also taking Greek, Aeschylus. We’re reading “Agamemnon.” We read that in Rome, you know, so it was great then, but it’s even better now. You get the juicy meat when it’s read in its original language. As with any language, it’s difficult to render into a different one, and so when you understand the word in its own sense, in its own language, it’s tastier. You get a bigger picture, more flavor and different words have different connotations. It’s just more exciting.
BS: Which would you pick: poetry or prose?
IV: I do like poetry, but it depends on the poet. Tacitus is very difficult to read. But Virgil and Horace are pleasant because they’re talking about nature, not conflict. Even though that can be interesting, I find nature more appealing, I guess.
BS: Who are some memorable Classics professors you’ve had?
IV: There aren’t that many, so I haven’t had that many. But anyways, Dr. [David] Sweet is such a joy, because he goes on these tangents, and they can be long, but they are really fun. Often, he’ll go on etymological tangents, and I tell everyone about this one. It’s about this Greek word “aletheia,” meaning “truth.” It comes from the Greek verb, “lanthano,” which means “to forget.” But the alpha in front of “lanthano” is an alpha privative, which means it negates the word. So it means the truth is “not forgetful.”
BS: How did you make your way to UD?
IV: Since I’m a Great Hearts student, why else? A lot of my teachers went here. Mr. Cowan, the grandson of [Dr.] Louise Cowan, was my English teacher. And one day he said: “So where are you going?” I said: “I don’t know.” He said: “Have you thought about UD?” And I said: “Yeah, but it costs too much.” And he said: “Well, you should just check it out anyway.” So I did, and now I’m here.
BS: What is your favorite Core class?
IV: I think it would have to be my Under[standing] the Bible class with Dr. Lenartowick. She taught us so well about the Old Testament God and how merciful and loving He is, even though He exiled the Israelites. That’s something that I just take with me, because I think whenever I’m in times of trouble, He just wants me to turn my heart back to him, just like the Israelites. That’s by far one of my favorite ones.
BS: Having been in Rome a year ago, do you have any advice for the current Spromers?
IV: Don’t study too much. Pay attention in class, take good notes, but don’t study too much. I really regret not going out as much. You learn as much outside of the classroom as inside, so don’t worry about studying all the time.