When I tweeted a link to my last bloglet, a friend set me the challenge to write weekly updates throughout the summer on topics of her choosing. Challenge accepted Tami!
My first topic: Explore how different your life might be if, instead of studying Latin, you had studied ice skating.
So, very briefly, I started learning Latin at the age of 12, then took GCSE, AS and A level exams in the subject before studying it (along with Classical Greek) at university. I now teach Latin to 9-11 year olds.
But how different could my life be now if, instead of spending my formative years learning about the ablative, I had been perfecting my arabesque? Well, to begin with at least, I suspect 'not very'. At our school we all had to study Latin in Years 8 and 9 (age 12-14) so even in a ridiculous universe where I ditched Latin, I would still have had to learn the basics.
Okay, once I got to GCSEs (and didn't choose Latin) I would have had the chance to study a different subject through to A levels, but because ice skating just wasn't/isn't/never will be on the curriculum, and because I very much doubt my parents would have let me leave school without qualifications, ice skating would have remained a hobby. Maybe I had ice skating lessons, caught the skating bug and even took part in some junior competitions, but the main focus would still have been on school work.
Fast-forward a few years to when I've got my A levels, though, and things start to get more interesting.
Having taken A levels in Maths, Greek and Physics (because 18 year old me, who is considering a career in ice skating, believes that understanding the forces in play during a shotgun spin or a bracket turn (Latin-lover 25 year old me had to look those terms up) will be useful), I head out into the big, wide world.
Now, because I'm just quite good at Latin - I'm no Virgil, but I can string a sentence together - I reckon I would be a quite good ice skater - not the next Jayne Torvil, but able to do a few tricks without falling over. So, after leaving school, I decide to join an ice show where I can skate every day and earn some money in the process.
I work my way up through the ranks and after a couple of years land the part of Mickey in Disney on Ice (I've never seen it, but Mickey's got to feature heavily, surely?) and spend a while touring the world with the show.
Finally, having had enough of international travel and fame (of sorts) I decide to head home and pass on my knowledge to the next generation, so I start teaching beginners' ice skating classes. That or become one of the professional skaters on Dancing on Ice.
Of course, if it's the latter, I meet Phillip Schofield, immediately befriend him and persuade him to reunite with Gordon the Gopher for a new chat show.
So how would my life be different if I'd chosen ice skating over Latin? Basically there'd be more sequins. And Gordon the Gopher.