Allen Belzel's visits to Westlake HS in Austin,
Westlake HS report - Fantastic time had by yours truly. Only hope the
students felt the same way. Jo is a fascinating lady, very impressive knowledge
of classical history in general and Latin in particular. I could have spoken
for hours more, almost overran the time allotted for the first class but
got into the rhythm for the second group. Jo has asked that I return in
approximately two or three weeks (dates still undecided) to assist in the
attribution processes. I brought lots of props - reference books, biographies,
photo books of ancient Rome, samples of denarii, antoniniani, sestertii,
ases, dupondii, AE2s, AE3s and AE4s in groups of five per variety,
transparencies, uncleaned coins in various stages of the cleaning process
etc etc etc. I figured if I couldn't impress them with my knowledge, I would
dazzle them with my props and bull - - - - <g>. Even managed to acquire
a parking ticket from the campus police for parking in the student's parking
lot without a permit. I did sign in with the receptionist but......... Wonder
if this will affect my graduation from Westlake HS this summer LOL. If
Pflugerville HS comes on line with ACE, I will gladly volunteer to assist
at that location as well.
Just want you to know that Allen was wonderful! He spent two hours talking
with two classes and another half hour with me. Had lots of helpful suggestions
and got the kids hyped! We are going to clean coins before he returns to
help with attribution, but I can't thank him enough for all his enthusiastic
help! And thank you for suggesting him.
Tuesday was follow-up day at Westlake H.S. Three consecutive 55 minute
classes plus another hour or more with Jo Green proved delightful. I brought
many of my attribution references, Rasiel's Chart of the Emperors in Coins,
the 10x - 30x stereo-microscope and other paraphernalia plus examples of
coins that were properly cleaned, poorly cleaned and over cleaned.
Seeing the expressions of pride in their faces when the students realized
their labors had returned long lost treasures to the light of the modern
world was worth the trip. The results of their efforts were obvious. Some
more than others. Many of the standard emperors were present but a few, scarcer
coins turned up as well. One radiate of either Philip I or Claudius II (ID
still tentative), a nice example of Maximianus, another of Valentinian as
well as the usual gamut of the Constantine clan with all their reverses.
Strangely enough, there were no Licinius or Crispus in their lots.
Perhaps 20 percent slugs or almost indiscernible flans but we had sufficient
extras (courtesy of Jo's purchase of 20 additional coins and my donation
of a like number) to re-issue to those students. Can't have anyone disappointed
during their initial efforts. I left my Van Meter on temporary loan as a
further assist to their attribution efforts. I believe Jo is dropping hints
to all her family that appropriate books would make great Christmas stocking
stuffers. We have an ancient coin convert there!
I would add that my students were most enthusiastic again yesterday! When
I asked each class if they enjoyed Allen's help with the attribution process,
I got a resounding "YES!" from each one. They were really pumped and hope
to do this again next year. One sophomore is especially eager to get involved
with Roman coins. He thanked Allen (on the card we sent) for opening up a
new field of interest for him. Amber is doing additional research trying
to find out who her "radiate" emperor is! She took her coin home today to
continue cleaning and research.
Souzana, I can't thank you enough for Allen! He's very approachable, extremely
helpful to me AND to my kids, and very generous with his time and his books.
Lexington is 50 miles away so he's made two round trips!
Teacher Jo Green & Mentor Allen Belzel