Recognition of Problems in the Recognition of Latin

So, I woke up today and realized I have fallen way behind in my posting. Namely, I haven’t posted. So to remedy that: here I sit, I can do much other, God help me, Amen.

Well, in this post I have decided to lament my project. For those of you who do not recall–which will likely be all of you–my project was split into two parts. The first part is basic, straightforward book research of secondary findings. The second part of the project was the fun and exciting bit: personally conducted research that I use to generate my own statistics.

This second part was supposed to include a survey of high school seniors, testing how well they can make connections between latin words and their English derivatives. I wrote up my list of 1000 latin words with English derivatives, randomly pulled thirty from that list, put it all into a nice survey format, made 500 copies of it, and headed down to the school.

Which is where the problem arose. I had previously cleared this entire project with the principal and the head of the English department (the surveys to be distributed in English classes), both of whom I knew and had a good relationship with. Unbeknownst to me, however, the principal retired and for some reason did not finish out the year. The new administration was not as generous and did not think I had a right to “waste his students’ time.”

Ergo, the fun part went out of the project. In an effort to salvage my personal research, I made an electronic form of the survey and tried sending it out via facebook and e-mail. However, I have a relatively small and non-representative circle of friends in the high school class behind my own, and feedback has been decidedly subpar.

For now, I am waiting to see if any more results come in with some badgering, but I find it unlikely to get high enough for statistical significance. I am considering altering the initial preface of the project and surveying entering William & Mary freshman as soon as we return as one means of rectifying this situation, but I would have to discuss that with Lisa. Any suggestions on which path to take would be welcome.

In the meantime, I simply underwent the secondary research part of the project, which, while informative and fun, did not provide the thrill of personally conducting research. I will assemble an overview of the results of that research and post it in the next few days, hopefully along with an actual solution to the survey issue.