Off-the-Wall Adventure

Bosque History and Latin teacher, Christina Alvarez, and fellow Bosque Latin teacher, Dr. John Roth, flew out to Scotland this summer to walk the entirety of the Antonine Wall —all 108 miles of it. Ms. Alvarez and Dr. Roth are both veteran teachers with over 50 years of Classics teaching experience between them. The trip was an opportunity for both of them to develop professionally, acquaint themselves with a historical landmark in the classical world, and get a bit of exercise at the same time.

Dr. Roth believes that professional development is “a time for renewal.” Since he began teaching many years ago, he devotes at least part of his summers to recharging. He says, “The best professional development for me consists of a combination of these elements: stimulating company, something academic, physical exercise, and time outdoors.” His 108-mile walk with Chris Alvarez following the course of the Antonine Wall across southern Scotland contained all of these aspects. Ms. Alvarez and Dr. Roth share a passion for history, which led them to be perfect trekking companions. This bond was crucial when walking alongside each other for eight hours per day. Dr. Roth said that with nothing to worry about except the next step, the trek was, “a rare opportunity to think, reflect, and talk, free from the distractions of regular daily life.” He added, “I call it mindful walking, a time for conscious reflection on questions that are important to me: what is important to know about the ancient world and why I continue to love to teach high school students.”

Their trip was made possible through the 2019 Coffin Fellowship award that Ms. Alvarez received from the Society for Classical Studies. The Fellowship was established in 2004 by the friends and students of David and Rosemary Coffin to honor the skill, devotion, learning, and kindness with which they educated students at Phillips Exeter Academy for more than 30 years. It is intended to recognize secondary school teachers of Greek or Latin who are as dedicated to their students as the Coffins themselves by giving them the opportunity to enrich their teaching and their lives through direct acquaintance with the classical world. When Ms. Alvarez was awarded the Fellowship, she expressed that she was “delighted that the experiential, immersive approach of our Bosque School Latin program” was being recognized, especially by the Society for Classical Studies, a long-established and prestigious organization.

Ms. Alvarez and Dr. Roth took full advantage of an incredible opportunity. See a bit of their trip for yourself in this video!