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On Diligence

June 12th, 2020 | 13 min read

By Tara Isabella Burton

I was the sort of teenager who studied too much Latin. I was homeschooled, then, and lonely. We lived in Rome. I had no friends. I read books off my mother’s shelves for most subjects — textbooks, and Madame Bovary, and, for sex-ed, Henry Miller. I cycled around ruins. I had a Latin tutor — the only subject I did not do online — and she had me come with her to the Roman Forum to recite the First Oration Against Cataline at the rostra, which I was mortified to do at the time, and which — fifteen years later — I regret not having fully appreciated at the time.

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