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Dead America - Ed Watters EPISODE 1, 3rd March 2021
Kay Neal

Kay Neal

The Dead America Website

Latin For Life Website

Youtube Video

Kay Neal

I'm on a mission to make the study of Latin mainstream--or at least a lot closer to the mainstream than it is now.

Latin is mostly absent from the curriculum at any level of our education system, but it ought to be brought back, especially in the early grades. The only place that Latin shows up in school is when Latin and Greek roots are covered, as a way of building vocabulary. But I can tell you that memorizing roots off a list is not the best way to get these extremely useful and productive words into a student’s head.

If you study Latin vocabulary in the context of Latin grammar—that is, if you study Latin—you go deep into English grammar, and this is something that isn’t really taught these days.

But you need grammar to make sense out of words. You have to put words together in a certain way, or they don’t mean what you want them to. Studying Latin heightens your awareness of how words work together to make meaning. In fact, studying Latin gives you a foundation that you can build all sorts of academic success on.

A person who has built a solid foundation in the basics of Latin in elementary school:

* Will never think that a new word is too complicated to handle.

* Will be able to read difficult texts in English (I'm talking especially about the classics) and absorb the author’s meaning.

* Will understand the concept that languages have different ways of getting meaning across, which means that the Latin student will be able to enjoy later experiences with foreign languages in high school or college or life.

* And perhaps most confidence-building of all, will be able to recognize when it is the speaker or the writer that is at fault and not their ability to understand.

I've identified three different groups to reach out to first: people who for some reason or other have always wanted to learn Latin, parents who are not too happy with the education their child is receiving in public school, and people who already studied Latin but didn't get on top of the material the first time around and want a chance to really understand it.

I have three free reports (corresponding to these three groups), and I'd be happy to share any or all of them with you. They go deeper into why Latin is worth studying. The titles are:

* Why You Are Absolutely Right to Want to Learn Latin

* Five Ways Your Child Is Being Shortchanged at School--and What You Can Do About It

* Why You Don't Remember Any of the Latin You Learned All Those Years Ago (and What You Can Do About It)

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Transcript Download

Kay Neal

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

Latin, people,

English, study, read, sentence, podcast, language, called, wrote, grammar,

book, long, Spanish, kay, endings, learn, thought, curriculum, action

SPEAKERS

Ed Watters, Kay Neal

Ed Watters 

00:00

challenging

ourselves. That's what Dead America is truly about. On today's episode, we do

just that. We dive deep into learning. And we talk to an individual that wants

to promote learning Latin. Latin is something that most of us don't even think

about. But you know, when it boils down to it, Latin has a lot to do with a lot

of our life. And we are oblivious to that. Our guest today is going to help us

understand the importance of Latin and why we should bring it back and

understand it more and study it. So we understand our lives a little bit

better. Let's not waste any time and get into today's episode. To overcome, you

must educate. Educate not only yourself but educate anyone seeking to learn.

We are all Dead America. We can all learn something. To learn, we must

challenge what we already understand. The way we do that is through

conversation. Sometimes we have conversations with others. However, some of the

best conversations happen with ourselves. Reach out and challenge yourself.

Let's dive in and learn something right now. And today, we have Kay Neal with

us. Kay, would you start off with introducing yourself and let our listeners

know a little bit about who you are and what you do, please?



Kay Neal 

03:08


Okay.

Well, I am, I'm on a mission. And I started off; my mission is to make the

study of Latin mainstream. And if I can't do that, at least help make it not so

weird. I'm 64 years old. I've been at this for 15 years now, trying to, you

know, get some traction with this idea. Haven't had very much success so far.

And I think part of it is because I haven't had, I haven't had a real clear

goal, or I've had a clear goal, but not a clear process. And it's taken a long

time to get that in place. But yeah, in a nutshell, I think I was born to

market Latin.



Ed Watters 

03:54


That's

very interesting. You know, Latin is really kind of a far off place for us here

in the world today for most of us, especially here in America. Our founders,

they were fluent with Latin. And I'm kind of curious, do you know where we

dropped that off in our education system at all?



Kay Neal 

04:20


Yeah, we

dropped it off. Well, you know, not all the founders were big Latin and

classics enthusiasts. Ben Franklin wanted it to stop being the focus of

education. He wanted more practical courses. And so he, even though I'm sure he

had studied it as a child, that that was what you know, Grammar School was, you

know, to study Latin grammar. And so he was, yeah, so he was a person who was a

um who was the other one. Thomas Paine. He thought it was really stupid to even

bother with Latin at all. And so now I mean, Thomas Jefferson, he was

supposedly, he could write Latin with one hand and Greek with the other. Which

I would, I would have loved to have seen, that must have been just something

else. But, But not everybody was was thrilled with it. Not everybody thought it

was a wonderful thing. And when did it die out? Well, it used to be the

language that you studied, if you were if you were a gentleman. And when I say

Gentleman, I mean, I mean, a man, not a woman, it was not taught to girls, it

died off, it started to die off, I guess. It was still at the beginning of the

20th century. And even into the middle of it, it was something that you would

take if you were headed into medicine or law. In the past, it was what you

take, if you're headed into the clergy, well, you know, I read this prophet,

that was a very interesting fact, I guess about Latin, the undoing of Latin, I

mean, it, it sort of dug its own grave, or the people pushing it dug its grave

for it, by sticking just to this very narrow cannon of writers and during the

what they call the golden age of Latin literature. And so you know, people like

Cicero and Virgil became the models. And if you weren't up to that standard,

then you're out. And you know, the all of the Latin, you know, you know that

Latin was the way to communicate in Europe for hundreds of years. That was a

that was what you learned, that was the language of educated people. So if you

were from England, and you're talking to somebody from Germany, you're going to

be, or whatever Germany was called, in those days, you are going to be speaking

Latin. But it fell by the wayside. Because people, the standards were just so high.

And then, you know, Latin morphed into all the romance languages. So

Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, French, Romanian, and all of the dialects

associated with them are now, are our modern day versions of Latin. So as

those took over, then, then Latin, you know, was, was no longer studied. And

then, people in the U.S., the emphasis shifted to modern languages instead of

Latin and Greek. Greek was less studied than Latin, but it was. It was in there

at university level anyway.



Ed Watters 

07:16


Okay. So

I read on your bio that Latin is mostly absent from the curriculum at any

level of our education system. And it should be brought back, especially in the

early grades. How can we bring back that higher standard in our education

system?



Kay Neal 

07:38


Well, I,

you know, I've, so I've had this idea that Latin should be, you know, every kid

ought to get a crack at Latin. I've had this idea since, well, 2005. And I have

tried to, to push this idea among, you know, elementary school, principals,

teachers, and there is just not much reception to it. So my idea, what I want

to do, is, if I ever do manage to get a business going, that is, that is

actually generating a good income, I would love to set up a foundation that

launches after school programs at elementary schools, and train like high

schoolers or college students on Latin, so they can teach it to the after

school students who, who go to these programs. I actually wrote a curriculum.

It was for parents who don't know any Latin or any foreign language or any

English grammar, to learn Latin by manageable stages and teach it to their

children along the way. And this, this curriculum could be used very easily by,

by you know, any, anybody who's illiterate, I say, if you can read your local

newspaper, you could use this curriculum to learn and teach somebody Latin. So

that's what, I, that's my, that's my dream. That's my, my evil plan to take

over the world, as I sometimes call it, and I got enough traction in school.

And you know, when people saw the benefits of it, then I think maybe there

would be some more institutional support for it, but it's really sad. It's

really, really sad to me to see how lightly it, how little esteemed it is, and

it has so much to offer. And and I really, honestly, I, you know, you meet a

lot of people in, in education and, and they seem to be more administrators

than, than educators. And they don't seem to be, I mean, I know a lot of

teachers that they're not, they're not lifelong learners. And how could anybody

be a teacher who's just not so curious about everything, and especially about

language and, and how could they not? How could they not think that, that, that

learning your own language, which Latin really helps you do, that learning your

own language isn't making the most fundamental thing you would do in education,

because it's the base of everything, the base of math even, math and English,

all those, all those equations, they're actually English sentences. If you're

learning nothing, you know, in an English speaking country. So that you just

can't overstate the importance of learning how to communicate in your, in your

own language. And to me, you can't do that. You can do that most effectively

if you have some kind of exposure to another language. And I think that, that

Latin is the best language to expose someone, to an English speaking kid to, if

they don't have any kind of natural exposure to another language in their in

their lives. Because it, it, it helps you, you know, anytime you learn

something, you compare it to what you already know. And so when you learn

another language, you start comparing it to English, and you see that you

know, English and this language are, you know, they, they're similar, they all

have words, but they use the words in different ways.



Ed Watters 

11:06


So, do

you have any plans that will help you make your dream of Latin being brought

back into the mainstream?




Kay Neal 

11:21


Well, I,

I've been working, you know, in the last 15 years, I've, you know, I started,

well, the things that I've done so far, were I went back to school, actually,

and did a second bachelor's degree and a second master's degree in, in

classics, and in Latin. Because I hadn't studied Latin when I got this idea in

2005, I had not studied Latin since 1977. I think I took it in High School and

graduated high school in 78. And, and then never did anything with it, but I

knew it was a treasure, you know, just to have studied it was a treasure. Even

though I didn't, I couldn't go and read a single passage after I'd been away from

it for so long. But the the other things, the the linguistic awareness that

it gave me, and the vocabulary it gave me, and the knowledge of, of syntax that

it gave me, stayed with me after I'd forgotten a little bit of, you know, the

declensions and conjugations and the particulars of grammar that I hadn't

learned. But, so when I, when I came back to the study of Latin I, I, very

quickly, I came back to it, like I don't know, in 2004, I guess, and I, I

decided that I was going to come back to it, I finally saw my way, I wanted to

do it for years, I finally saw my way through to it. And I, I got myself a

Latin grammar. And I said to myself, okay, I have two rules. One rule is I will

study for 20 minutes a day, no more, no less. And then most of the time, I

wouldn't just do nothing but study Latin because I could, I could end up doing

something like that. And the other rule was, I would not be mad at myself for

not being further along. I had to start at the beginning. And, of course, going

through the first few chapters was, was pretty easy because I kind of retain

those, and I got, I got slowed down quite a bit. Well, some, somewhere in this,

you know, within a couple of months of starting back, I thought, I cannot

possibly let my kids go out into the world without this treasure, you know, I

can't have this treasure and not pass it along. And I have my husband, I have

four kids, that two of them are already, you know, they were kind of like,

older at high school, college. And then another two were in elementary school

still. So I thought, you know, I'm going to teach them. Well, I didn't really

know enough to teach them. And, at any rate, it didn't take my very fertile

brain very long to get the idea that it was just, it's not fair that just my

kids had it. Every kid should have this opportunity. And so that's when I

realized that I'll have to go back to school because I can't, I can't go out

and spread this because I don't know enough myself. And I couldn't get it all

by myself. I got you know, I got a little way through the, through the first

book, I got a pretty, pretty good portion of it. But I realized I needed more.

And I ended up actually going back to school. I spent, I spent four years, two

years getting the second bachelor's degree and then another two years in, in,

with a master's in Latin. And then I you know, I actually graduated Magna Cum

Laude with the bachelor's degree because I submitted this curriculum that I

wrote as a senior honors thesis. And so I did all that kind of stuff that I know

how to do. I know how to be a student, I know how to go to classes, I know how

to write papers and take tests and study. Setting up a business was a lot

harder. And I wasn't used to paying money to, to set up a business or to, I

didn't even know what I needed. And I just, I just somehow thought I would read

about marketing, and I was always keeping in the back of my mind thinking, yeah,

but you know what, I really don't have to follow this rule because, you know,

Latin is so special, and I'm so special, I don't have to follow the rules. And

I just wonder how many 1000s of dollars I lost, and how much time I took before

I probably 6,7,8 years before I realized, no, the laws of marketing apply to

everyone. I ended up, I published a book before, without doing any kind of

market research. And it's a nice book, I'm proud of it. It's a. It's a

reference book of Latin that I couldn't even really explain to somebody who

doesn't have kind of a basis in Latin. You know, I couldn't explain what it's

for. It's, it's pretty technical. But it's, it's a nice book, but I had no

business spending that much money and time, it cost me 1000s of dollars to hire

a designer and to print copies. And I still have a whole bunch of them left.

And I don't know if they'll ever, I doubt that they'll ever sell.



Kay Neal 

16:02


But I,

I've done a lot of things to try to make this and push this idea along. But

I've only recently really gotten it through my head that if you don't have a

customer who wants to pay money for your offer, then you don't have a business,

you have got yourself a hobby, and I'm really trying to turn my hobby into a

business. And you know, Ed, you're part of it, actually. I had had the idea for

a while. I thought you know what? I, I've worked really, really hard on, on

doing stuff to put this, you know, get this mission going. And then I'll, I'll

kind of get either, get discouraged or something in life comes up, and it keeps

me off. And I and I just kind of sit there or spin my wheels or do stuff that's

not really related to finding customers, or, you know, meeting a need that

somebody already feels they have. And so I would just kind of go off track. In

December, I kind of, at the beginning of December, I thought, you know what?

I'm just going to try, I'm going to put an hour a day, For three, I'm going to

commit to 365 days. And, and I'm not going to look for results during that

time. I'm just going to put an hour a day no matter what. And I got myself a

calendar. You know, one of those, those wall calendars. And I don't know if

you've ever heard of the Jerry Seinfeld story. It's, somebody asked him how he

was so successful. And he said, he, he made a, he made a commitment to writing.

I don't know if he spent up to two minutes a day or what writing the jokes. And

he gotten himself a wall calendar, crossed it off, whenever he had done the 15

minutes or whatever it was he had committed to. It was something small. It

wasn't even, you know, like a four hour session doing this. It was something

that anybody could really do timewise. And then he said after you get going,

you don't want to break the chain. So you just keep going. Well, I started on

December twenty, I started on December 6th, doing this. So I think today is

maybe the 28th or something, the 29th. But anyway, every single day. What did I

decide I was going to do because I don't have a coach. There's this really

expensive coaching program that I wanted to, to join, but I just, I just can't

right now. So I thought, well, I'm gonna, I'm gonna, I'm gonna try to pretend what

would, if I was in that program, what would I, what would they be having me do.

And a good piece of advice that I got from, from somebody who is a, he's a

marketer that I, that I, that I like to listen to. His name is Ben Suttles. He

said, he said, this is not fast, but it is very effective. He said, You should

go on podcasts, get yourself booked as a guest on podcasts. And this is a way

to get people to know what you're doing. And if they actually sit there and

listen to you for half an hour or an hour on the podcast, they are a very

qualified buyer. And you know, if they join your list, there's somebody who's

that they really, they didn't just mindlessly click on something that they saw

on the screen they actually are interested in what you've got to say. And so

you are the, you are the second podcast I'm appearing on. The first one was,

How cool is this? A really cute little five minute podcast and, and I wasn't

even talking to anybody, I just left a 90 second message on their, on their

voicemail. And, and it's been less than a month. And this is two things that I

can point to as a result, and I wasn't even pressuring myself to get a result.

I was pressuring myself to do the work. So I know that was a very long answer

to your question about you know, what am I doing to make this a reality? But

honestly, I've been at it for 15 years on and off, I mean, on for quite a lot

of the time. So. So it's a, it's a kind of a long answer. I, I hope that's

okay.



Ed Watters 

20:14


That's

beautiful. You know, podcasting is a way to enrich one's soul, one's mind, and

reinvigorate our energies. Because we get to experience so much, different

cultures, different people. So, stay on your mission, you know, last season I

had Jacqueline Maddison on. And a quote that she said was, Even the rose had to

wait to become a rose. That, that is just so truthful right there. Nothing just

happens. You have to wait for it, you have to nurture it. So making plans and

those baby step actions, that's how you get things done. And I think what

you're doing is very important, because our education system is definitely

hurting. And we need those lifelong learners like you stated earlier. These

people care that people learn something. Not demand it, they, they don't expect

something in return. They generally want people to understand how life works,

and how to better themselves. So the mission that you're on is a wonderful

thing. In the information that you sent me, you talked about, you have to put

words together in a certain way, or they won't mean what you want them to. What

makes Latin so important in the foundations of our grammar?



Kay Neal 

22:08


Well,

you know, for instance, all the, like the Federalist Papers, and all the

writings of the, of the founding fathers, and even the writings of novelists.

And I mean, I'm talking, you know, English literature, whether it, whether it's

American or British. These sentences are, especially the more serious

literature, they're, they're founded on, on Latin principles actually. You

know, that grammar. I haven't really noticed that so much lately, but there

used to be in, in Word, if you typed for more than three lines without a,

without a period, you'd get that, that grammar check underlines it in green.

This must be a mistake because it's gone on for too long. It's obviously a run

on sentence. Well, you know, Cicero wrote sentences that we're paragraphs long

and they were not run on sentences. They, they hung together. And, and the

writing of like I've just been reading, sometimes I'll go and kind of like dip

into the Federalist Papers a little bit. And I just marvel, I just, I see the

Latin constructions there. They're put together just like a Latin sentence is.

The way that the most, the most basic thing I think, that somebody can learn about

Latin, just you know, on a, on a one off interview like this. Is that Latin,

okay, so a noun in English. And in case anybody is shaky on that noun, you can

just say it's a person, place or thing. And there are other ways to define it.

That's, that's a good one. That's the one I learned growing up. So a noun can

do different functions in a sentence. And, like if, you could say the, the

mother read the daughter a story. And everybody who speaks English gets a

picture in their mind of a mother reading a story to her daughter. But then you

can say the daughter read the story to her mother. And that's a different

picture in your mind, because the nouns in that sentence daughter and mother

are functioning in different ways, depending on how the sentence and the order

of these words is, is, is set out. So one sentence, the daughter's the subject

of the sentence. And the other sentence, she's the, she's actually the indirect

object. The direct object is the story. That's what's being actually read and

who's being affected by this. It's the, you know, the indirect object. In

Latin, every single one of those words daughter, mother, story, it will have a

different ending on it. Signaling that it's doing a particular job in a

sentence. It's actually saying at the end of that last part of the word, it's

saying I'm a subject, I'm doing the action of the sentence. Or I am the subject

of the sentence, the sentence is about me. And another word will have an ending

on it saying that the action of the verb is being done to me, I'm the one that

the you know, the action is directly being done to. And then another ending

will say, Oh, I'm the one, I like, I'm, the action is not being done to me, but

I'm being very much affected by the action. So Latin words have these, have

these endings. And, and there's, there's, there's a lot of them. And so what

that means in terms of the way Latin is put together, and in a way that it

really differs from English, is that you don't have to put the subject first. I

mean in the sentence I just, the two sentences, the mother is reading the

daughter a story, the daughter is reading the mother a story, the subject has

to be first. That's just the way English is, is put together. And, and it's

possible sometimes to, to put not the subject first, but usually the subject

has to go first. And in Latin, you don't have to do that. So you can, you can

actually hold back information in Latin it's, it's a, it's a language that can

be a lot of fun. You can have fun with it because you can hold back. Like if you

want to hold back the subject until the end, you can because there's the marker

on it saying I am the subject of the sentence. So that's, that's as, as using

as little time as possible, that is, that is a very basic difference in how

Latin works. That wasn't the question you had asked about



Ed Watters 

26:38


what

makes Latin so important in the foundation of our grammar?




Kay Neal 

26:43


Oh,

okay. Yeah. Well, it's, it's not that it's, you know, so Latin has influenced

English vocabulary more than grammar. Because it's easier to borrow words from

another language than it is to borrow grammatical features. That, that just

doesn't happen really at all, I don't think. So. Yeah. So the vocabulary is

more, more important as far as borrowing actually goes. But then the evidence I

was saying before, that, you know, the, the earlier periods in English use

Latin models, as the, you know, like, that's the way we write good English. So,

so yeah, did you know that 60% of English words come from or derived from Latin

or Greek, which is the sister language of Latin, sometimes the vocabulary is,

you know, identical. And then 90% of words that are three syllables, or more,

come from Latin or Greek origin. So it's really nice. You know, all those poly

syllables out there running around. none of those are like poly syllable,

there's a well, that's Greek for you. But, you know, quadraped, that's a nice

Latin, Latin derivative. And it's one of the things that I love, that I've seen

in the, in the kids that I've taught Latin to. They love knowing words that

other people don't know. And they love being able to sort out words that, you

know, to be able to take a long word that, you know, an adult, which we think

that, ah, this is gonna be a hard word, and they can break it down and then

figure out what the meaning must be. Or if you know, they're going to be close

if they're not right on the, right on the, they didn't, they didn't hit it

right on the, on the, on the money. They, they got pretty close.



Ed Watters 

28:36


All right,

you say there is just the right amount of linguistic space between English and

Latin. You explain this with an analogy using various kinds of light. Could you

tell our listeners about that?



Kay Neal 

28:53


Yeah.

Yeah, so there's this famous saying, or I think it's famous to me, and I can't

find the source of it at all. And that is, Nothing is what it is but by

comparison, you don't really understand anything unless you look at it and you

compare it. So if you're, if you're looking at, at English, it's light. And if

you're, if you want to study a foreign language to understand English better to

see what English is as a language, it's kind of like, you know, you're shining

a light on English. And, and you can, if you say you study Arabic or Chinese,

you're shining a very blinding light on, on English because it's, it's just so

different. They're so different in every respect from English, except they both

do use words to, you know, that's the base of the language. And, and after

that, there's a lot, there's just so much difference. So, if you've studied

Arabic, you're not, you're not gonna, it's just gonna be blinding for English.

You're gonna not really see very much because the difference is so stark. And

then if you, if you study a language that's a lot closer to English, like

Spanish, and I know that a lot of high school kids studying Spanish don't,

don't really see that English and Spanish are all that similar because they're

maybe not doing so well in Spanish. But really, they truly are very, very similar

in a lot of, in a lot of ways, you don't really get to see English, you don't

see the beauty of English as much from, from studying Spanish because the

contrast is, it's kind of like you've got this dim light shining on. Whereas,

you know, you study Arabic it's like you got a flood light shining on English.

But with thee, with Spanish it's kind of like you have this little dim little

you know, 60 watt or let's say a 15 watt bulb, you can't really see too much.

But if you study, if you study Latin and use that as a way to, to look at

English, it's exactly the right amount of light. And English is just lit up.

In, in all its beauty, all its glory. And so is Latin too, because then you

see, you know, Latin, you saved Latin as a contrast from English. So, so this

linguistic distance, I mean, Latin is further away than, than Spanish is. And

it's not as far away as something like, you know, Chinese. And so the contrast,

you know, what I was saying before, that nothing is what it is but by contrast,

well you, you know, there are certain contrasts that makes things stand out.

And, and other contrasts that, you know, they're too subtle, or they're too

glaring. And this is, this is what I mean by the linguistic difference is just

the right amount to, to make Latin and English both shine.



Ed Watters 

31:51


All

right. Could you tell us about your three free reports? What they are? And

also, how can people get those reports?




Kay Neal 

32:03


 Oh, you know, I'm gonna have to make a link

for, for two of them. Well, the one that, that you, you have already mentioned

something from is called, Why you are absolutely right to want to study Latin.

And you can get that, I don't have my website set up for, you know, for like

multiple, I'm going to, Ed, I'm going to have to go back and make some links

for these. But the, the one that you referred to, that is available at Latin

for life.com forward slash, Why you are right, ri ght. And then I have another

one, which I will, I will definitely make it available. It's ready to go, I just

need to, you know, do the the technical stuff to get it, to get it up and

running. It's called, Five ways your child is being shortchanged at school and

what you can do about it. And of course, all those five ways there's some, some

way that, that Latin comes to the rescue. And then the other one is, is a, is

what I, it's something that I wrote after I realized that there was a niche out

there of people who took Latin long, you know, long ago and wanted to come back

to it. And that report is called, Why you don't remember any of the Latin you

learned all those years ago and what you can do about it. And so those, those

other two, that, the one about your child being shortchanged, and you know,

picking up Latin again, I'll make, I'll make those available. And then maybe

you can, you can put them in the show notes, Possibly?



Ed Watters 

33:38


yes,

yes. If you send those I can put those links in the show notes for you. So

people can have access to those reports. Also, you wrote some books. Could you

tell us a little about the books and where people could find those books?



Kay Neal 

34:00


Well, I

can't imagine that anybody who's listening is really gonna want this first

book, even though it's just beautiful. It's just wonderful. It's called,

Endings and middles, and it's the one that's really hard to describe although,

If anybody, you know, has, has listened this far in the podcast, they actually

would understand a little bit of what the book is. They wouldn't need it though

at this point. If you look at those endings of the words to see what you're

dealing with, because there, there are a lot and some of them overlap. Then I

wrote a book called, Teach your dog Latin, at least that's better than Endings

and middles as far as marketability goes. But it's out of print right now. And

then I wrote during COVID, I was, we had, you know, I wasn't going out to work.

And I put some notes together or finished some, some notes that I had done a

long time ago. I'm a Muslim. I grew up in the Methodist Church and became a Muslim

in my, in my early  30's I guess it was,

and I lived in Jordan for a long time. All my, my husband's from there, all our

kids were born there, and we moved back to the U.S. in 1998. And I would always

get the same questions. I'm a covered Muslim. So you can, you know, I'm quite,

you know, middle aged, really elderly woman who's covered. So, I kind of stand

out here in the states. You know, I mean, physically. And I would always get

asked a lot of questions about Islam. So I finally decided that I'm just going

to sit down and, and write something that I can give people, if they, if

they're interested in, in, you know, like the basics of Islam. Why would they,

why do people believe this? Why do they believe that? And or why do they do or

follow this or that practice? And so I, I'd written that, like, I don't know,

10 years ago or so. And then this, this March, March, April, during, during

COVID. I actually published it on Kindle. And that actually is available. It's

called, Ramadan journal. My reluctant conversion to Islam. I think is the title

of it, I don't even remember. But yeah, if you look up Kay Neal, N,E,A,L,

you'll, you'll find it in there. And you can, if you have a membership to

kindle, you can read it for free. Otherwise, it's,I think it's $ 3.99 is what

the, what the price is, but yeah, I'm really, I'm kind of sorry, that the teach

your dog Latin is out of print right now. But, But I, that will not change the

world, you know, writing a book, books end up being commodities. And you have

to have like a program or something if you really want to change the world. So

I'm, I'm, I'm not sorry that I wrote these books. But, But I know that it, it

takes more than just publishing the books to make something happen.



Ed Watters 

36:59


That's

for sure. Action makes things happen. And part of writing a book and trying to

get it out there is that action phase. A lot of people they don't even put

action into their dreams, their goals; they just go along to get along. So what

you're doing, it helps in small, minute ways, maybe, but it helps. So what is

your call to action? Go ahead.



Kay Neal 

37:28


Oh,

sorry. Yeah, What I was gonna say is that you know, sometimes, like, I

remember doing a Toastmasters speech. I was at a regional competition and I,

and I ended up talking about Latin. And I saw when I got in there and heard the

first guys, I thought, whoa, I am way out of my league, you know, there's like,

you know, I'm gonna get up and do my talk. And you know, I'll do my best. But I

mean, I'm just like, I am so outclassed by the extremely professional speakers

that, that, that are getting up there. And so I did my talk about Latin, and I,

and I, and I knew there was no way for me to win. And, of course, I didn't. But I

thought you know what? Maybe there's somebody sitting in the audience, and

they'll be at a school board meeting. And they might, it might occur to them,

like, somebody might mention Latin or something. And, and they might say, Oh,

yeah, I heard a woman talking about the benefits of teaching our children

Latin. And, yes, let's get a Latin teacher into this school district. And so I,

I think sometimes, you know, maybe I won't get to actually create a a big

business that, that funds a, a foundation that's national in scope, and just

makes all kinds of, of change for the good. But maybe, maybe I'm just here,

maybe, maybe I think my mission is something big, but maybe my mission is just

the one person who's actually going to, you know that, that poem? What is it?

Flanders fields to you from failing hands, we throw the torch to be yours to

hold on high. Maybe somebody else is going to take my idea and run with it. They're actually going to gain traction in the marketplace. And, and, and, you

know, and reading Latin to mainstream people. And so I have to, you know,

content myself and say, like, my job is to do the work. My job is not to get a

particular result because I, there, it's not in my hands.



Ed Watters 

39:24


That's

good philosophy right there. And if we all recognize that, you know, you never

know what kind of spark you can ignite off of what you do. It's you doing it

that matters. So don't be afraid. You might get dirty. You might get wet. You

might get cold. You might be discouraged. But if you do it, you're already a

winner. That's a beautiful thing.



Kay Neal 

39:55


Oh, I

mean, I will, I will try to hang on to that because you know, I, I mean, this

is supposedly my philosophy. But you know, you lose track of it sometimes. And

that's one reason it's really nice to be spending time with people like you

because, you know, you, it reinvigorates you. And it keeps you, you know, it's

encouragement when you're, when you're feeling kind of like, Oh, I'm just

plotting, and I'm not getting anywhere. Well, you know, the, you know, the

philosophy is the thing, not the implementing the philosophy is the thing, not

the result.



Ed Watters 

40:27


That's

right. That's right. So, Kay, could you share with us what is your call to

action to people. And could you end with how people can connect with you?




Kay Neal 

40:40


Well,

people could connect with me, if they just want to write me at Kay, K, A, Y at

Latin for life.com. That will that will get to me. And my call to action, I

guess, I would love it if people would, would get my free reports. And that has

my email address in it as well. And I guess a more general call to action is,

you know, next time you hear about any kind of opportunity to learn Latin, or

for your kids to learn Latin, don't dismiss it as a dead language, just see

what the, what the opportunity is. And, and, and maybe go for it. Maybe at

least, you know, investigate it at least.It's a really hard thing to, to, to

really get to the essence of if you actually don't go into it a little bit

yourself. You kind of have to try it. And, and I would encourage people to not

laugh it off as a dead language. It's, it is worth looking into.



Ed Watters 

41:50


Well, we

sure do appreciate you being with us today on Dead America podcast.




Ed Watters 

41:55


If you

know of anybody




Ed Watters 

42:00


it's awesome

to have people, you know, they, that's, that's the essence of life,

communication and how we communicate. It really matters. So thank you, Kay, and

you enjoy your day.



Kay Neal 

42:16


You too,

Ed.




Ed Watters 

42:22


Thank

you for joining us today. If you found this podcast enlightening,

entertaining, educational in any way. Please Share, Like, subscribe, and join

us right back here next week for another great episode of Dead America podcast.

I'm Ed Watters, your host. Enjoy your afternoon wherever you may be.

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