I remember in high school, my Latin teacher told me—after I informed her I didn’t care for Latin—that I had to take it, so I might as well like it. Well, I suppose on one hand you could say her remark was a good lesson in attitude. Not!
As a high school student, I truly wanted out of Latin. No, they did not let me skip Latin and it was time spent doing something I did not like, so I barely squeaked through the lessons to make decent grades. I do remember emo, emere, emi (first, second and third person) meaning to buy, pay for, take gain, etc. And that’s about it.
By the same token, my History teacher (who was an excellent teacher despite one you could not help but be just a little scared of) told our class why we needed to take history. I remember one of the things she said was, “History repeats itself.” She went on to tell us several reasons why it was important to take history and always added, “Learn History and you learn from History.”
Between the two classes, I can honestly say I poured effort into studying History, while I flitted through Latin. History became important to me and to this day, I still love reading history. I understood there was a reason for it that would help me then and in the future. We humans are funny creatures; we really need to know why we need to do something, and we need to know that the something we are doing will make things better for us.