Posted by JDP on January 25, 2001 at 12:37:06:
In Reply to: Re: Name Please posted by Scrawny on January 23, 2001 at 22:30:51:
I understand Latin has been in a steady decline as a school subject for many years now and that is a pity.
Learning latin in first year in St. Geralds was fraught with dangerous side effects for most of us and was literally hair raising for many. Our teacher was a big Corkman who wore a white bib and was totally convinced that all his thoughts , words and actions were for our betterment.
Nervous tension gripped us as strode into the roomat the start of class. Sť do bheatha Mhuire.... In Ainm An Athair agus .....
Red biro in hand he leant over desks correcting homework, breath, soutane and fingers wreaking of the Craven A he puffed between classes. Next came the crunch as each lad in turn had to stand up for a vocabulary or declension test. At this point in the class teaching aids were employed and thes included a wooden window pole which was very effective when swung through a wide arc by a big man to make contact with a lad`s arm between the elbow and shoulder. Or it could be bounced off several heads when swung at a higher level.
The twelve inch Lyons Tea wooden ruler was very effective at bruising ribs or the bamboo cane administered in doses of * six of the best* to the fingertips of each hand. The uprooting of tufts of hair from the side of the head to be left on your copy. Ouch!
The avoidance of eye contact with this man was crucial. If a swift glance showed him to be standing motionless, arms folded, head slightly forward and hair standing on the back of his neck you knew he was locked in a stare with some lad like a lamped rabbit. After an eternity the words came " are you shtaring at me ****" " no brother " and then all hell would break loose as he charged the victim and clattered the face and ears till they were crimson red. The class was petrified during this frenzy on the first floor of St. Geralds College Chapel St., in the room with the skylight facing the County Home in 1966.
We had great craic but were terrified for four forty minute periods a week.
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