You are currently browsing the daily archive for Tuesday, March 15, 2011.

Whenever my siblings and I get together our familiar stories often return to our school days in Elwood, Indiana, mostly centering around two teachers who seemed to have a great, and lasting impact on our lives beyond Elwood Community High School – Darren Paquin (Advanced Composition) and Diana Garner (Latin).

I began my high school Latin studies in 1979 and Mrs. Diana Garner was just returning from the birth of her first child. A number of us students had Mr. Garner for math in 8th grade, and I honestly do not remember if I elected to take Latin because of his encouragement, or because I thought it might help in music. Regardless, it was a wise, wonderful choice.

Throughout my years in school, I had many teachers who had a great passion for teaching, but it would take a minimum of three teachers to match Mrs. Garner in the classroom. I owe much of my own classroom/studio energy to this teacher’s modeling. And having seen my brother, Destin, who is ten years younger than me, in action as a teacher, I assume he also absorbed Mrs. Garner’s energetic passion for sharing information, history, and life.

My high school Latin classes have served me well since graduating in 1983, and Latin has come in handy in the most unusual places of my career. How funny that a local priest would attend my directed production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC, and hire me to help him and some of his cleric buddies to clean up some of their Latin!

Thanks to Mrs. Garner’s Latin classes I have been able to

  • tutor my own sons in Latin
  • share wonderful stories with my sons and students who also study Latin
  • enjoy college trips to Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Crete
  • explain to countless others why some of the auditorium seats have “backs” at Epidaurus
  • swell with pride when complimented by Italian and Greek tour guides for knowing their culture and history
  • sing Latin correctly!
  • and so much more!

My music students know the history of March 15th, and many have chosen to wear black today.

For me, March 15th, or The Ides of March as it is commonly known, is not about remembering the murder of Julius Caesar, but all about celebrating Latin, and especially, the teacher who made a “Dead Language” come to life, and continue to live nearly thirty years later!

Hail , Magistra Diana Garner! Gratias ago vos pro condita an labefactum in meus vita sic ego can labefactum alius.

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