Wednesday, October 22, 2008

NRH rexit...

NRH regit, he would say. Or perhaps we said it, or wrote it. It stands, whoever said it. NRH taught me Latin - for better or for worse, my first year of Latin - my first formalised taste of the grammar of an inflected language and much more came at his hands.

Of course, he did more than teach Latin - he was headmaster - "Norman Foreman". And he was famously in charge of discipline and corporal punnishment - only a plimsole in my day but stories of earlier generations made the plimsole seem a treat.

Longest serving head master in the UK apparently. Such things don't excite me. What does is that I could translate into and out of Latin at O-Level standard when I was still 12. What does excite me is that I can still hear his voice declining the adjective "Ingens" (which as veryone knows is the model for present participles).

I guess the loss is felt equally because he was a teacher and because he is an influential memory from a bygone time when everything was different.

Anyway - ave atque vale

2 comments:

Shilson said...

How extraordinary. That's exactly the first thing I always think about when I remember NRH. Ingens. I think that was the day he put his fist through the window - do you remember that? Perhaps that's why it's so embedded in our recollections...

Stelios said...

I don't remember the fist through the window, but the way he used to illustrate the ablative of the instrument with his home grown: "Croquetto maletto: with a croquet mallet" with a slight rise to the tone of his voice as he said "croquet" was wonderful.