My First Latin Class

by Michael Turelli, 1968

My FIRST class at Aquinas was Latin with Father La Riviere, He had just bought a new cassock. Pacing back and forth during his lecture, he caught the cassock on the drawer of his desk, He furiously ripped the drawer out of the desk and threw it across the room. It shattered in the corner. He had our attention -- and never lost it over four years of Latin. 


I recall this as being my first 15 minutes as an Aquinas student. It was as memorable as taking LSD a couple of years later. I loved Father La Riviere and his course. He undoubtedly helped inspire me to become an academic. I've been a professor of genetics at UC Davis for over 41 years and aspire to bring to my students the passion for learning and understanding that Father La Riviere provided us. I still treasure my translation of Caesar's Gallic Wars. with fond memories -- Michael (still causing trouble and being a good student)