How did this website get its name?
High school was a breakthrough for some of us in my small town. I was educated in the years when it was thought best to segregate the smarty-pants kids, corral them off from the “regular” kids—you know, the popular kids—the ones who were cheerleaders, the ones who wore their hair slicked back, or, if female, rolled their skirts up above their dimpled knees. We were gangly, socially too much or too little, articulate and sardonic.
Thank god for our teacher, Latin class, 9th grade. Ralph McElearney was the first genuine, adult, in-person eccentric we had ever encountered, someone who held a legitimate position in our lives, someone we could actually imagine wanting to grow up to be like.
Ralph (not to his face, but always among ourselves) read Pogo aloud to the class, and the obits from the Boston Globe, if they featured people in the Greek community with names like Aristotle or Sophocles. He would pace the perimeter of the classroom, muttering praxis, praxis, praxis. And fairly regularly, usually while we were laboring over our weekly blue-book, hand-scribbled translation of Catullus, would announce: Run to the roundhouse, Nellie; he can’t corner you there.
And so, to Ralph, and teachers everywhere who entrust their students with the mystery: I dedicate and name this website.
Susan T. Landry