Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Found History: Disciplinary Note from Latin Class

I was home in NYC for the weekend and found some old artifacts, pictures, etc. These are all gems but the following I share with you I am particularly proud of. I think it truly encompasses everything about my personality circa 1999-2003. This is a disciplinary note I received (basically a slap in the wrist) that was sent to my dean and my parents. I received it for poor behavior in my AP Latin V class in 11th grade. I don't really have the means to scan it so I re-produce it here. I should note that "Maximus" is not my real name but my Latin class name. Enjoy:


Name: Max ("Maximus") Leibowitz
Class: 11
Date: 4/25/03
Teacher: Mr. Ettinger

The level of civility in our Latin V (AP) classroom has dropped, and Maximus is one of the responsible parties. I have said that students need to treat each other respectfully or keep silent, and I mean it. Maximus was neither respectful nor silent on Tuesday April 22, neither during nor--especially--after class, when he read off an insulting Latin poem about a classmate which he composed on classical models. I have spoken with Maximus and made my displeasure known. With just a few weeks left in our course (and fewer before the AP exam!), he has got to return to behavior appropriate to our school and my Latin classroom.

S.E. Ettinger

Friends, I wish...wish to high heavens...that I still had a copy of that poem I wrote (quasi-improvised) that made fun of a girl I had a crush on for being a whore, in Latin, in proper verse and meter. I remember seething with anger as the girl made googly eyes at my best friend, and as we read Catullus' love poetry, deciding to compose my own just for her. I read it aloud in front of everyone at the end of class. Everyone was laughing INCLUDING Mr. Ettinger, but the girl was upset and morals forced him to write me up.

A great moment in my life, folks. Thanks for reading today.


  1. LOVE! So glad you led me here, Maximus. A new faithful reader am I.