A new school year brings new faculty and students, along with Latin teacher Dr. Lovell. The Echo got a chance to sit down and talk to him about his previous Latin experiences and the year ahead.
Echo: How are you liking Greylock so far?
Dr. Lovell: It seems great so far!
E: And what makes you love Latin?
DL: So that’s kind of a complicated question. I actually didn’t learn Latin until after college. When I was in college, I took a class that involved reading Ancient Greek literature, such as The Iliad and The Odyssey. I just thought it was amazing and I wanted to find out what it was like in the original language. So, I took Classical Greek, and then as a result of that, I took Latin in the classics department.
E: Along the lines of college, where did you attend?
DL: I went to Reed College in Portland, Oregon. I didn’t spend anytime in New England or the Northeast until 13 years ago. So, I really thought of myself as a Midwesterner and West Coast person. It’s kind of funny.
E: Do you have any hobbies outside of Latin?
DL: So, I have two sons. One is in sixth grade and one is in third grade. I kind of find that a lot of my free time is spent doing things with them. I like to read when I find the time, along with computer programming and home improvement.
E: Nice. How long have you been teaching?
DL: This is my first year at Greylock, obviously. Before this year I also taught at Pine Cobble for four years. And before that I was actually a college professor. I taught at Williams for a number of years and I also taught at Vassar and Bennington College. So, teaching middle and high school still feels very new to me.
E: Because of your extensive career with Latin, have you ever traveled anywhere based around Latin and Ancient Rome?
DL: Yeah! So about six school years ago, our family lived in Rome for a whole school year. My older son actually went to kindergarten in an Italian school, which was a really eye-opening experience. My wife is a professor at Williams, and also does Greek and Latin. She was teaching in a program that was designed for American college students to go over to Rome for a semester and study Ancient Rome. That year was all about the study of the Ancient world and study of Latin. I’ve returned to Italy since then.
E: Nice! And has Latin allowed you to learn any other languages, mainly the romance languages?
DL: I think it’s really helped with learning Italian. I wouldn’t say that I’m fluent in Italian but I can conduct a kind of idiotic conversation in Italian. I think that my study of Latin has definitely helped me pick it up.
E: Now, some questions about the Latin language itself. Who’s your favorite Roman God?
DL: I would have to say in terms of Gods I still think of them in Greek. Athena is my favorite, Minerva is of course her Roman name.
E: Fair. And favorite Latin word?
DL: It’s hard for me to pick just one. One that always comes to mind is aliquid, which means something. So, when people say, “Say something in Latin” I say, “something,” in Latin.