By Anthony Damon ‘18
As daunting as taking a second foreign language sounds, there are many benefits to having Mr. Michael O’Neill for Latin class. Mr. O’Neill hopes to teach his students habits that can be used not only in his class, but in all their classes.
“I want to convey to my students, that as human beings we are made to pursue the true, the good, and the beautiful,” said Mr. O’Neill. “My hope is that Latin will teach them to think more clearly, and write better.”
Taking a class like Latin teaches a student to follow directions and be extremely disciplined. Following rules is a large part of succeeding in Mr. O’Neill’s class, and to excel you must work hard and pay attention in class.
“Latin teaches you hard work, and you must be attentive in class if you want to earn a good grade,” said former Latin student Yumeily Oviedo ’18. “Mr. O’Neill’s class has helped me learn the roots of English words, giving me a better understanding of the English language as a whole.”
Latin may be viewed as a dead language to some, but Mr. O’Neill will prove that just because no one speaks the language, doesn’t mean that it is dead. In fact, you use Latin all the time without even knowing it.
“English has more words than any other language in history, and 51 % of them come from Latin,” said Mr. O’Neill. “Latin is a key to the wealth of vocabulary in English.”
Alessandro Cordova ’18 said, “While Latin was difficult, it taught me good study habits that I still use today in all my other classes. Latin is definitely worth taking because of how it prepares you for junior year and college.”
Mr. O’Neill has a flamboyant personality, and it shows in the way he runs his class. Although Mr. O’Neill may seem strict, he incorporates jokes into his lessons to lighten the mood. While class may be fun Mr. O’Neill is still meticulous when it comes to his lessons, and teaching style. If you don’t pay attention in class you will do poorly, but if you do your work success will follow. Mr. O’Neill’s colorful personality creates a robust environment that allows students to learn and absorb the material. Every student with the opportunity to take Latin should because it will give them an advantage later on in their academic and personal lives.