When I was in high school, I took two years of Latin. I don’t know why. I was terrible at it. But the man who taught it–Mr. Bowers, who we all affectionately called “Mag”, for magister, “teacher”–was a gift to education. He loved Latin, and he loved his students, and tried to engage us with Latin in any way he could. He took us to art exhibits, had an “archeological dig” in the school parking lot, and ran a very popular Latin Club. We went on trips to Washington, DC, and New York, and white water rafting. He was a worldly man, and at every turn showed us how huge and old and amazing the world was outside of our rural Pennsylvania bubble.
Just now, I saw the phrase “In vino veritas” in an article that I was reading, and I remembered what it meant, because of Mag’s insistence on teaching us how to interpret every single bit of Latin we could find in any kind of common usage. I thought to myself, “Hey, I wonder if Mag is on Facebook!” I couldn’t remember his first name, so I Googled a few key words, hoping to figure it out.
The first hit on Google was an obituary. Mag–known to the rest of the world as Scott Bowers–passed away from cancer about two weeks ago.
Requiesce in pace, Magister. Thank you for all of the memories.