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Mr. Lattin

Leo Lattin

Social Science

A large physic merely hinted at the menacing lineman he must have been in his college football days. As an instructor with a gentle and reserved demeanor, Mr. Lattin was known for his fascinating history classes.

Mr. Lattin made the driest history subjects come to life. He presented the flow of events, politics, economics, even the mood of the people, that stirred the wind that drove the world forward.

The lucky students who were assigned to one of his classes knew that when spring came, Mr. Lattin would take two or three days out of his history routine to take his class through his adventures around the world in a year between semesters in the very early 1920s . You never knew when the telling was coming; you had heard the rumors from upper classmen and it was always an anticipated surprise.

Getting a class session started often means finding a way to halt the pre-class gab sessions among student clicks. Mr. Lattin's polite voice announcing, "May I have your attention." could go unheard when his students' focus was elsewhere.  Slowly stepping within reach of a front row desk, the flat of his unnoticed hand met the antique varnished wood desktop with a startling crack that stifled the chatter abruptly and brought everyone's attention forward. The buzz among his students was that he had once split the wood on a desk with this bare handed tactic. He never raised his voice.  Never had to.

Daryl Autrey

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