Virtual Latin Class with Dr. Martin


Jim Inverso

Dr. Martin “Doc” leads line of faculty and staff to the gathering of students to initiate Convocation.

Zoe Chao '23, Junior Co-Editor-in-Chief

Ever since joining the Peddie faculty in 1975, Dr. Martin, or “Doc”, not only plays a crucial role in Peddie traditions but also teaches Latin classes online. Due to the health precautions of Covid-19, Doc has been teaching his Latin classes from his house, he laments, “[the school] made me teach at home because they were worried about my age and getting sick on campus, so I have been teaching in my basement…for four terms.”

However, Doc found the upside of teaching from his basement, “I can wear blue jeans and sweatshirts and nobody knows…I had to wear a tie for Parents’ Day, though. I couldn’t find them,” he says, heartily chuckling to himself. In addition to having a looser dress code, Doc also added, “Actually, I kind of like [online learning] in a way because I get to see the pictures of everybody so I can make eye contact with [my students].”

Teaching at home entails the most senior members of the Peddie faculty maneuvering through technology. Doc mentions that adjusting to Zoom was “…not real easy because Doc is not the most technological person around…It took me about two weeks to get used to Zoom and I still have some problems.” With the help of Peddie’s technology office, Doc managed to teach through Zoom by utilizing the functions of chat, screen share, and mute. 

Despite some trouble with technology, Doc managed to teach the same amount of content to all of his classes compared to non-covid scenarios. His Latin I class even completed more lessons than the year before. His student in Latin II, Sean Lee ‘22, praises Doc’s online class, he says, “the classes run very smoothly, and I can always hear what Doc is saying, just like the in-person classes.”

Doc attributes most of his success adjusting to teaching online to “…[keeping class] as normal as possible by doing the same games and processes and routines as we did in the real class. We had the same judges, extra credits, dice games, etc.” Students still had the ability to earn “brownie points” by participating in a translating game or helping Doc out with smaller tasks. Doc also manages to keep the beloved in-class tradition of nap time over Zoom. During nap time, students turn off their videos for two minutes and rest. Although most traditions were kept, Doc wasn’t able to distribute his popular Little Debbie’s brownies, zebra cakes, and swiss rolls. 

Even online, Doc’s class is one of the most highly praised classes at Peddie, always bringing a smile to students’ faces. Many students who are enrolled in the Latin program look forward to attending his on-campus class in the fall. Sharing the same buoyant excitement, fully vaccinated Doc jokes, “Oh jeez, that means I’ve got to watch my sweatshirt and my blue jeans.”