Some of us were discussing this photo, particularly the experience of being in Mrs. Hornsey’s English classes - such things as how she wanted us to pronounce the word abdomen as “ab-DO-men.” She told us, in one of those strange moments some of us always remember, that “When Mr. Hornsey died, I allowed myself the luxury of tears.” Only later did we realize how much the performer she really was. She was formidable, larger than life in some ways.
Ed McDevitt says of her:
Oddly, a year or two after we graduated, I ran into her at a donut shop near the Fresh Pond Circle. I identified myself (she did not remember me), and talked with her for a few minutes. It was odd that, at least to me, she was no longer larger than life. She was simply older, a normal older person (rather like we all are now)
Jack O’Brien says:
Ed. My recollection of Mrs. Hornsey is her telling us the correct
pronunciation of the word hospitable is HOSpitable, not hoSPITable, because
you never spit in a hospital. I know I got a lot more than that out of her
class but that stands out to this day.
Judy Cohen Leader says:
One memory I have of Mrs. Hornsey is her insistence that, while she was teaching us the CORRECT pronunciation of words (you mentioned abDOmen!), that we should always remember to be polite and not correct our elders.
She related the story that in her youth she had corrected a minister about some word pronunciation (or maybe it was something else---who can remember details like that?), and she was insistent that she was right. She soon learned that indeed she was wrong, and did she regret what she had done! I do remember that she was one of the best teachers we had in high school.
An article commemorating Mrs. Hornsey’s retirement is on the Wayback News page.