Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography Page: 48
This book is part of the collection entitled: Rescuing Texas History, 2010 and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries .
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by stoves, as at home in New Brunswick. It was, I thought, just
the place for me.
In charge of the teaching staff was a Professor Hepel, as he
called himself, by whom I was granted an interview and to
whom I confided my ambitions. Professor Hepel nodded his
approval. He was an immensely obese man, whose suit of rusty
black fitted him like the skin of a sausage. The doctors of today,
observing the fat pads at his shoulders and back of his neck, his
thick and doughy skin, and his oddly low-pitched voice, would
have no trouble cataloguing him as a victim of thyroid deficiency.
But I knew him only as a fat man. And I will say that to me he
evinced none of the querulousness and "neurasthenia" commonly
associated with the hypothyroid type. Indeed, as I recall Pro-
fessor Hepel was quite passably energetic and very much alert.
Tuition at the night school, I learned, was four dollars a
month. For this modest sum classes in English, organic chemis-
try, Latin, and biology were offered me. Professor Hepel voiced
some doubts about my readiness for the last, on the ground that
it "might prove disturbing to my young mind." By that he
meant that the Darwinian theory of evolution might clash with
my Presbyterian notions. "You see, Donald," he said, rolling his
small eyes out of sight beneath thickened lids, "I would rather
you never studied biology at all, if you ended up by doubting the
existence of your Creator." I assured him I would shun a
prospect so diabolic.
As it happened, an attack of the grippe kept me out of school
during the teacher's introduction of evolution. When I returned,
the teacher was already digressing a little, in order to describe
cuneiform inscriptions from the ancient civilizations of Meso-
potamia. At this time there was a great popular interest in
archaeology, whetted by the mid-nineteenth-century discoveries
of Layard, Rawlinson, and others at Behistun and Nineveh, and
by the deciphering of cuneiform writing by Grotefend, the
German scholar. Among clay tablets translated into English was,
of course, the series on which was inscribed the Gilgamesh Epic,
Here’s what’s next.
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Atkinson, Donald Taylor. Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography, book, 1958; New York. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143566/m1/60/: accessed June 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.