Thank you, Michael Battle (cover story, ICQ 2005/4).
It is no surprise that some disagree with the policies and practices of some U.S. administrations, including the current.
I certainly do not agree with all, and some (previous inaction, the USS Cole, the Khobar Towers, etc.) have actually led to the current situation in Iraq. Who was the president then? How many times do you let someone slap you in the face?
But slamming Mike Battle (“MailBox” letter from Margaret Lacey O’Leary ’69 in the ICQ 2006/1 issue) for his support of the president (his boss) and for the job he has done over the years in support of the local and federal laws? Give me a break! Implying that Mike and others are criminals only provides support to those that would like to tear this country apart.
T. H. Butler Smythe ’77
Lt. Commander, U.S. Navy, retired
More Harcourt Memories
Professor John Harcourt did nothing less than turn my life around. And he did it in only five minutes.
I remember taking my seat on the first day of his Shakespeare class. I was not looking forward to grinding my way through six plays, but it was a required class and I was a sophomore transfer coming from a very shaky freshman year.
Both wiry and wired, Professor Harcourt took his place and quieted the room down simply by waiting. He then turned everything upside down by announcing that the quiz for each play would precede the discussion.
Did I hear that right?
The professor explained that this approach helped make sure everyone was ready to engage in the discussions to follow. After all, the discussion was the important part—we were here to discuss Shakespeare, not take quizzes!
I panicked. I might actually have to read something!
With dead-on instinct, the good professor then spoke directly to my fears. He compared reading Shakespeare to reading screenplays; reading is a far cry from the experience of seeing the play or the film itself. Fortunately, he said, the library had recordings of performances of the plays we would be studying, and encouraged us to read along.
A scholar was born.
The “A” I received in his class went a long way toward helping me make dean’s list that semester. And I went on to repeat his class in my junior and senior years (the plays changed each time), and I took a spring Shakespeare seminar to boot.
Thank you, Professor Harcourt!
Andrew Dugas ’84
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