Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Monsieur O'Keefe

Bob Williams returns with a piece on grudges and French class.


Grudges are heavy burdens to carry over a long period of time. I know. I have carried one for more than forty years. I am not particularly proud of my grudge; it is not especially noble. But it is mine, and I have taken pains to cultivate it on a regular basis. In turn, it has always been there when I’ve needed it.

My grudge dates back to 1966-67, my first year at Duke. Shortly after arriving on campus, my fellow freshmen and I were given a series of placement exams. One was for foreign language. As it turned out, three years of goofing around in SeƱor Marvin Woodard’s high school Spanish classes did little to prepare me for the expectations of the Duke foreign language department. Consequently, I scored too low on the Spanish exam to place into the second year, and I had too many years of high school Spanish to qualify for the beginning course. My only option was to take another language. My choice was French. I forget why.

continue Bob Williams's MONSIEUR O'KEEFE