Archive for the ‘French literature’ Category

Back to School

Wednesday, December 31st, 1969

Dear Université de Strasbourg,

I’m so glad to return to school finally! After a whole month here in your home country, I really looked forward to stepping back into the classroom. I want to thank you for letting me study at your school! It looks like it should be a good year.

I must say, though, you certainly didn’t make it too easy. Back in America, we sign up for classes on the Internet. We receive an electronic version of the course list that includes a comprehensive list of all the classes in each department. I will say I do appreciate the way your system works though too. I certainly worked off a lot of those bread and cheese calories walking to each individual department located in various buildings scattered across the city to pick up the paper copy of that subject’s course listings, and then returning the following week to stand in line so that I could register for the classes I wanted to take. (Out of breath after that sentence? So was I.) With a lot of help from our academic advisor over here (and good walking shoes), I finally completed my enrollment. I found some great art history classes and an interesting course on Guy de Maupassant.

Now, I never would have guessed how keen you were at keeping your students on their toes. I suppose all the schedule and classroom changes make back-to-school that much more exciting. I didn’t know you pushed back my French literature class one hour. But, I did learn a lot about the mathematics of literature when I sat in on that other course in the same classroom at the time my Maupassant lecture was supposed to start. I know you just want to expand my academic interests and deepen the profundity of my life experience. However, I do wish you had told me that my Renaissance discussion group had moved. My French is okay, but my ancient Greek has become a little shoddy recently. Can you give me a hint as to where I can find that Renaissance class? My Greek professor didn’t know.

Well, I’ve learned you like to do things a little differently than I am used to back home at Holy Cross. But despite these Jedi mind tricks, I actually am looking forward to the classes I’m going to be taking. My professors seem smart, nice, and they don’t speak too quickly. The students I talked to have been incredibly helpful and good-spirited. I might just get the hang of this after all.

With anticipation, curiosity, and newly-minted, yet particularly defined calf muscles, your friend and student,

Mark Weyland