I can see him, you know, sort of elfin and short. I know we were reading Plato and Aristotle. We may have gone up to Augustine and Machiavelli. It was kind of a fairly standard set of political theory texts. I can’t remember Gaudino’s particular interpretation much as I remember his method. I think the energy in that classroom had to do with the kind of low level terror of being asked questions you’re pretty sure you wouldn’t have anything really intelligent to say about. So it was just the other end of the spectrum from somebody who comes in and gives a lecture and that’s that, get off the bus here, kid. As opposed to Gaudino in which you’re not sure what he thought about anything.

I think the thing that students understand right away is whether someone is kind of there as a teacher and is working your brain and wants you to understand stuff that you don’t understand. That commitment came across so strongly. You didn’t want to just babble and yet you were afraid that what you said was not very smart. I’m sure from his perspective we said a lot of stupid things but from our perspective he was pretty nice about not dismissing—he would take, you know, sophomoric types of comments, or interpretations, and turn them around into another question that was kind of more serious.

Isn’t it interesting that all these things—one way of connecting them is to think that he’s interested in the way minds get trained and grow and people learn to think and integrate an experience into their character and thinking. There was a kind of Pygmalion complex there, I thought. You know, he wanted the whole person and the problem with the university is they don’t give you the whole person.

Jim Scott '58,
Sterling Professor of Political Science at Yale University and a leading expert on the poorest groups in underdeveloped nations