I went up to the college a couple of times when he got sicker and at one point I came out to him, which was a big deal for me. He laughed and said something like, “Well, did you think that was going to change the world?” I guess my answer was “No,” but basically in retrospect it left me very cold, in terms of something that was a big deal to me.

In terms of the India program it was a great formative experience and I spent years in Morocco and years in the Middle East and all those experience replicated sort of the mode of you study up, you’re sensitive, you try to test your readings against what you see. When I reflect on the program now, however, I look at the essay I wrote at the end of that, which was considered a fairly brilliant self-analysis and validation of the program as experiential education, and it seems to me a totally fake poseur sort of essay in which I did exactly what I thought we were expected to do: “Becoming who we were,” our roots sort of coming together, ending up with, “I’m returning to the practice of the law,” which of course I’ve done most of my life and never liked. At some point I don’t think I benefited as much from the program as I could have if I’d been a different person.

What was nice about India was the identity that was ascribed. You know, you’ve got status, you’ve got your identity as a white guy, you’re presumably wealthy, you’re presumably powerful. No one asks interior questions. So I think it was a way I could hide out frankly. It was a way of having an identity, dealing with my life as a gay man. I don’t recall my encounters with Prof. Gaudino really made a lot of inroads into that. I remember telling him I was made for the law. But I don’t think I was really open to the uncomfortable learning that would have allowed me to make some fundamental changes in what I was.

I’m not devaluing it. I guess I’m saying how different would my life have been had there been more of, “Do you really want to be a lawyer?” “Does your father like being a lawyer?”

Bruce Dunne '71