At faculty meetings, where seniority was very much evident, Bob would always sit upstairs. Laszlo Versenyi did the same thing, sat upstairs around the gallery where a lot of the new assistant professors would also sit and look down on the eagles there at center table. Griffin Hall, yes. I don’t think they were making […]

The India experience really mellowed him out. I think he was impressed by the characteristic way that Indians accept things, acknowledge the being, the multiplicity of being. And I think that experience really changed him. That’s just my opinion. [He became] absolutely tolerant of how people were, in how they may appear and their views […]

I can’t remember if we ever talked about the expenditure of time, energy, resources, whether it was better to spend all your waking life thinking about your teaching and whether you ought to forget about that for a while and write books. I don’t think we ever had that conversation. [Another department member] and I […]

Bob would never discuss education apart from the practice, the reality of a particular person, this class, this text. He refused to discuss education abstractly. So the conversation was constant about students and he was very insistent on the primacy of knowing your students. That is finding out what they believed and whether they really […]

Even in that circumstance, when we were doing a class together and developing an idea together, an educational idea together, we did not as a matter of course go in each other’s classroom. But I went to one of his 301 classes for a reason I can’t think of now except maybe to look at […]

I think there was a concern on the part of people like [Prof.] Dudley Bahlman about that method, and that approach to students chiefly. It wasn’t a question of method. It was a question of the proper faculty/student relationship. Some were critical of Bob because he would never justify his approach theoretically, you know. If […]

I’d always wanted to be a teacher. This was important to me. And Bob was sort of teaching me how to be a teacher in a way. A couple of years later, I remember being quite aware of it as a method. Just in the practice of being a colleague and talking about students, about […]

He was a great one for getting new people involved in the countryside and going on hikes and using the hike as the conversation. Pine Cobble, Northwest Hill, Mount Greylock. We’d just take one of the trails. One of the early hikes I remember was the loop where you go up Broad Brook and then […]

He would take the Indians walking in the woods. He’d take them bowling. He’d take them over to Friendly’s for an ice cream sandwich — really tried to show them the culture and the place. I was on some of those hikes in the later years. Same thing, your family would go along, he would […]

It was just stimulating to him to engage in conversation with some other person. The first step is to discover where they were coming from, you know, what their underlying attitudes and state of mind actually were. Then as the conversation developed it was doubly interesting to find out how permeable at the fringes this […]


Final Note