Category Archives: English

Professor Kaplan-Maxfield, English

Eat quenelles with truffle sauce–in Lyon, if possible.
Practice all the ways of love.
Now that you know how to be drunk on wine, learn to be drunk on everything else, as Baudelaire instructs us.
Trust your soul; it knows what it wants especially when we don’t.
Read poetry from time to time; otherwise you’ll get hardening of the arteries.
Mistrust authority and break as many rules as possible, including these; make your own mistakes, and understand that life is made up by each of us. Take as little as possible ready made.
Don’t own too much, in any sense of the word.
Possess a second language.
Be possessed.

I only have advice that’s anti-advice. I hope–since Emerson said “It’s not education but provocation that I can receive from my teachers.” Or something like that.


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Professor Brian Sousa, English


Get a backpack. Travel the world. Watch. Listen.

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Professor Kim Garcia, English


Plan your play, along with your work.  As our connections get thinner–think virtual friends instead of real time ones–it’s more important than ever to plan to be with people and then stick with it. Let the play be a pretext for just being in each other’s company, sober if possible.  (You want to remember those times, don’t you?)  Make a plan, even a steady date, and then always show up.  Don’t troll for better options.  Don’t make alternative plans.  Show up for your friends and bring your best game face–come to play, not to be entertained–and you’ll have better relationships, better perspective, and better work.

That’s it.  Oh, and please hold onto your books.  You deserve to have a personal library.  You are an educated person now.  (I always tell my students that.  Ask them.)

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Professor Robert Stanton, English


From my memories as an undergrad student, there are two things I wish I had thought more about at that time. The first is not to get too focused on core requirements too soon; i.e., take some cool stuff in the early years to get yourself excited. My university didn’t have the demanding core that BC does, but even so I wish I hadn’t been so laser-focused on getting the requirements out of the way. The second is that I wish I had gotten much more involved with campus clubs and organizations. I lived off campus, and I felt pretty alienated and disconnected from my large school.

From my professor memories at BC, I’d give the same two pieces of advice, plus the following: don’t be afraid to get to know your professor! It’s hard to do this sometimes with big classes, but if you want to know more, or just to get some advice on something else, most professors are happy to be asked. Approach a prof after class or make use of office hours. It’s an important part of our job, and a good way for you to move beyond the classroom box.

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Professor Kevin Ohi, English

From Henry James,  The Middle Years [1917]

(the third volume of his autobiography was left unfinished at his death):

“We are never old, that is we never cease easily to be young, for all life at the same time: youth is an army, the whole battalion of our faculties and our freshnesses, our passions and our illusions, on a considerably reluctant march into the enemy’s country, the country of the general lost freshness; and I think it throws out at least as many stragglers behind as skirmishers ahead–stragglers who often catch up but belatedly with the main body, and even in many a case never catch up at all.  Or under another figure it is a book in several volumes, and even at this a mere installment of the large library of life, with a volume here and there closing, as something in the clap of its covers may assure us, while another remains either completely agape or kept open by a fond finger thrust in between the leaves.”

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