Friday, February 5, 2010

From the Past

Today, as I scanned the headlines of the online NYTimes, a name under the Obits jumped out. I brought up the article and a familiar face, albeit only a bit older than my image of him, proved my connection. The article was about Hans Trefousse, author of several books, professor emeritus at Brooklyn College, etc.
Mr. Trefousse, in 1953 was my instructor for the 2nd half of the Brooklyn College required basic History course. The faculty had wisely decided not to use any current history texts, but rather to teach the course using copies of original documents so that students would not receive an author filtered view of the subject. Therefore, each student bought books that contained bound mimeographed pages of the I recall, about 5 1-2" books for each course, a heavy load. Unlike the instructor I'd had for the first course, Mr. Trefousse lead lively discussions about those letters, deeds, government edicts, financial transactions, etal. He was a superb teacher and I remember the hours spent in his class with pleasure. His obit informed me that he was a mere dozen years my senior; his experiences and intellectual gifts lead me to believe he was much older.

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