By Hazard Adams
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Additional resources for Academic Child. A Memoir
The campus, except for two tall ﬁr trees, was nearly without vegetation. The driveways were of gravel and dirt. Five Georgian-colonial buildings in the style of New England prep schools stood starkly on the formerly logged-off land. Four of the buildings fringed a large grassed quadrangle adjacent to a dirt football ﬁeld with a weedy running track. To the north were two unkempt tennis courts. To the south the headmaster’s house was separated from the other buildings by a ravine with scrubby trees.
We continued to disagree, and on commencement night I spoke it my way. He never commented. I think now that Bleakney was a man of humor but not of irony. I, who have since lived most of my life among academic ironists or those who have highly valued irony, regard him as one of the most remarkable people I have known. 3. Three of the great, perhaps the greatest, humanistic studies for youngsters are English grammar, Latin, and mathematics, especially geometry. I am sure many readers will be repelled by this assertion, but I don’t care.
My parents, and especially my mother, found this insulting, and with good reason, since my father had brought the school its ﬁrst ﬁnancial stability. At this time, my father began to think he might even be dismissed and made some job inquiries, in the process of which he learned that the board was not willing to give him a strong recommendation. This was a strategy to keep him, a back-handed compliment that must have reminded him of George Humphrey’s warning years before. My father told my mother and me about a conversation he had with the treasurer, who asked him why most of his faculty were Democrats.