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T he summer ended too quickly, as all childhood summers do, and on September 12 Mother and I flew to Washington, where we would spend a week sightseeing before I started freshman orientation. I didnt know exactly what I was getting into, but I was full of anticipation..Christian Louboutin Outlet.
The trip was harder on Mother than on me. We were always close, and I knew that when she looked at me, she often saw both me and my father. She had to be worried about how she was going to raise little Roger and deal with big Roger without me to help out on both fronts. And we were going to miss each other. We were enough alike and enough different that we enjoyed being together. My friends loved her, too, and she loved having them at our house. That would still happen, but usually only when I was home at Christmas or in the summer..Cartier Love Ring.
I couldnt have known then as I know now how much she worried about me. Recently, I came across a letter she wrote in December 1963 as part of my successful application for the Elks Leadership Award, which was given to one or two high school seniors each year in towns with Elks Clubs. She wrote that her letter relieves in a small way a guilt complex I have about Bill. Anesthesia is my profession and it has always taken time that I felt rightfully belonged to him. And, because of this, the credit for what he is and what he has done with his life actually belongs to him. Thus, when I look at him I see a self-made man. Was she ever wrong about that! It was she who taught me to get up every day and keep going; to look for the best in people even when they saw the worst in me; to be grateful for every day and greet it with a smile; to believe I could do or be anything I put my mind to if I were willing to make the requisite effort; to believe that, in the end, love and kindness would prevail over cruelty and selfishness. Mother was not conventionally religious then, though she grew to be as she aged. She saw so many people die that she had a hard time believing in life after death. But if God is love, she was a godly woman. How I wish Id told her more often that I was the furthest thing in the world from a self-made man..cartier love bracelet replica.
Despite all the apprehension about the big changes in our lives, Mother and I were both giddy with excitement by the time we got to Georgetown. Just a couple of blocks away from the main campus was the so-called East Campus, which included the School of Foreign Service and other schools that had women and were religiously and racially more diverse. The college was founded in 1789, George Washingtons first year as President, by Archbishop John Carroll. A statue of him anchors the grand circle at the entrance to the main campus. In 1815, President James Madison signed a bill granting Georgetown a charter to confer degrees. Although our university has from the beginning been open to people of all faiths, and one of the greatest Georgetown presidents, Father Patrick Healy, was from 1874 to 1882 the first African-American president of a predominantly white university, the Yard was all male, almost all Catholic, and all white. The School of Foreign Service was founded in 1919 by Father Edmund A. Walsh, a staunch anti-Communist, and when I got there the faculty was still full of professors who had fled from or suffered from Communist regimes in Europe and China and who were sympathetic to any anti-Communist activity by the U.S. government, including in Vietnam..cartier love bracelet replica.
The politics werent all that was conservative at the Foreign Service School. So was the curriculum, the rigor of which reflected the Jesuit educational philosophy, the Ratio Studiorum, developed in the late sixteenth century. For the first two years, six courses a semester were required, totaling eighteen or nineteen hours of class time, and there were no electives until the second semester of the junior year. Then there was the dress code. In my freshman year, men were still required to wear dress shirt, jacket, and tie to class. Synthetic-fabric drip-dry shirts were available, but they felt awful, so I went to Georgetown determined to fit the five-dollar-a-week dry-cleaning bill for five shirts into my twenty-five-dollar-a-week allowance for food and other expenses. And there were the dorm rules: Freshmen are required to be in their rooms and studying weeknights, and must have their lights out by midnight. On Friday and Saturday evenings, freshmen must return to their rooms for the night by 12:30 a.m. . . . Absolutely no guests of the opposite sex, alcoholic beverages, pets, or firearms are allowed in University dormitories. I know things have changed a bit since then, but when Hillary and I took Chelsea to Stanford in 1997, it was still somewhat unsettling to see the young women and men living in the same dorm. Apparently the NRA hasnt yet succeeded in lifting the firearms restriction..cartier love ring.
One of the first people I met when Mother and I went through the front gate was the priest in charge of freshman orientation, Father Dinneen, who greeted me by saying Georgetown couldnt figure out why a Southern Baptist with no foreign language except Latin would want to go to the Foreign Service School. His tone indicated that they also couldnt quite figure out why they had let me in. I just laughed and said maybe wed figure it out together in a year or two. I could tell Mother was concerned, so after Father Dinneen went on to other students, I told her that in a little while theyd all know why. I suspect I was bluffing, but it sounded good..cartier love bracelet replica.
After the preliminaries, we went off to find my dorm room and meet my roommate. Loyola Hall is at the corner of 35th and N streets just behind the Walsh Building, which houses the Foreign Service School and is connected to it. I was assigned Room 225, which was right over the front entrance on 35th and overlooked the house and beautiful garden of Rhode Islands distinguished senator Claiborne Pell, who was still in the Senate when I became President. He and his wife, Nuala, became friends of Hillarys and mine, and thirty years after staring at the exterior of their grand old house, I finally saw the inside of it..cartier love bracelet replica.
When Mother and I got to the door of my dorm room, I was taken aback. The 1964 presidential campaign was in full swing, and there, plastered on my door, was a Goldwater sticker. I thought Id left them all behind in Arkansas! It belonged to my roommate, Tom Campbell, an Irish Catholic from Huntington, Long Island. He came from a staunch conservative Republican family, and had been a football player at Xavier Jesuit High School in New York City. His father was a lawyer who won a local judgeship running on the Conservative Party line. Tom was probably more surprised than I was by his assigned roommate. I was the first Southern Baptist from Arkansas hed ever met, and to make matters worse, I was a hard-core Democrat for LBJ..Christian Louboutin Outlet UK.
Mother wasnt about to let a little thing like politics stand in the way of good living arrangements. She started talking to Tom as if shed known him forever, just as she always did with everyone, and before long she won him over. I liked him too and figured we could make a go of it. And we have, through four years of living together at Georgetown and almost forty years of friendship...
Soon enough, Mother left me with a cheerful, stiff-upper-lip parting, and I began to explore my immediate surroundings, beginning with my dorm floor. I heard music coming from down the hallTaras Theme from Gone with the Windand followed it, expecting to find another southerner, if not another Democrat. When I came to the room where the music was playing, I found instead a character who defied categories, Tommy Caplan. He was sitting in a rocking chair, the only one on our floor. I learned that he was an only child from Baltimore, that his father was in the jewelry business, and that he had known President Kennedy. He spoke with an unusual clipped accent that sounded aristocratic to me, told me he wanted to be a writer, and regaled me with Kennedy tales. Though I knew I liked him, I couldnt have known then that I had just met another person who would prove to be one of the best friends Id ever have. In the next four years Tommy would introduce me to Baltimore; to his home on Marylands Eastern Shore; to the Episcopal church and its liturgy; in New York to the Pierre Hotel and its great Indian curry, to the Carlyle Hotel and my first experience with expensive room service, and to the 21 Club, where several of us celebrated his twenty-first birthday; and to Massachusetts and Cape Cod, where I nearly drowned after failing to hold on to a barnacle-covered rock in an effort that shredded my hands, arms, chest, and legs. Trying desperately to get back to shore, I was saved by a fortuitous long, narrow sandbar and a helping hand from Tommys old school friend, Fife Symington, later Republi-can governor of Arizona. (If he could have foreseen the future, he might have had second thoughts!) In return, I introduced Tommy to Arkan-sas, southern folkways, and grassroots politics. I think I made a good trade...
Over the next several days, I met other students and started classes. I also figured out how to live on twenty-five dollars a week. Five dollars came off the top for the required five dress shirts, and I decided to eat on a dollar a day Monday through Friday, and allocate another dollar to weekend meals, so that Id have fourteen dollars left to go out on Saturday night. In 1964, I could actually take a date to dinner for fourteen dollars, sometimes a movie too, though I had to let the girl order first to make sure our combined order plus a tip didnt go over my budget. Back then there were a lot of good restaurants in Georgetown where fourteen dollars would go that far. Besides, in the first few months I didnt have a date every Saturday, so I was often a little ahead on my budget...
It wasnt too hard to get by on a dollar a day the rest of the timeI always felt I had plenty of money, even enough to cover the extra cost of a school dance or some other special event. At Wisemillers Deli, just across Thirty-sixth Street from the Walsh Building, where most of my classes were, I got coffee and two donuts for twenty cents every morning, the first time in my life I ever drank coffee, a habit I still try to lick now and then, with limited success. At lunch, I splurged to thirty cents. Half of it bought a Hostess fried pie, apple or cherry; the other half went for a sixteen-ounce Royal Crown Cola. I loved those RCs and was really sad when they quit producing them. Dinner was more expensive, fifty cents. I usually ate at the Hoya Carry Out, a couple of blocks from our dorm, which despite its name had a counter where you could enjoy your meal. Eating there was half the fun. For fifteen cents, I got another big soft drink, and for thirty-five cents, a great tuna fish sandwich on rye, so big you could barely get your mouth around it. For eighty-five cents you could get a roast beef sandwich just as big. Once in a while, when I hadnt blown the whole fourteen dollars the previous Saturday night, I would get one of those...
But the real attractions of the Hoya Carry Out were the proprietors, Don and Rose. Don was a husky character with a tattoo on one of his bulging biceps, back when tattoos were a rarity rather than a common sight on the bodies of rock stars, athletes, and hip young people. Rose had a big beehive hairdo, a nice face, and a great figure, which she showed off to good effect in tight sweaters, tighter pants, and spiked heels. She was a big draw for boys with small budgets and large imaginations, and Dons good-natured but vigilant presence guaranteed that all we did was eat. When Rose was at work, we ate slowly enough to ensure good digestion...
In my first two years, I rarely ventured beyond the confines of the university and its immediate surroundings, a small area bordered by M Street and the Potomac River to the south, Q Street to the north, Wisconsin Avenue to the east, and the university to the west. My favorite haunts in Georgetown were the Tombs, a beer hall in a cellar below the 1789 Restaurant, where most of the students went for beer and burgers; Billy Martins restaurant, with good food and atmosphere within my budget; and the Cellar Door, just down the hill from my dorm on M Street. It had great live music. I heard Glenn Yarborough, a popular sixties folksinger; the great jazz organist Jimmy Smith; and a now forgotten group called the Mugwumps, who broke up shortly after I came to Georgetown. Two of the men formed a new, more famous band, the Lovin Spoonful, and the lead singer, Cass Elliot, became Mama Cass of the Mamas and the Papas. Sometimes the Cellar Door opened on Sunday afternoon, when you could nurse a Coke and listen to the Mugwumps for hours for just a dollar...
Though occasionally I felt cooped up in Georgetown, most days I was happy as a clam, absorbed in my classes and friends. However, I was also grateful for my few trips out of the cocoon. Several weeks into my first semester, I went to the Lisner Auditorium to hear Judy Collins sing. I can still see her, standing alone on the stage with her long blond hair, floor-length cotton dress, and guitar. From that day on, I was a huge Judy Collins fan. In December 1978, Hillary and I were on a brief vacation to London after the first time I was elected governor. One day as we window-shopped down Kings Road in Chelsea, the loudspeaker of a store blared out Judys version of Joni Mitchells Chelsea Morning. We agreed on the spot that if we ever had a daughter wed call her Chelsea.
Though I didnt leave the Georgetown environs often, I did manage two trips to New York my first semester. I went home with Tom Campbell to Long Island for Thanksgiving. LBJ had won the election by then, and I enjoyed arguing politics with Toms father. I goaded him one night by asking if the nice neighborhood they lived in had been organized under a protective covenant, under which homeowners committed not to sell to members of proscribed groups, usually blacks. They were common until the Supreme Court ruled them unconstitutional. Mr. Campbell said yes, the area they lived in had been established under a covenant, but it ran not against blacks but Jews. I lived in a southern town with two synagogues and a fair number of anti-Semites who referred to Jews as Christ killers, but I was surprised to find anti-Semitism alive and well in New York. I guess I should have been reassured to know the South didnt have a corner on racism or anti-Semitism, but I wasnt.
A few weeks before the Thanksgiving trip, I got my first bite at the Big Apple when I traveled to New York City with the Georgetown band, pretty much a ragtag outfit. We practiced only once or twice a week, but we were good enough to be invited to play a concert at a small Catholic school, St. Josephs College for Women in Brooklyn. The concert went fine, and at the mixer afterward I met a student who invited me to walk her home and have a Coke with her and her mother. It was my first foray into one of the endless apartment buildings that house the vast majority of New Yorkers, poor to rich. There was no elevator, so we had to walk up several flights to reach her place. It seemed so small to me then, accustomed as I was to Arkansas one-story houses with yards, even for people of modest means. All I remember about the encounter is that the girl and her mother seemed incredibly nice, and I was amazed that you could develop such outgoing personalities living in such confined spaces.
After I said good night, I was on my own in the big city. I hailed a cab and asked to go to Times Square. I had never seen so many bright neon lights. The place was loud, fast, and throbbing with life, some of it on the seamy side. I saw my first streetwalker, hitting on a hapless archetype: a pathetic-looking guy wearing a dark suit, crew cut, and thick black horn-rimmed glasses and carrying a briefcase. He was both tempted and terrified. Terror won out. He walked on; she smiled, shrugged, and went back to work. I checked out the theaters and storefronts, and one bright sign caught my eyeTads Steaksadvertising big steaks for $1.59.
It seemed too good to pass up, so I went in, got my steak, and found a table. Sitting near me were an angry boy and his heartbroken mother. He was giving her a verbal beating with the words, Its cheap, Mama. Its cheap. She kept saying the salesman had told her it was nice. Over the next few minutes I pieced the story together. She had saved up enough money to buy her son a record player that he wanted badly. The problem was that it was a standard high-fidelity system, called hi-fi, but he wanted one of the new stereo systems that had much better sound, and apparently more status among fashion-conscious kids. With all her scrimping, his mother couldnt afford it. Instead of being grateful, the kid was screaming at her in public, Everything we have is cheap! I wanted a nice one! It made me sick. I wanted to slug him, to scream back at him that he was lucky to have a mother who loved him so much, who put food on his plate and clothes on his back with what was almost certainly a deadly dull job that paid too little. I got up and walked out in disgust, without finishing my bargain steak. That incident had a big impact on me, I guess because of what my own mother had done and endured. It made me more sensitive to the daily struggles of women and men who do things we want someone else to do but dont want to pay much for. It made me hate ingratitude more and resolve to be more grateful myself. And it made me even more determined to enjoy lifes lucky breaks without taking them too seriously, knowing that one turn of fates screw could put me back to square one or worse.
Not long after I got back from New York, I left the band to concentrate on my studies and student government. I won the election for freshman class president in one of my better campaigns, waged to an electorate dominated by Irish and Italian Catholics from the East. I dont remember how I decided to go for it, but I had a lot of help and it was exciting. There were really no issues and not much patronage, so the race boiled down to grassroots politics and one speech. One of my campaign workers wrote me a note showing the depth of our canvassing: Bill: problems in New Mens; Hanover picking up lots of votes. There are possibilities on 3rd (Pallens) floor Loyoladown at the end towards the pay phone. Thanks to Dick Hayes. See you tomorrow. Sleep well Gentlemen. King. King was John King, a five-foot-five dynamo who became the coxswain of the Georgetown crew team and study partner of our classmate Luci Johnson, the Presidents daughter, who once invited him to dinner at the White House, earning our admiration and envy.
On the Tuesday before the election, the class gathered to hear our campaign speeches. I was nominated by Bob Billingsley, a gregarious New Yorker whose Uncle Sherman had owned the Stork Club and who told me great stories of all the stars who had come there from the twenties on. Bob said I had a record of leadership and was a person who will get things done, and done well. Then came my turn. I raised no issue and promised only to serve in whatever capacity is needed at any time, whether I won or lost, and to give the election a spirit which will make our class a little bit stronger and a little bit prouder when the race is over. It was a modest effort, as it should have been; as the saying goes, I had much to be modest about.
The stronger of my two opponents tried to inject some gravity into an inherently weightless moment when he told us he was running because he didnt want our class to fall into the bottomless abyss of perdition. I didnt know much about thatit sounded like a place youd go for collaborating with Communists. This bottomless remark was over the top, and was my first big break. We worked like crazy and I was elected. After the votes were counted, my friends collected a lot of nickels, dimes, and quarters so that I could call home on the nearest pay phone and tell my family I had won. It was a happy conversation. I could tell there was no trouble on the other end of the line, and Mother could tell I was getting over my homesickness.
Though I enjoyed student government, the trips to New York, and just being in the Georgetown area, my classes were the main event of my freshman year. For the first time I had to work to learn. I had one big advantage: all six of my courses were taught by interesting, able people. We all had to study a foreign language. I chose German because I was interested in the country and impressed by the clarity and precision of the language. Dr. von Ihering, the German professor, was a kindly man who had hidden from the Nazis in the loft of a farmhouse after they began burning books, including the childrens books he wrote. Arthur Cozzens, the geography professor, had a white goatee and a quaint professional manner. I was bored in his class until he told us that, geologically, Arkansas was one of the most interesting places on earth, because of its diamond, quartz crystal, bauxite, and other mineral deposits and formations.
I took logic from Otto Hentz, a Jesuit who had not yet been ordained as a priest. He was bright, energetic, and concerned about the students. One day he asked me if Id like to have a hamburger with him for dinner. I was flattered and agreed, and we drove up Wisconsin Avenue to a Howard Johnsons. After a little small talk, Otto turned serious. He asked me if I had ever considered becoming a Jesuit. I laughed and replied, Dont I have to become a Catholic first? When I told him I was a Baptist and said, only half in jest, that I didnt think I could keep the vow of celibacy even if I were Catholic, he shook his head and said, I cant believe it. Ive read your papers and exams. You write like a Catholic. You think like a Catholic. I used to tell this story to Catholic groups on the campaign trail in Arkansas, assuring them I was the closest thing they could get to a Catholic governor.
Another Jesuit professor, Joseph Sebes, was one of the most remarkable men Ive ever known. Lean and stoop-shouldered, he was a gifted linguist whose primary interest was Asia. He had been working in China when the Communists prevailed, and spent some time in captivity, much of it in a small hole in the ground. The abuse damaged his stomach, cost him a kidney, and kept him in poor health for much of the rest of his life. He taught a course called Comparative Cultures. It should have been entitled Religions of the World: we studied Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Shintoism, Confucianism, Taoism, Hinduism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism, and other faiths. I loved Sebes and learned a lot from him about how people the world over defined God, truth, and the good life. Knowing how many of the students came from foreign countries, he offered everyone the chance to take the final exam orallyin nine languages. In the second semester I got an A, one of only four that were given, and one of my proudest academic achievements.
My other two teachers were real characters. Robert Irving taught English to freshmen who were unprepared for his rapid-fire, acid commentary on the propensity of freshmen to be verbose and imprecise. He wrote withering comments in the margins of essays, calling one of his students a capricious little bilge pump, responding to anothers expression of chagrin with turned into a cabbage, did you? My papers received more pedestrian rebukes: in the margins or at the end, Dr. Irving wrote awk for awkward, ugh, rather dull, pathetic. On one paper I saved, he finally wrote clever and thoughtful, only to follow it by asking me to next time be a sport and write my essay on better paper! One day Dr. Irving read aloud an essay one of his former students had written on Marvell to illustrate the importance of using language with care. The student noted that Marvell loved his wife even after she died, then added the unfortunate sentence, Of course physical love, for the most part, ends after death. Irving roared, For the most part! For the most part! I suppose to some people, theres nothing better on a warm day than a nice cold corpse! That was a little rich for a bunch of eighteen-year-old Catholic school kids and one Southern Baptist. Wherever he is today, I dread the thought of Dr. Irving reading this book, and can only imagine the scorching comments hes scribbling in the margins.
The most legendary class at Georgetown was Professor Carroll Quigleys Development of Civilizations, a requirement for all freshmen, with more than two hundred people in each class. Though difficult, the class was wildly popular because of Quigleys intellect, opinions, and antics. The antics included his discourse on the reality of paranormal phenomena, including his claim to have seen a table rise off the floor and a woman take flight at a sance, and his lecture condemning Platos elevation of absolute rationality over observed experience, which he delivered every year at the end of the course. He always closed the lecture by ripping apart a paperback copy of Platos Republic, then throwing it across the room, shouting, Plato is a fascist!
The exams were filled with mind-bending questions like Write a brief but well-organized history of the Balkan Peninsula from the start of the Wrm Glacier to the time of Homer and What is the relationship between the process of cosmic evolution and the dimension of abstraction?
Two of Quigleys insights had a particularly lasting impact. First, he said that societies have to develop organized instruments to achieve their military, political, economic, social, religious, and intellectual objectives. The problem, according to Quigley, is that all instruments eventually become institutionalizedthat is, vested interests more committed to preserving their own prerogatives than to meeting the needs for which they were created. Once this happens, change can come only through reform or circumvention of the institutions. If these fail, reaction and decline set in.
His second lasting insight concerned the key to the greatness of Western civilization, and its continuing capacity for reform and renewal. He said our civilizations success is rooted in unique religious and philosophical convictions: that man is basically good; that there is truth, but no finite mortal has it; that we can get closer to the truth only by working together; and that through faith and good works, we can have a better life in this world and a reward in the next. According to Quigley, these ideas gave our civilization its optimistic, pragmatic character and an unwavering belief in the possibility of positive change. He summed up our ideology with the term future preference, the belief that the future can be better than the past, and each individual has a personal, moral obligation to make it so. From the 1992 campaign through my two terms in office, I quoted Professor Quigleys line often, hoping it would spur my fellow Americans, and me, to practice what he preached.
By the end of my first year, I had been dating my first long-term girlfriend for a few months. Denise Hyland was a tall, freckle-faced Irish girl with kind, beautiful eyes and an infectious smile. She was from Upper Montclair, New Jersey, the second of six children of a doctor who was studying to be a priest before he met her mother. Denise and I broke up at the end of our junior year, but our friendship has endured.
I was glad to be going home, where at least Id have old friends and my beloved hot summer. I had a job waiting for me at Camp Yorktown Bay, a Navy League camp for poor kids mostly from Texas and Arkansas, on Lake Ouachita, the largest of Hot Springs three lakes and one of the cleanest in America. You could see the bottom clearly at a depth of more than thirty feet. The man-made lake was in the Ouachita National Forest, so development around it, with the attendant pollution runoff, was limited.
For several weeks, I got up early every morning and drove out to the camp, twenty miles or so away, where I supervised swimming, basketball, and other camp activities. A lot of the kids needed a week away from their lives. One came from a family of six kids and a single mother and didnt have a penny to his name when he arrived. His mother was moving and he didnt know where hed be living when he got back. I talked with one boy who tried unsuccessfully to swim and was in bad shape when he was pulled out of the lake. He said it was nothing: in his short life, hed already swallowed his tongue, been poisoned, survived a bad car wreck, and lost his father three months earlier.
The summer passed quickly, full of good times with my friends and interesting letters from Denise, who was in France. There was one last terrible incident with Daddy. One day he came home early from work, drunk and mad. I was over at the Yeldells, but luckily, Roger was home. Daddy went after Mother with a pair of scissors and pushed her into the laundry room off the kitchen. Roger ran out the front door and over to the Yeldells screaming, Bubba, help! Daddys killing Dado! (When Roger was a baby he could say Daddy before he could say Mother, so he created the term Dado for her, and he used it for a long time afterward.) I ran back to the house, pulled Daddy off Mother, and grabbed the scissors from him. I took Mother and Roger to the living room, then went back and reamed Daddy out. When I looked into his eyes I saw more fear than rage. Not long before, he had been diagnosed with cancer of the mouth and throat. The doctors recommended radical, and disfiguring, surgery, but he refused, so they treated him as best they could. This incident took place early in the two-year period leading to his death, and I think it was his shame at the way hed lived and his fear of dying that drove him to what would be his last bad outburst. After that, he still drank, but he became more withdrawn and passive.
This incident had a particularly devastating effect on my brother. Almost forty years later, he told me how humiliated hed felt running for assistance, how helpless he felt that he couldnt stop his father, how irrevocable his hatred was after that. I realized then how foolish Id been, in the immediate aftermath of the episode, to revert to our family policy of just pretending nothing had happened and going back to normal. Instead, I should have told Roger that I was very proud of him; that it was his alertness, love, and courage that had saved Mother; that what he did was harder than what I had done; that he needed to let go of his hatred, because his father was sick, and hating his father would only spread the sickness to him. Oh, I often wrote to Roger and called him a lot when I was away; I encouraged him in his studies and activities and told him I loved him. But I missed the deep scarring and the trouble it would inevitably bring. It took Roger a long time and a lot of self-inflicted wounds to finally get to the source of the hurt in his heart.
Though I still had some concerns about Mothers and Rogers safety, I believed Daddy when he promised he was through with violence, and besides, he was losing the capacity to generate it, so I was ready when the time came to go back to Georgetown for my second year. In June, I had been awarded a $500 scholarship, and the requirement to wear tie and shirt to class had been scrapped, so I was looking forward to a more affluent existence on my twenty-five dollars a week. I also had been reelected president of my class, this time with a real program concentrating on campus issues, including nondenominational religious services and a community-service initiative we took over from the outgoing senior class: GUCAP, the Georgetown University Community Action Program, which sent student volunteers into poor neighborhoods to help kids with their studies. We also tutored adults working for high school diplomas through an extension program, and did whatever else we could to help families struggling to get by. I went a few times, although not as often as I should have. Along with what I knew from growing up in Arkansas, I saw enough of inner-city Washington to convince me that volunteer charity alone would never be enough to overcome the grinding combination of poverty, discrimination, and lack of opportunity that held so many of my fellow citizens back. It made my support for President Johnsons civil rights, voting rights, and anti-poverty initiatives even stronger.
My second year, like the first, was primarily focused on class work, really for the last time. From then on, through my final two years at Georgetown, the stay in Oxford, and law school, my formal studies increasingly fought a losing battle with politics, personal experiences, and private explorations.
For now, there was more than enough to hold my attention in the classroom, starting with second-year German, Mary Bonds absorbing course on major British writers, and Ulrich Allerss History of Political Thought. Allers was a gruff German who noted these few words on a paper I wrote on the ancient Athenian legal system: Plodding but very decent. At the time, I felt damned with faint praise. After I had been President a few years, I would have killed to be called that.
I made a C in Joe Whites microeconomics class first semester. Professor White also taught macroeconomics second semester, and I got an A in that class. I suppose both grades were harbingers, since as President I did a good job with the nations economy and a poor job with my personal economic situation, at least until I left the White House.
I studied European history with Luis Aguilar, a Cuban expatriate who had been a leader of the democratic opposition to Batista before he was overthrown by Castro. Once, Aguilar asked me what I intended to do with my life. I told him that I wanted to go home and get into politics but that I was becoming interested in a lot of other things too. He replied wistfully, Choosing a career is like choosing a wife from ten girlfriends. Even if you pick the most beautiful, the most intelligent, the kindest woman, there is still the pain of losing the other nine. Though he loved teaching and was good at it, I had the feeling that for Professor Aguilar, Cuba was those other nine women rolled into one.
My most memorable class sophomore year was Professor Walter Giless U.S. Constitution and Government, a course he taught largely through Supreme Court cases. Giles was a redheaded, crew-cut confirmed bachelor whose life was filled by his students, his love for the Constitution and social justice, and his passion for the Washington Redskins, win or lose. He invited students to his house for dinners, and a lucky few even got to go with him to see the Redskins play. Giles was a liberal Democrat from Oklahoma, not common then and rare enough today to place him under the protection of the Endangered Species Act.
I think he took an interest in me partly because I was from a state that bordered his own, though he liked to kid me about it. By the time I got to his class I had embraced my lifelong affinity for sleep deprivation and had developed the sometimes embarrassing habit of falling asleep for five or ten minutes in class, after which Id be fine. I sat in the front row of Giless big lecture class, a perfect foil for his biting wit. One day as I was napping, he noted loudly that a certain Supreme Court ruling was so crystal clear anyone could understand it, unless, of course, youre from some hick town in Arkansas. I awoke with a start to peals of laughter from my classmates and never fell asleep on him again.