He wore glasses, and had a thick mustache and a substantial nose so, at first glance, he looked like he was wearing groucho glasses
. He always wore jeans
and a blazer, was very tall, usually had an Amazon.com
coffee thermos with him in class. I assume he filled it with coffee. He teaches Ancient Literature
, and Greek
at Oglethorpe University
He seemed to carry with him the look of history, as if Merlin himself was peering over those glasses, challenging your response. I sat in his office at the end of my last semester, for a professor/student evaluation of some sort, mandatory for graduation, and he said, "Elizabeth, you are a good person." I said, jokingly, "I try." He answered abruptly, "You don't have to try", chiding me a little for laughing off the compliment. It was one of those moments that just makes you squirm. It still makes me ill to note that I only ever took two classes from him.
McFarland quotes (real class notes):
"Facism is facism. I don't care if the trains run on time."
"The world is like some vast theater. (we weren't reading Shakespeare, the reference didn't occur to him) We are constantly putting on costumes and make-up, and we never look quite right, do we?"
"Richness is born out of failure."
"Self memory breeds toleration. If you forget who you have been, you can not tolerate other people."(analyzing Montaigne)
"'Dream the Impossible Dream.' That's a load of crap. Those people forgot to read the book. This guy is out of his mind!" (McFarland on Don Quixote)
"When you pick up a novel, there is a supposed reality. You know reality isn't going to change, unless you're reading a sci-fi, or fantasy or a romance or something."