To most of the concentrators in Romance Languages the field is a disappointment. Inadequate tutorial and courses which present little more than a narrow range of specific facts are the Department's worst failings.
Instruction in three languages and literatures are offered: French, Spanish, and Italian, and the concentrator is expected to prepare two of them for his divisional. Enrollment in the Italian section has fallen off drastically in the past several years and most students delve into French and Spanish.
Of those two sections, Spanish provides the best preparation. Professor Ford and Associate Professor River, are the best obtainable with the, latter doing most of the teaching. Spanish 2, literature of the 16 and 17 centuries, is about the most satisfactory course with three good men doing the majority of the lecturing: Associate Professors Whittem and Rivera and Dr. Espinosa.
French Is Poor
The French portion of the Department has been poorly received by the students in it. Except for Professor Morize and Penny, none of the Faculty were regarded as worthy of compliments. The tutorial instruction is entirely insufficient, the concentrators feel. This is chiefly the result of the tutorial work being limited to filing in the gaps of work not covered in the courses instead of organizing and assimilating class room learning and reading.
Courses best liked in French are Penny's French 6, French Literature, and Morize's advance composition course French 28. In most of them, little more is accomplished than straight translation with the material covered being too narrowly confined to present any broad comprehension of the language or literature.
Divisionals cover the periods from the Middle Ages through the 19 century. Any work done on material in modern literature is entirely wasted as far as this requirement is concerned, yet tutors often assign reading in that period. The divisional examination is a three hour affair and does not have too severe a reputation.
The entire field, for that matter, does not seem to scare its concentrators and a goodly number of them frankly, and often disappointedly, admit it can be taken as a "bull" field. Examinations are very often passed after a day or two of cramming and except only such better tutors as Mercier, Penny, and Seznac the tutorial can be disregarded. Romance Languages, is the field most nearly approaching the prep school student's idealization of college life, you will get just as much out of it as you put into it.