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Intellectual Bull
Arnold Wasserman, Alum
Columbia College 1947

One of my most favorite stories involves my very first class on the very first day attending Columbia back in September of 1941.

Not surprisingly, my first class was in the Humanities. What was surprising to me, however, was the "professor" (actually an instructor) was a male when I had been used to mostly female teachers in high school. More to the point was that he was not seated primly behind the desk to take attendance, but sat casually on the front of the desk with one foot dangling languidly in the air.

And then there were his first words I was to hear on this very first day and very first class at Columbia: "Gentlemen, let us think of this class as an intellectual bull session. You'll throw the bull, and I'll try to keep it on the intellectual side."

What a wonderful introduction to Columbia. He made us feel so mature. No longer little kids in high school!

The "Professor" was Mason Gross who later became President of Rutgers. He also was the "authority" on an intellectual game show that ran in the early days of TV on Sunday afternoons (along with Omnibus" and other such shows).

Ah memories....memories. (And I'll not include at this time some experiences during "Colloquium" when Professors Weaver and Irwin Edman sat at ends of a table with about eight or so students on either side trying to be intellectual.)

Submitted by Arnie Wasserman, originally class of '45 -- delayed by WW II to class of '47.

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