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Andrew HeiskellAndrew Heiskell
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I wasn't quite twenty. I was a few days short of twenty when I left Europe for good really to go to America.


Why did you leave?


I faced the business of earning a living, and I was earning a living teaching in my school. It was really quite a good living because I had bed and board. Therefore, whatever they paid me was really just for fun and games. However, I didn't have working papers and the French have a very interesting and very French system, namely that to get your working papers you have to have a job; to get a job, you have to have working papers. They applied this very strictly to foreigners because, at that point in time, there was as terrible unemployment there as there was here and they didn't want any foreigners holding down any jobs. So I kept receiving notices about my not being legal and I got around that by changing my address that would send them about every three months, knowing that the French bureaucracy would get further and further behind, would probably never catch up with me.

But, after a while, I realized that they didn't really want me in France, and things were not looking very good there and I applied to go to college over here at Harvard. I said I considered I was qualified to enter as a junior, which I think I was, having had two years at the University of Paris however slight the work was. Harvard answered, “No, sir, you come as a sophomore or you don't.” So I answered that I wouldn't.

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