USF: Poli Sci

Why would anybody major in poli sci?
     The words “political” and “science”
          contradict one another,
          and the field is neither.
     Still, when you quit chemistry
          and you have to do something
          and the Jesuits control philosophy....

Smetana taught American Government.
     Don’t confuse me (Smetan'a) with the composer (Smet'ana).
     Ha ha(!)   Nobody laughed.  
          Why would they? (duh, what’s a Moldau?)
          Great beginning.
     The rest of the course was spent either
          sleeping (third row to the back of the room)
          or wiping his spit off.
     He did Constitutional Law, too.
          All I recall was the kind of paper we wrote our briefs on:
          it had very wide margins which made a handy place
          to boil down class notes (non “con law” classes).

Brandon’s Comparative Government covered
          land, economy, people, history, government and politics
          of England, France, Germany, the Soviet Union.
     Encyclopedia stuff, but we liked his delivery
     and feared his exams:
          try a three-hour blue-book
          on the development of the parliamentary system.
     He thoroughly pre-outlined lectures on the board;
          he was so laid-back his chair should have thrown him;
               a former journalist and Bonn attaché, he had style.
     I couldn’t get enough of him —
     International Relations
          Morgenthau’s “Politics Among Nations” was all realpolitik
               We (sophomore moralists) took to it like pornography.
               Stephan, you’re confusing morality with politics again
                    oh, blush, sorry, I’ll try to be meaner.
          The marvel that anyone ever developed diplomacy,
               polite conversation among mortal enemies.
          Jesuits were expelled at least once by every European nation.
               Yaaayyy!   Even Switzerland?
     International Law
          First lecture:  it doesn’t exist.
          That was the theme of the course.
     Seminar in American Foreign Policy
          Churchill’s gone soft and Kennan’s gone ga-ga
          everybody does sooner or later
          except Brandon.

Feely was as much a part of USF as the Masonic graveyard it was built on.
     B.A. there (well, its earlier location, on Hayes Street) in 1916.
          Law two years later.  Insatiable, he next became a Jesuit.
          And from the ‘20s he was monomaniacal on COMM-u-nism.
     (Nietzsche:  when you fight with monsters you may become one.)
          Everyone at USF was forced to take Poli Sci 140,
          “Philosophy, Strategy and Tactics of World Communism”.
     It was fascism 101:  seating chart with daily attendance check,
          old Feely droning into his microphone, overamplified
          in his own  classroom, across the hall from the Dean,
     apotheozied.  His coughing fits relieved the monotony
          “My pills!  My pills!  Miss Lightbody!  Across the hall!”
          Maybe he’ll go this time?  “Stop laughing!  Cough!”
     MacKenzie guest-lectured on Soviet Geopolitics
          Sir Haliford MacKinder, the Fertile Crescent.  Yeah-yeah, yawn.
          Nonsense, dropped into history’s dustbin by the airplane.
     McDonnell’s guest appearance was the only semi-intellectual event:
          a two-day sleigh-ride through Russian history
          from Burik the Viking to Khrushchev the Ukranian (butcher).
.    Some junior Jesuits hung a black wreath on Feely’s bedroom door
          in the “Jesuit Hilton” and danced around it whispering “Die!”
          but it didn’t work.

McDonnell (chairman, Jesuit) taught a decent History of Political Thought
          from Thrasymachos to Hitler
     but all I remember of it were
          oral examinations which could make you physically ill,
          Marsilius of Padua’s Defensor Pacis  published 1324,
          and everyone was wrong but Aquinas.

MacKenzie (large, “Sarge”) taught football and Public Administration.
     His exams were graded with a variety of rubber-stamped
          messages in your blue book:  “CHECK NOTES” or “VAGUE”
          “SEE TEXTBOOK, P. __”  (fill in the page) or “GOOD”.
     I guess it prepared some people, for public administration.
          It somehow complemented his “Listen here, God!” speech,
          in Poli Sci 140:  a fool pointing upward, belly outward
          demonstrating “godless, atheistic [“redundant”] communism”
     Not to mention his Fertile Crescent.

As I said, I quit chemistry and had to do something.