Extempore speech

I escaped the clutches of family, school, and church when I received a scholarship to Wheeling College, the first Jesuit school in West Virginia. One pleasant afternoon I was dozing in Father Kernan’s rhetoric and speech class. Occasionally it was his custom to call on a student to give an extempore speech. On that sleepy day he called on me. My speech was on how to survive Jesuit education. I groused about the muddy plateau the two new buildings were on, Father Kernan’s dramatic habit of kneeling to pray before each class, his admonitions to write without adjectives and adverbs, and his research assignments to read every book written by that author. The more my audience laughed, the more outrageous my comments. Father ended the class (without prayer) saying “Now that Rose Ann has reprimanded the Society of Jesus….”

2 thoughts on “Extempore speech

  1. Very funny, Rose Ann, I would like to have been there to help Father Kernan arise. I have to wonder how many times he has told of your histerical story and, perhaps, thinking of you, chuckling to himself, as he kneeled in prayer.

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