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George Hannett ‘75 on Professor Pease

George Hannett ‘75, an alum who took a class with Don Pease even before I did, comments:

I enjoyed your post the other day concerning the exchange between Professor McPeek and Professor Pease. I too had Professor Pease as a professor back in the early 1970s. In fact, the course I took, an English course he team taught with Professor Cox on 19th Century American Literature, may have been the first or one of the very first courses Donald Pease taught at Dartmouth. I have from time to time since that long ago era followed his enduring career at Dartmouth, mostly with a bit of amusement. Few people are able to pack such a small number of thoughts into such a large morass of words as, as you so aptly put it, the bloviating Professor Pease. And I find it particularly amusing how he is able to so often do it in a way that makes it appear on the surface as if he is a particularly profound, wise and erudite deep thinker. If anything, I suspect that he has only gotten worse over the years.

In his opening statement that you quoted at length, Professor Pease began by talking about “rhetoric.” That word and the torrent of gibberish that followed brought to mind Benjamin Disreali’s wonderful description of his rival William Gladstone, words that seem particularly appropriate to Professor Pease:

“A sophistical rhetorician, inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity, and gifted with an egotistical imagination that can at all times command an interminable and inconsistent series of arguments to malign an opponent and to glorify himself.”

Professor Pease is clearly a man inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity, and there appear to be no signs out there that, as a man who is clearly in love with the sound of his own voice, he is going to be sobering up anytime soon.

Addendum: After working on the staff of the Governor of New Mexico and as a law clerk for the New Mexico Supreme Court, George Hannett ‘75 has practiced law in Albuquerque for over a quarter of a century. He can occasionally be long-winded, an affliction he ties directly to contact at an impressionable age with Professor Pease — who was nonetheless unable to eradicate George’s sense of humor.

Addendum: Don Pease has earned his own YouTube parody videos entitled Damn It Feels Good To Be Don Pease and Big Daddy Don Pease, along with a short blogspot site called Donald Pease: The Man, the Myth, the Legend that assembles his various non sequiturs.


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