Students Learning 1881-1905
My first course under Dr. Francis A. March was in the Study of Words by Trench. This was a rather difficult book for a sophomore class to use because it had not been arranged as a text. Still, I believe most of the students got a great deal out of it. I am sure I did…His teaching of Julius Caesar was limited to the study of particular words and constructions and did not allow a good survey of the whole play. In fact, I believe the class spent most of a whole term on the first scene of the first act…Dr. March’s devotion to this method of teaching rather dominated Lafayette College at that time. I could see that in the teaching of Greek and Latin his method of teaching English was followed. There is something to be said for this method in making students realize that every word in a classic has meaning and purpose…There was a total lack of individual training in English composition. We were required to bring to class papers on literary subjects, many of them, but no paper was ever returned with corrections or suggestions; two or three students in a classroom would be called upon to read their papers; upon which Dr. March would make some criticism.
Earl G. Swem, Class of 1893