As an undergraduate student in my first semester in college, I had little understanding of the far reaching impact even the most random of breadth component courses
This afternoon as I was sitting in my classroom doing some reading and listening to the local public radio station, the song "The Best of All Possible Worlds" from the Broadway production of Candide came on, and I was again reminded of that class. Taught by the kindly Peter Marchant, Intro to World Lit introduced me to so much I might otherwise had never been exposed to: Mishima, ballroom dancing, Dostoevsky and Voltaire; which is why I've posted the video above.
It is with great frequency that I preface any number of comments in class with a sing-songy "In the best of all possible worlds..." in an attempt to mimic the tune from the song, part of Leonard Bernstein composed operetta in two parts based on Voltaire's Candide. An important (though sarcastically supported) component of which is maintaining an optimistic outlook in the face of life's trials and tribulations. I recall being so taken with the story, and especially, I suppose, the small piece of music shared in class (held in the basement of old Hartwell Hall) that I walked to the record store in town to purchase the music on LP.
It was wonderful to hear the old song again, and not just filtered through the years since having listened to the record many moons ago--in the best of all possible worlds it is now available on CD (still not that modern but at least more hip than cassette tapes)...