S. I. Hayakawa was President of San Francisco State College at the time when I had several brief and unpleasant encounters. The first was in a classroom where Professor McCaffrey was teaching when Hayakawa, accompanied by a couple of cops, came in and fired him. I wrote up the event for the Berkeley Barb. It was written in a matter-of-fact style of a witness to a public event. Max Scherr, who owned the Barb, rewrote it in Chinese running-dog lackey style. I never spoke to Max again without demanding that he publish the fact that I didn’t write what appeared under my byline. He never did, and later he died, so I have a permanent black mark on my history that I don’t deserve, with no hope of correcting it.
The second event was when I was taking a class from Hayakawa, in which he made such a pretentious demanding ass of himself that I walked out in the middle of the lecture and walked over to the admissions office and dropped his class.
The third was when I was technically in the wrong about not taking the graduate admissions test, which I hadn’t done. My contention was that I had completed all the requirements for a Master’s Degree, proving that I was qualified to receive one, and therefore shouldn’t have to waste time taking the silly GRE test.
Hayakawa played the role of College President to the extreme and said, “Take the test immediately or I will see to it that you will NEVER get a degree from this institution!” So, I took the silly ass test and attempted to answer every single multiple-choice question wrong. Apparently I failed because although I succeeded in answering every question I had one point above the absolute minimum score and so must have gotten one of them right.
My faculty Master’s advisor, Jack Wellpot, said, “I thought you were smarter than that” ie, absolute idiot. I don’t think he knew what I did and I never told anyone for years. Hayakawa later gained further fame when he called in the riot police during the 1960s to brutalize his student body and was rewarded for that disgrace by being elected as California’s Senator to Washington. He was quite old by that time and gained further infamy by sleeping through Senate hearings.
My brief experiences with S. I. Hayakawa were all negative.