Tom Hanks Reminisces on Community College: 'Getting A's' and 'Looking at Girls'

How one "gorgeous" classmate left him tongue-tied.

In an op-ed in the New York Times published today, Hanks, 58, remembers those days where he went to a school that was basically "all free but for the effort and the cost of used textbooks."

Hanks recalls taking classes he loved (oral interpretation) and classes he dropped (astronomy) "because it was all math."

"A public speaking class was unforgettable for a couple of reasons. First, the assignments forced us to get over our self-consciousness. Second, another student was a stewardess, as flight attendants called themselves in the ’70s. She was studying communications and was gorgeous," he added. "She lived not far from me, and when my VW threw a rod and was in the shop for a week, she offered me a lift to class. I rode shotgun that Monday-Wednesday-Friday totally tongue-tied. Communicating with her one on one was the antithesis of public speaking."

Hanks continues to regale about how those classes he took have carried onto his work today.

"Of course, I goofed off between classes eating French fries and looking at girls; such are the pleasures, too, of schools that cost thousands of bucks a semester," he added.

Then Hanks brings up President Obama's hope to "make two years of free community college accessible for up to nine million Americans."

He closes by writing, "Chabot College is still in Hayward. ... I drove past the campus a few years ago with one of my kids and summed up my two years there this way: 'That place made me what I am today.'"

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