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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Some weekend souvenirs

Got home last night and this morning the "cable guy" showed up to replace the equipment that got burned out by lightning last Thursday - leading to a paucity of posts! - it was a two-dollar switcher, I could have fixed it myself.

So what did I learn this weekend? Two favorite quotes:
  • This one was offered by Yale's new Dean, oops I can't remember his name, but he's got a gigantic black moustache and a cute smile, and he rocks up on the ball of his feet for emphasis. Frequently! From "The Once and Future King" by T.H. White:
    The best thing for being sad ... is to learn something. That's the only thing that never fails.

    You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds.

    There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting.

    Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.

  • "Pleasure is very seldom found where it is sought" (Attributed by the Master of Morse College to Coleridge, but according to Google, Samuel Johnson is the source.)

Then there was Eleanor Holmes Norton. I had been interested to hear from such an august veteran of the Civil Rights era, but she was a disappointment, first griping that she had only gotten lunch from the burrito cart, then reading a speech which appeared to be recycled from an earlier occasion - five years earlier, I would guess, considering that she extended congratulations to the class of 2000. The theme of her speech was: Who am I? and she then, in answering her own question, told us self-aggrandizing things which did not seem to relate to the business at hand.

Melina had spent this year living in Lutheran House, a dimly lit and very quiet building. This was the first time we hung out in the living room, where I discovered that contrary to the gloomy impression left by her somber-looking roommates, there must be somebody there with a sense of humor - they had two bobble-head dolls, one of Martin Luther and one of Jesus, standing on the sideboard next to the order of service.


At 9:53 AM, Blogger kenju said...

Life-long learning is an antidote for much of the world's ills, not just sadness.

At 10:27 AM, Blogger Kimberly said...

With just a few choice details, you've given me a nice image of the new dean. I love that T.H. White quotation.


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