544934_10151635834213185_1928154343_nLord Byron, Childe Harold

There is pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal.

Lord Byron, Chi…

The Animal School

This story was written by an educationist George Reavis, when he was the Assistant Superintendent of the Cincinnati Public Schools way back in the 1940. It is a wonderful take on an education system that religiously follows the old adage ‘Jack of all trades, master of none.’

Once upon a time the animals decided they must do something heroic to meet the problems of a “new world” so they organized a school. They had adopted an activity curriculum consisting of running, climbing, swimming and flying. To make it easier to administer the curriculum, all the animals took all the subjects.

The duck was excellent in swimming. In fact, better than his instructor. But he made only passing grades in flying and was very poor in running. Since he was slow in running, he had to stay after school and also drop swimming in order to practice running. This was kept up until his webbed feet were badly worn and he was only average in swimming. But average was acceptable in school so nobody worried about that, except the duck.education-system

The rabbit started at the top of the class in running but had a nervous breakdown because of so much makeup work in swimming.

The squirrel was excellent in climbing until he developed frustration in the flying class where his teacher made him start from the ground up instead of the treetop down. He also developed a “charlie horse” from overexertion and then got a C in climbing and D in running.

The eagle was a problem child and was disciplined severely. In the climbing class, he beat all the others to the top of the tree but insisted on using his own way to get there.

At the end of the year, an abnormal eel that could swim exceeding well and also run, climb and fly a little had the highest average and was valedictorian.

The prairie dogs stayed out of school and fought the tax levy because the administration would not add digging and burrowing to the curriculum. They apprenticed their children to a badger and later joined the groundhogs and gophers to start a successful private school.

Abraham Lincoln’s letter to his son’s teacher

Abraham Lincoln's letter to his son's teacher

“My son starts school today. It is all going to be strange and new to him for a while and I wish you would treat him gently. It is an adventure that might take him across continents. All adventures that probably include wars, tragedy and sorrow. To live this life will require faith, love and courage.
So dear Teacher, will you please take him by his hand and teach him things he will have to know, teaching him – but gently, if you can. Teach him that for every enemy, there is a friend. He will have to know that all men are not just, that all men are not true. But teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a hero, that for every crooked politician, there is a dedicated leader.
Teach him if you can that 10 cents earned is of far more value than a dollar found. In school, teacher, it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat. Teach him to learn how to gracefully lose, and enjoy winning when he does win.
Teach him to be gentle with people, tough with tough people. Steer him away from envy if you can and teach him the secret of quiet laughter. Teach him if you can – how to laugh when he is sad, teach him there is no shame in tears. Teach him there can be glory in failure and despair in success. Teach him to scoff at cynics.
Teach him if you can the wonders of books, but also give time to ponder the extreme mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun and flowers on a green hill. Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if every one tell him they are wrong.
Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone else is doing it. Teach him to listen to every one, but teach him also to filters all that he hears on a screen of truth and take only the good that comes through.
Teach him to sell his talents and brains to the highest bidder but never to put a price tag on his heart and soul. Let him have the courage to be impatient, let him have the patient to be brave. Teach him to have sublime faith in himself, because then he will always have sublime faith in mankind, in God.
This is the order, teacher but see what best you can do. He is such a nice little boy and he is my son.

Date a girl who travels

1390771_744717058891161_83475934_nSome of my personal favorite lines from the blog piece ‘Date a girl who travels

A girl who travels knows that anytime, anything can happen and she just has to be prepared with it.

She knows she’s been to a lot of places, but she’s humbled by the fact that the world is still a big place and she has seen only a small part of it.

You’ll also recognize the girl who travels by the fact that she’s always amazed at the world around her, no matter if she’s in her home town or in a place that’s totally new.

A girl who travels has developed a deeper appreciation for life.

Nothing bonds people better than travelling. On your trips, you’ll see each other’s best and worst characteristics, and you can then decide whether she is worth fighting for.

She won’t mind if you get lost on your way to a date. She knows that oftentimes, journey is more important than the destination. She will help you see the lighter side of things. She’ll walk along with you, not behind you, pointing out the interesting bits of the things you’ll see on your way.

If she says she loves you, she must have seen something in you, something that can always call her back from her travels, something that can always anchor her to the world in the ways that she wants to after weeks or months of being on the road.

Date a girl who reads

1235973_629868093719918_1159141386_nSome of my favorite lines from the blog piece ‘Date a girl who reads

You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of and old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie.

Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two. Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop.

She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes.