Degree Congratulations Quotes

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I can look back and see that I’ve spent much of my life in a cloud of things that have tended to push “being kind” to the periphery. Things like: Anxiety. Fear. Insecurity. Ambition. The mistaken belief that enough accomplishment will rid me of all that anxiety, fear, insecurity, and ambition. The belief that if I can only accrue enough—enough accomplishment, money, fame—my neuroses will disappear. I’ve been in this fog certainly since, at least, my own graduation day. Over the years I’ve felt: Kindness, sure—but first let me finish this semester, this degree, this book; let me succeed at this job, and afford this house, and raise these kids, and then, finally, when all is accomplished, I’ll get started on the kindness. Except it never all gets accomplished. It’s a cycle that can go on … well, forever.
George Saunders (Congratulations, by the way: Some Thoughts on Kindness)
Forty is a most beautiful age for both men and women. Did you know that in mystic thought forty symbolizes the ascent from one level to a higher one and spiritual awakening? When we mourn we mourn for forty days. When a baby is born it takes forty days for him to get ready to start life on earth. And when we are in love we need to wait for forty days to be sure of our feelings. The Flood of Noah lasted forty days, and while the waters destroyed life, they also washed all impurity away and enabled human beings to make a new, fresh start. In Islamic mysticism there are forty degrees between man and God. Likewise, there are four basic stages of consciousness and ten degrees in each, making forty levels in total. Jesus went into the wilderness for forty days and nights. Muhammad was forty years old when he received the call to become a prophet. Buddha meditated under a linden tree for forty days. Not to mention the forty rules of Shams. You receive a new mission at forty, a new lease on life! You have reached a most auspicious number. Congratulations! And don’t worry about getting old. There are no wrinkles or gray hair strong enough to defy the power of forty!
Elif Shafak (The Forty Rules of Love)
To summarize what I have said: Aim for the highest; never enter a bar-room; do not touch liquor, or if at all only at meals; never speculate; never indorse beyond your surplus cash fund; make the firm’s interest yours; break orders always to save owners; concentrate; put all your eggs in one basket, and watch that basket; expenditure always within revenue; lastly, be not impatient, for, as Emerson says, “no one can cheat you out of ultimate success but yourselves.” I congratulate poor young men upon being born to that ancient and honourable degree which renders it necessary that they should devote themselves to hard work. A basketful of bonds is the heaviest basket a young man ever had to carry. He generally gets to staggering under it. We have in this city creditable instances of such young men, who have pressed to the front rank of our best and most useful citizens. These deserve great credit. But the vast majority of the sons of rich men are unable to resist the temptations to which wealth subjects them, and sink to unworthy lives. I would almost as soon leave a young man a curse, as burden him with the almighty dollar. It is not from this class you have rivalry to fear. The partner’s sons will not trouble you much, but look out that some boys poorer, much poorer than yourselves, whose parents cannot afford to give them the advantages of a course in this institute, advantages which should give you a decided lead in the race–look out that such boys do not challenge you at the post and pass you at the grand stand. Look out for the boy who has to plunge into work direct from the common school and who begins by sweeping out the office. He is the probable dark horse that you had better watch.
Andrew Carnegie (The Road To Business Success)
But…” Hazel gripped his shoulders and stared at him in amazement. “Frank, what happened to you?” “To me?” He stood, suddenly self-conscious. “I don’t…” He looked down and realized what she meant. Triptolemus hadn’t gotten shorter. Frank was taller. His gut had shrunk. His chest seemed bulkier. Frank had had growth spurts before. Once he’d woken up two centimeters taller than when he’d gone to sleep. But this was nuts. It was as if some of the dragon and lion had stayed with him when he’d turned back to human. “Uh…I don’t…Maybe I can fix it.” Hazel laughed with delight. “Why? You look amazing!” “I—I do?” “I mean, you were handsome before! But you look older, and taller, and so distinguished—” Triptolemus heaved a dramatic sigh. “Yes, obviously some sort of blessing from Mars. Congratulations, blah, blah, blah. Now, if we’re done here…?” Frank glared at him. “We’re not done. Heal Nico.” The farm god rolled his eyes. He pointed at the corn plant, and BAM! Nico di Angelo appeared in an explosion of corn silk. Nico looked around in a panic. “I—I had the weirdest nightmare about popcorn.” He frowned at Frank. “Why are you taller?” “Everything’s fine,” Frank promised. “Triptolemus was about to tell us how to survive the House of Hades. Weren’t you, Trip?” The farm god raised his eyes to the ceiling, like, Why me, Demeter? “Fine,” Trip said. “When you arrive at Epirus, you will be offered a chalice to drink from.” “Offered by whom?” Nico asked. “Doesn’t matter,” Trip snapped. “Just know that it is filled with deadly poison.” Hazel shuddered. “So you’re saying that we shouldn’t drink it.” “No!” Trip said. “You must drink it, or you’ll never be able to make it through the temple. The poison connects you to the world of the dead, lets you pass into the lower levels. The secret to surviving is”—his eyes twinkled—“barley.” Frank stared at him. “Barley.” “In the front room, take some of my special barley. Make it into little cakes. Eat these before you step into the House of Hades. The barley will absorb the worst of the poison, so it will affect you, but not kill you.” “That’s it?” Nico demanded. “Hecate sent us halfway across Italy so you could tell us to eat barley?” “Good luck!” Triptolemus sprinted across the room and hopped in his chariot. “And, Frank Zhang, I forgive you! You’ve got spunk. If you ever change your mind, my offer is open. I’d love to see you get a degree in farming!” “Yeah,” Frank muttered. “Thanks.” The god pulled a lever on his chariot. The snake-wheels turned. The wings flapped. At the back of the room, the garage doors rolled open. “Oh, to be mobile again!” Trip cried. “So many ignorant lands in need of my knowledge. I will teach them the glories of tilling, irrigation, fertilizing!” The chariot lifted off and zipped out of the house, Triptolemus shouting to the sky, “Away, my serpents! Away!” “That,” Hazel said, “was very strange.” “The glories of fertilizing.” Nico brushed some corn silk off his shoulder. “Can we get out of here now?” Hazel put her hand on Frank’s shoulder. “Are you okay, really? You bartered for our lives. What did Triptolemus make you do?” Frank tried to hold it together. He scolded himself for feeling so weak. He could face an army of monsters, but as soon as Hazel showed him kindness, he wanted to break down and cry. “Those cow monsters…the katoblepones that poisoned you…I had to destroy them.” “That was brave,” Nico said. “There must have been, what, six or seven left in that herd.” “No.” Frank cleared his throat. “All of them. I killed all of them in the city.” Nico and Hazel stared at him in stunned silence. Frank
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
Remus,” said Hermione tentatively, “is everything all right . . . you know . . . between you and—” “Everything is fine, thank you,” said Lupin pointedly. Hermione turned pink. There was another pause, an awkward and embarrassed one, and then Lupin said, with an air of forcing himself to admit something unpleasant, “Tonks is going to have a baby.” “Oh, how wonderful!” squealed Hermione. “Excellent!” said Ron enthusiastically. “Congratulations,” said Harry. Lupin gave an artificial smile that was more like a grimace, then said, “So . . . do you accept my offer? Will three become four? I cannot believe that Dumbledore would have disapproved, he appointed me your Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, after all. And I must tell you that I believe that we are facing magic many of us have never encountered or imagined.” Ron and Hermione both looked at Harry. “Just—just to be clear,” he said. “You want to leave Tonks at her parents’ house and come away with us?” “She’ll be perfectly safe there, they’ll look after her,” said Lupin. He spoke with a finality bordering on indifference. “Harry, I’m sure James would have wanted me to stick with you.” “Well,” said Harry slowly, “I’m not. I’m pretty sure my father would have wanted to know why you aren’t sticking with your own kid, actually.” Lupin’s face drained of color. The temperature in the kitchen might have dropped ten degrees. Ron stared around the room as though he had been bidden to memorize it, while Hermione’s eyes swiveled backward and forward from Harry to Lupin. “You don’t understand,” said Lupin at last. “Explain, then,” said Harry. Lupin swallowed. “I—I made a grave mistake in marrying Tonks. I did it against my better judgment and I have regretted it very much ever since.” “I see,” said Harry, “so you’re just going to dump her and the kid and run off with us?” Lupin sprang to his feet: His chair toppled over backward, and he glared at them so fiercely that Harry saw, for the first time ever, the shadow of the wolf upon his human face. “Don’t you understand what I’ve done to my wife and my unborn child? I should never have married her, I’ve made her an outcast!” Lupin kicked aside the chair he had overturned. “You have only ever seen me amongst the Order, or under Dumbledore’s protection at Hogwarts! You don’t know how most of the Wizarding world sees creatures like me! When they know of my affliction, they can barely talk to me! Don’t you see what I’ve done? Even her own family is disgusted by our marriage, what parents want their only daughter to marry a werewolf? And the child—the child—” Lupin actually seized handfuls of his own hair; he looked quite deranged. “My kind don’t usually breed! It will be like me, I am convinced of it—how can I forgive myself, when I knowingly risked passing on my own condition to an innocent child? And if, by some miracle, it is not like me, then it will be better off, a hundred times so, without a father of whom it must always be ashamed!
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
My spirits were so glum I almost overlooked the two letters waiting on my writing table. When I did see them, my heart gave one of those painful thumps, and I wondered if these were letters of rejection. The top one had my name written out in a bold, slanting hand, with flourishing letter-ends and underlining. I pulled it open. My Dear Meliara: You cannot deny me the pleasure of your company on a picnic this afternoon. I will arrange everything. All you need to do is appear and grace the day with your beautiful smile. To meet you will be some of our mutual friends… Named were several people, all of whom I knew, and it ended with a promise of undying admiration. It was signed Russav. Could it be an elaborate joke, with me as the butt, as a kind of revenge for my social lapse? I reread the note several times, dismissing automatically the caressing tone--I knew it for more of his flirtatious style. Finally I realized that I did not see Tamara’s name among the guests, though just about all of the others had been at the party the night before. A cold sensation washed through me. I had the feeling that if anyone was being made a butt, it was not Meliara Astiar, social lapse notwithstanding. I turned to the next letter and was glad to see the plain script of my Unknown: Meliara-- In keeping faith with your stated desire to have the truth of my observations, permit me to observe that you have a remarkable ability to win partisans. If you choose to dismiss this gift and believe yourself powerless, then of course you are powerless; but the potential is still there--you are merely pushing it away with both hands. Ignorance, if you will honor me with permission to take issue with your words, is a matter of definition--or possibly of degree. To be aware of one’s lack of knowledge is to be merely untutored, a state that you seem to be aggressively attempting to change. A true ignorant is unaware of this lack. To bring our discourse from the general to the specific, I offer my congratulation to you on your triumph in the Affair Tamara. She intended to do you ill. You apparently didn’t see it, or appeared not to see it. It was the most effective--perhaps the only effective--means of scouting her plans for your undoing. Now her reputation is in your hands. This is not evidence of lack of influence. And it ended there. Two utterly unexpected communications. The only facts that seemed certain were that the Unknown had been at that party and like Savona (maybe it was he?) had sat up very late penning this letter. Or both letters. I needed very much to think these things out.
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
For the sake of their own self-image they had to force themselves to believe that they sought happiness for their slaves. But the “happiness” of the slaves could never have arisen from an acceptance of slavery. At best, it had to arise as a function of the living space created by paternalistic compromise forced on them. That living space meant the possibility of creation of an autonomous spiritual life – a religion of their own with which they could be “happy” – that is, they could live in reasonable peace with themselves. The masters, seeing their apparent contentment took credit and congratulated themselves for the slaves’ acceptance of slavery, whereas in fact the slaves had only accepted the limited protection that even slavery had to offer, while acknowledging the reality of the power over them. The masters then had to hold the slaves’ religion in contempt, for in truth they feared it. And properly so, for it meant that the slaves had achieved a degree of psychological and cultural autonomy and therefore successfully resisted becoming extensions of their masters’ wills – the one thing they were supposed to become. It made all the difference that the masters’ claims to be bestowing privileges were greeted by the slaves as recognition of their own rights. “Men” wrote Gramsci, “when they feel their strength and are conscious of their responsibility and their value, do not want another man to impose his will on theirs and undertake to control their thoughts and actions.” The everyday instance in which “docile” slaves suddenly rebelled and “kind” masters suddenly behaved like wild bests had their origins, apart from frequent instabilities in the participating responsibilities in this dialectic. Masters and slaves had both “agreed” on the paternalistic basis of their relationship, the one from reasons of self-aggrandizement and the other from lack of an alternative. But they understood very different things by their apparently common assent. And every manifestation of that contradiction threatened the utmost violence… The slaves defended themselves effectively against the worst of their masters’ aggression, but they paid a high price. They fought for their right to think and act as autonomous human beings, but it was a desperate fight in which they could easily slip backward… they had manifested strength…. In Gramsci’s terms, they had had to wage a prolonged, embittered struggle with themselves as well as with their oppressors to “feel their strength” and to become “conscious of their responsibility and their value.” It was not that the slaves did not act like men. Rather, it was that they could not grasp their collective strength as a people and act like political men. The black struggle on that front, which has not been won, has paralleled that of every other oppressed people. It is the most difficult because it is the final stage a people must wage to forge themselves into a nation.
Eugene Genovese (Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made, A Magat Analysis)
When we come to these all-white spaces, we have to be tough. We can’t show any weakness. I know that’s difficult, but that’s the way it is, and that’s why I’m so hard on you. And I will continue to be hard on you, Ailey, because I want to prepare you for what’s coming. It’s gone be the Thrilla in Manila when you enter the doctoral program. They will throw everything they have at you. If you fail, they’ll say, oh, that’s too bad. You just weren’t smart enough. If you succeed and earn the degree, despite all the obstacles they put up, they’ll take credit for your success and congratulate themselves for fostering a nonprejudiced environment. But, Ailey, you aren’t going to fail, because I am going to help you with every ounce of power that I have, all while pretending that I’m not helping you. For example, you and I never had this conversation. Do you understand
Honorée Fanonne Jeffers (The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois)
Over the years I’ve felt: Kindness, sure—but first let me finish this semester, this degree, this book; let me succeed at this job, and afford this house, and raise these kids, and then, finally, when all is accomplished, I’ll get started on the kindness. Except it never all gets accomplished. It’s a cycle that can go on … well, forever.
George Saunders (Congratulations, by the Way: Some Thoughts on Kindness)
Remember to write continuously the entire twenty minutes. And never forget that this writing is for you and you alone. At the conclusion of your twenty minutes of writing, read the section “Post-writing thoughts” and complete the post-writing questionnaire. Post-Writing Thoughts Following the Day One Writing Session Congratulations! You have completed the first day of writing. After each writing exercise, it can be helpful to make objective assessments about how the writing felt. In this way, you can go back and determine which writing methods are most effective for you. For this and for all future writing exercises, respond to each of the five following questions either at the end of your writing or in a separate place. Put a number between 0 and 10 by each question. 0 — Not at all 1 2 3 4 5— Somewhat 6 7 8 9 10— A great deal ____ A. To what degree did you express your deepest thoughts and feelings? ____ B. To what degree do you currently feel sad or upset? ____ C. To what degree do you currently feel happy? ____ D. To what degree was today’s writing valuable and meaningful for you? E. Briefly describe how your writing went today so you may refer to this later. For many people, the first day of writing is the most difficult. This kind of writing can bring up emotions and thoughts that you may not have known that you had. It may also have flowed much more easily than you expected — especially if you wrote about something that you have been keeping to yourself for a long time. If you don’t want anyone to see your writing, keep the pages in a secure place or destroy them. If keeping them is not a problem, you can go back and analyze the pages at the end of the four days of writing. Now, take some time for yourself. Until tomorrow.
James W. Pennebaker (Expressive Writing: Words That Heal)
As everyone streamed into the house, the music blared and the liquor flowed. All of the furniture in the house had been taken out and replaced with bars or dance floors. The outside deck was covered in people, bars, and heat lamps. People who hadn’t been lucky enough to be invited snuck into the party through a hole in the fence. Inside, partygoers talked with old classmates, danced, and scoured the crowd for a midnight kiss. Upstairs, Evan had created a sectioned-off VIP area, with more bars and friends. It was a house party on steroids, with one hundred, maybe two hundred people crammed into Snapchat’s new headquarters to sip champagne and ring in the New Year. John Spiegel stopped by the party, saying hi and congratulating Evan, Bobby, David, Daniel, and Evan’s girlfriend at the time. He chatted with some of Evan’s friends he had met over the years, sharing a sense of bewilderment over how quickly his son’s crazy scheme had taken off. John had worked his way up a very traditional ladder, climbing from the law review to a Supreme Court clerkship to becoming an extremely successful litigator. Evan had eschewed a bachelor’s degree from Stanford to focus on his seemingly quixotic business. Everything seemed to be going perfectly.
Billy Gallagher (How to Turn Down a Billion Dollars: The Snapchat Story)
And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. —Romans 11:6 (NIV) I couldn’t help noticing something on the dashboard of the cab I was riding in this morning: a snapshot of a college grad with mortarboard and gown, holding a diploma, smiling proudly; maybe the driver’s son. “Congratulations,” I said. “Your son?” “No,” he answered, “that’s me.” Momentarily mortified, I found myself thinking, Tough luck, driving a cab with a college degree. I got a better look at the driver. Middle Eastern, middle-aged. Probably has a PhD in astrophysics back in his home country. “Well,” I said awkwardly, “congratulations all the same. That’s great.” “An education is the best thing this country has given me. I just got an accounting degree and pretty soon I will find a job in my field, God willing. But meanwhile I have a family to support. Want to see them?” “Sure.” He flipped open the glove box where there were pictures of two boys and a girl, all in caps and gowns, all recent grads of high school and college. “I try to set a good example for them,” he said with a laugh. “God willing, they will find good jobs too. Education is the key to everything.” As we pulled to the curb, I thought of my own family coming to this country and struggling to reach the American dream, just like this man and his family. I thought of all the opportunities I’d been blessed with and how I can take it all too much for granted at times. “It was an honor to ride in your cab,” I said, handing the driver his fare. “Have a good day, sir,” he replied. “I shall,” I said, “God willing.” Jesus, they called You “Rabbi,” which means teacher. This month please bless all those who have worked so hard and so long for that great key to the future, a diploma. —Edward Grinnan
Guideposts (Daily Guideposts 2014)