Educated A Memoir Quotes

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A book is less important for what it says than for what it makes you think.
Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir)
I received the fundamentals of my education in school, but that was not enough. My real education, the superstructure, the details, the true architecture, I got out of the public library. For an impoverished child whose family could not afford to buy books, the library was the open door to wonder and achievement, and I can never be sufficiently grateful that I had the wit to charge through that door and make the most of it. Now, when I read constantly about the way in which library funds are being cut and cut, I can only think that the door is closing and that American society has found one more way to destroy itself.
Isaac Asimov (I. Asimov: A Memoir)
A mistake constantly made by those who should know better is to judge people of the past by our standards rather than their own. The only way men or women can be judged is against the canvas of their own time.
Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir)
I have read my books by many lights, hoarding their beauty, their wit or wisdom against the dark days when I would have no book, nor a place to read. I have known hunger of the belly kind many times over, but I have known a worse hunger: the need to know and to learn.
Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir)
Historical novels are, without question, the best way of teaching history, for they offer the human stories behind the events and leave the reader with a desire to know more.
Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir)
Indeed, I find that distance lends perspective and I often write better of a place when I am some distance from it. One can be so overwhelmed by the forest as to miss seeing the trees.
Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir)
Knowledge is like money: To be of value it must circulate, and in circulating it can increase in quantity and, hopefully, in value.
Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir)
It is often said that one has but one life to live, but that is nonsense. For one who reads, there is no limit to the number of lives that may be lived, for fiction, biography and history offer an inexhaustible number of lives in many parts of the world, in all periods of time.
Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir)
The key to understanding any people is in its art: its writing, painting, sculpture.
Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir)
Books are precious things, but more than that, they are the strong backbone of civilization. They are the thread upon which it all hangs, and they can save us when all else is lost.
Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir)
Only one who has learned much can fully appreciate his ignorance.
Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir)
We are, finally, all wanderers in search of knowledge. Most of us hold the dream of becoming something better than we are, something larger, richer, in some way more important to the world and ourselves. Too often, the way taken is the wrong way, with too much emphasis on what we want to have, rather than what we wish to become.
Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir)
There is no group of Americans more pessimistic than working-class whites. Well over half of blacks, Latinos, and college-educated whites expect that their children will fare better economically than they have. Among working-class whites, only 44 percent share that expectation.
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
I remember watching an episode of The West Wing about education in America, which the majority of people rightfully believe is the key to opportunity. In it, the fictional president debates whether he should push school vouchers (giving public money to schoolchildren so that they escape failing public schools) or instead focus exclusively on fixing those same failing schools. That debate is important, of course—for a long time, much of my failing school district qualified for vouchers—but it was striking that in an entire discussion about why poor kids struggled in school, the emphasis rested entirely on public institutions. As a teacher at my old high school told me recently, “They want us to be shepherds to these kids. But no one wants to talk about the fact that many of them are raised by wolves.
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
No matter how much I admire our schools, I know that no university exists that can provide an education; what a university can provide is an outline, to give the learner a direction and guidance. The rest one has to do for oneself.
Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir)
We decide, on issues large and small, whether we will be bystanders or upstanders.
Samantha Power (The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir)
Personally, I do not believe the human mind has any limits but those we impose ourselves.
Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir)
One thing has always been true: That book or that person who can give me an idea or a new slant on an old idea is my friend.
Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir)
People who care, act, and refuse to give up may not change THE world, but they can change many individual worlds.
Samantha Power (The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir)
I have told many, yet when I go down that last trail, I know there will be a thousand stories hammering at my skull, demanding to be told.
Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir)
I remembered the words of Sancho Panza: An adventuring knight is someone who's beaten and then finds himself emperor.
Tara Westover (Educated: A Memoir)
Today you can buy the Dialogues of Plato for less than you would spend on a fifth of whiskey, or Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire for the price of a cheap shirt. You can buy a fair beginning of an education in any bookstore with a good stock of paperback books for less than you would spend on a week's supply of gasoline.
Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir)
A journey is time suspended.
Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir)
The only education in grief that any of us ever gets is a crash course.
Gail Caldwell (Let's Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship)
Browsing through the shelves in bookstores or libraries, I was completely happy.
Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir)
Education is everywhere, prompting one to think, to consider, to remember.
Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir)
After trying out a number of ways to reduce inequalities and failing, I was gradually forced to conclude that the decisive factors were the people, their natural abilities, education and training. Knowledge and the possession of technology were vital for the creation of wealth.
Lee Kuan Yew (The Singapore Story: Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew)
Often I hear people say they do not have time to read. That's absolute nonsense. In the one year during which I kept that kind of record, I read twenty-five books while waiting for people. In offices, applying for jobs, waiting to see a dentist, waiting in a restaurant for friends, many such places. I read on buses, trains, and plains. If one really wants to learn, one has to decide what is important. Spending an evening on the town? Attending a ball game? Or learning something that can be with you your life long?
Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir)
Without books we should very likely be a still-primitive people living in the shadow of traditions that faded with years until only a blur remained, and different memories would remember the past in different ways. A parent or a teacher has only his lifetime; a good book can teach forever.
Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir)
Much of the study of history is a matter of comparison, of relating what was happening in one area to what was happening elsewhere, and what had happened in the past. To view a period in isolation is to miss whatever message it has to offer.
Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir)
The only education in grief that any of us ever gets is a crash course. Until Caroline had died I had belonged to that other world, the place of innocence, and linear expectations, where I thught grief was a simple, wrenching realm of sadness and longing that graduallu receded. What that definition left out was the body blow that loss inflicts, as well as the temporary madness, and a range of less straightforward emotions shocking in their intensity.
Gail Caldwell (Let's Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship)
Respect is not the equivalent to 'liking' a student or teacher; it is the ability to have a high regard for the role of another. In order to receive respect, we should demonstrate it first...
Tanya R. Liverman (Memoirs of an Educarer: An Inspiration for Education)
Our world is made up of a myriad of microcosms, of tiny worlds, each with its own habitues, every one known to the others.
Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir)
Someone has said that culture is what remains with you after you have forgotten all you have read, and I believe there is much truth in that.
Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir)
Nobody should ever try to second-guess history; the facts are fantastic enough.
Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir)
Guilt at least has a purpose; it tells us we’ve violated some ethical code. Ditto for remorse. Those feelings are educational; they manufacture wisdom. But regret—regret is useless.
Daniel B. Smith (Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety)
In the United States we have concentrated tremendous sums of money on the educational plant, seemingly with the idea that the right number of buildings will turn out the right number of graduates. Yet the teachers who actually instruct the future citizens of our country are more often than not miserably paid. If in the future we find ourselves with a lot of fourth-rate citizens, we have only ourselves to blame.
Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir)
Do you know why God invented writers? Because he loves a good story. And he doesn't give a damn about the words. Words are the curain we've hung between him and our true selves. Try not to think about the words. Don't strin for the perfect sentence. There's no such thing. Writing si guesswork. Every sentence is an educated guess, the readers as much as yours.
J.R. Moehringer (The Tender Bar: A Memoir)
Ours was a family in which everybody was constantly reading, and where literature, politics, history, and the events of the prize ring were discussed at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir)
When at the typewriter I am no longer where I site but am away across the mountains, in ancient cities or on the Great Plains among the buffalo. Often I think of what pitiful fools are those who use mind-altering drugs to seek feelings they do not have, each drug taking a little more from what they have of mind, leaving them a little less. Give the brain encouragement from study, from thinking, from visualizing, and no drugs are needed.
Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir)
Men are not born equal in either physical or mental capacity. But a socialist believes that society as a whole will benefit, and there will be more happiness for more people, if all are given equal opportunities for education and advancement regardless of class or property.
Lee Kuan Yew (The Singapore Story: Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew)
It wasn't getting easier because it isn't supposed to get easier. Midlife was a bitch, and my educated guess was that the climb only got steeper from here. Carl Jung put it perfectly: "Thoroughly unprepared we take the step into the afternoon of life," he wrote. "Worse still, we take this step with the false assumption that our truths and ideals will serve us as hitherto. But we cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life's morning; for what was great in the morning will be little at evening, and what in the morning was true will by evening have become a lie." ... I was writing a new program for the afternoon of life. The scales tipped away from suffering and toward openheartedness and love. [p. 182]
Dani Shapiro (Devotion: a memoir)
Books were my church but even more my native land, my place of refuge, my DP camp. I was an exile early on, but exile welcomed me; it was were I belonged.
Andrea Dworkin (Heartbreak: The Political Memoir of a Feminist Militant)
As a convinced atheist, I ought to agree with Voltaire that Judaism is not just one more religion, but in its way the root of religious evil. Without the stern, joyless rabbis and their 613 dour prohibitions, we might have avoided the whole nightmare of the Old Testament, and the brutal, crude wrenching of that into prophecy-derived Christianity, and the later plagiarism and mutation of Judaism and Christianity into the various rival forms of Islam. Much of the time, I do concur with Voltaire, but not without acknowledging that Judaism is dialectical. There is, after all, a specifically Jewish version of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, with a specifically Jewish name—the Haskalah—for itself. The term derives from the word for 'mind' or 'intellect,' and it is naturally associated with ethics rather than rituals, life rather than prohibitions, and assimilation over 'exile' or 'return.' It's everlastingly linked to the name of the great German teacher Moses Mendelssohn, one of those conspicuous Jewish hunchbacks who so upset and embarrassed Isaiah Berlin. (The other way to upset or embarrass Berlin, I found, was to mention that he himself was a cousin of Menachem Schneerson, the 'messianic' Lubavitcher rebbe.) However, even pre-enlightenment Judaism forces its adherents to study and think, it reluctantly teaches them what others think, and it may even teach them how to think also.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
I came into the world with two priceless advantages: good health and a love of learning. When I left school at the age of fifteen I was halfway through the tenth grade. I left for two reasons, economic necessity being the first of them. More important was that school was interfering with my education.
Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir)
fact, two-thirds of all of the refugees who had come to the US in the previous decade were women and children—and we knew who they were. Of the millions of refugees admitted to the United States since the landmark Refugee Act of 1980, not one has carried out a lethal act of domestic terrorism.
Samantha Power (The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir)
A teacher will be frustrated if she is only motivated to teach what she has learned. Yet, if she is motivated because of the students, then she will learn from them how to teach.
Tanya R. Liverman (Memoirs of an Educarer: An Inspiration for Education)
Children are our future. We teach them today; what will they do tomorrow?
Tanya R. Liverman (Memoirs of an Educarer: An Inspiration for Education)
The paradox of education is precisely this—that as one begins to become conscious one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated. JAMES A. BALDWIN
Patrisse Khan-Cullors (When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir)
Former UN secretary-general Dag Hammarskjold may have best summed up the UN's track record and its promise when he said it was created 'not to lead mankind to heaven but to save humanity from hell'" (p. 348).
Samantha Power (The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir)
Trump’s contempt and bigotry, his rage and dishonesty, and his attacks on judges, journalists, minorities, and opposition voices are doing untold damage to the moral and political foundations of American democracy.
Samantha Power (The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir)
When society questions a victim’s reluctance to report, I will be here to remind you that you ask us to sacrifice our sanity to fight outdated structures that were designed to keep us down. Victims do not have the time for this. Victims are also students, teachers, parents, who can’t give up work or education. The average adult can barely find time to renew their license at the DMV. It is not reasonable to casually demand that victims put aside their lives to spend more time pursuing something they never asked for in the first place. This is not about the victims’ lack of effort. This is about society’s failure to have systems in place in which victims feel there’s a probable chance of achieving safety, justice, and restoration rather than being retraumatized, publicly shamed, psychologically tormented, and verbally mauled. The real question we need to be asking is not, Why didn’t she report, the question is, Why would you?
Chanel Miller (Know My Name: A Memoir)
I believed that the most important part of decision-making was not the justness of one’s intentions but the effectiveness of one’s actions.
Samantha Power (The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir)
We can't only try diplomacy after countries have done what we want.
Samantha Power (The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir)
This is a story of an adventure in education, pursued not under the best of conditions.
Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir)
What is more important for the world right now than preserving ways of living in balance with the earth?
Daoud Hari (The Translator: A Tribesman's Memoir of Darfur)
Although I had once pinned all my hopes on putting myself through school, believing I could thereby make something of myself, I now realized the futility of this all too clearly. No amount of struggling for an education is going to help one get ahead in this world. And what does it mean to get ahead anyway? is there any more worthless lot than the so-called great people of this world? What is so admirable about being looked up to by others? I do not live for other. What I had to achieve was my own freedom, my own satisfaction. I had to be myself.
Kaneko Fumiko (The Prison Memoirs of a Japanese Woman)
The Heath brothers stressed that, counterintuitively, big problems 'are most often solved by a sequence of small solutions, sometimes over weeks, sometimes over decades.' 'Shrink the change' became a kind of motto for me and my team, along with President Obama's version of the point: 'Better is good' (p. 517).
Samantha Power (The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir)
The public talk -- and injuriously! -- Well! are you ignorant of the little importance of such talk? -- The public speak! -- It is not the world, it is only the despicable part of it -- only the ill-natured, who upon the smallest evidence pass rash judgements, and anticipate events, the wise wait for them and are silent.
Joseph Boruwlaski (Memoirs of the Celebrated Dwarf, Joseph Boruwlaski, A Polish Gentleman; Containing a faithful and curious Account of his Birth, Education, Marriage, Travels, and Voyages)
The prison population consists of heterogeneous elements; but, taking only those who are usually described as 'the criminals' proper, and of whom we have heard so much lately from Lombroso and his followers, what struck me most as regards them was that the prisons, which are considered as preventive of anti-social deeds, are exactly the institutions for breeding them. Every one knows that absence of education, dislike of regular work, physical incapability of sustained effort, misdirected love of adventure, gambling propensities, absence of energy, an untrained will, and carelessness about the happiness of others are the causes which bring this class of people before the courts. Now I was deeply impressed during my imprisonment by the fact that it is exactly these defects of human nature--each one of them--which the prison breeds in its inmates; and it is bound to breed them because it is a prison, and will breed them so long as it exists.
Pyotr Kropotkin (Memoirs of a Revolutionist)
But my biggest joy and best education and proudest achievement has been being able to show up for work and life and not cause too much trouble a day at a time in spite of my hysterical, somewhat dramatic, nature.
Mark Vonnegut (The Eden Express: A Memoir of Insanity)
The greatest education in the world is watching the masters at work. You couldn’t teach a person what I’ve learned just standing and watching. Some musicians—Springsteen and U2, for example—may feel they got their education from the streets. I’m a performer at heart. I got mine from the stage.
Michael Jackson (Moonwalk: A Memoir)
Three quarters of our intellectual performances are no more than decorations upon a void; I wondered if that increasing vacuity was due to the lowering of intelligence or to moral decline; whatever the cause, mediocrity of mind was matched almost everywhere by shocking selfishness and dishonesty.
Marguerite Yourcenar (Memoirs of Hadrian)
No one can “get” an education, for of necessity education is a continuing process. If it does nothing else, it should provide students with the tools for learning, acquaint them with methods of study and research, methods of pursuing an idea. We can only hope they come upon an idea they wish to pursue.
Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir)
To this day, when I hear people judge students on the basis of their test scores, I think of my sleep-deprived African-American classmates as we geared up to take English or math tests together. We may have been equal before God, but I had three more hours of sleep, vastly more time to prepare, and many more resources at my disposal than those who were part of the busing program.
Samantha Power (The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir)
F. Scott Fitzgerald famously described the importance of being able “to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time,” while still retaining “the ability to function.” I was quickly becoming practiced at this discomfiting balance.
Samantha Power (The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir)
One of the greatest challenges I've faced as a mother-especially in these anxious, winner-takes-all times-is the need to resist the urge to accept someone else's definition of success and to try to figure out, instead, what really is best for my own children, what unique combination of structure and freedom, nurturing and challenge, education and exploration, each of them needs in order to grow and bloom.
Katrina Kenison (The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir)
She has told me that what she found most destructive about minority-group psychology “is that one comes to share the conviction of the majority: that one is less able, less intelligent, less educable, less worthy of responsibility.” My sentiments, exactly.
Katharine Graham (Personal History: A Memoir)
I believe...that education is not only the most important societal problem but the most interesting.
Katharine Graham (Personal History: A Memoir)
Very early it was noticed that I had a good memory; therefore I was insistently tormented with learning everything by heart.
Catherine II (The Memoirs of Catherine the Great (Modern Library Classics))
What memoir of childhood doesn't at some point turn on the scent of a sweet pea or a freshly cut lawn or a boxwood hedge, to leap the fence of years?
Michael Pollan (Second Nature: A Gardener's Education)
The remote and noble idea of education gives everyone a good reason to keep trying.
Joe Blair (By the Iowa Sea: A Memoir)
I think the greatest gift anyone can give to another is the desire to know, to understand. Life is not for simply watching spectator sports, or for taking part in them; it is not for simply living from one working day to the next. Life is for delving, discovering, learning.
Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir)
Whenever my own thoughts about the state of the world headed toward a similarly bleak impasse, I would brainstorm with my team about how we might 'shrink the change' we hoped to see (p. 517).
Samantha Power (The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir)
Now, when I read constantly about the way in which library funds are being cut and cut, I can only think that the door is closing and that American society has found one more way to destroy itself.
Isaac Asimov (I. Asimov: A Memoir)
Realism is for lazy-minded, semi-educated people whose atrophied imagination allows them to appreciate only the most limited and convention subject matter. Re-Fi is a repetitive genre written by unimaginative hacks who rely on mere mimesis. If they had any self-respect they'd be writing memoir, but they're too lazy to fact-check. Of course I never read Re-Fi. But the kids keep bringing home these garish realistic novels and talking about them, so I know that it's an incredibly narrow genre, completely centered on one species, full of worn-out cliches and predictable situations--the quest for the father, mother-bashing, obsessive male lust, dysfunctional suburban families, etc., etc. All it's good for is being made into mass-market movies. Given its old-fashioned means and limited subject matter, realism is quite incapable of describing the complexity of contemporary experience.
Ursula K. Le Guin (Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books, 2000-2016)
Eleanor Roosevelt wrote movingly about having her own equivalent of a Bat Cave, but in the end, she found consolation by telling herself, “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” I agreed with this, but I still couldn’t get the small things or people out of my head. EVENTS IN MY PERSONAL LIFE required me to understand better where my “bats” were coming from.
Samantha Power (The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir)
And as you grow up, please know that whenever you hear thunder, that will be me. Whenever the Red Sox win in the ninth, that will be me. Whenever you and daddy dance together, know that I am there too. I will always be watching my boys. My boys, whom I love so much that I feel my heart will burst. Love, Mum
Samantha Power (The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir)
Everything I had worked for, all my years of study, had been to purchase myself this one privilege: to see and experience more truths than those given to me by my father, and to use those truths to construct my own mind.
Tara Westover (Educated: A Memoir)
Books are silent friends, and should be treated well. I am proud of my books. I hope that my children will use them and preserve them when I am gone from this world. Human friends may betray you, but not so with books. Books contain wisdom for our understanding, humour for our entertainment, information for our development, and matter for our pleasure.
Brenda C. Mohammed (Memoirs of Dr Andrew Moonir Khan - A great Educator In Trinidad and Tobago)
There are things that do not change, which have an absolutely and transcendent validity, and which every person has a right to know. Religiously, morally, humanly, and politically our great nation can only hope to survive if it stands firmly on the ground of truth and gives its children the bread for which they hunger. This is the great task of education.
Alice von Hildebrand (Memoirs of a Happy Failure)
You see, my Apple loyalty started early, for no reason other than the fact that my mother is a teacher, and grade schools back then seemed to be stocked almost exclusively with Apples—we bought this second computer with my mother’s educator discount.
Justine Ezarik (I, Justine: An Analog Memoir)
All loves have much in common, and any one will offer a useful, if not painless, education in the limitations and possibilities of being human. If you give your committed love to a person, an idea, or a cause, even should that person, idea, or cause be taken from you, or proven false, you will be a better lover—of anyone, of anything—for the experience. Because I am as religious person, I see this in characteristically grandiose, religious terms: The point of being human is to get better (and better) at caritas, at agape, at love.
Kate Braestrup (Marriage and Other Acts of Charity: A Memoir)
This was a hard-won but brilliant education: I had realized, as life is always willing to instruct, that the world as we see it is only the published version. The subterranean realms, whether churches or hospital rooms or smoke-filled basements, are part of what holds up the rest. The realized life versus the external picture of it: the assumption and projections that we all make about other people's lives.
Gail Caldwell (Let's Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship)
Early on in my tenure, I was given a cartoon that circulated widely at the UN. The cartoon showed dozens of people listening to a speech. In the first panel, the speaker asks, “Who wants change?” and all audience members enthusiastically raise their hands. In the second panel, the speaker refines his question, asking, “Who wants to change?” This time, each audience member looks toward the ground, demurring.
Samantha Power (The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir)
Frost wrote, “is that unless you are at home in the metaphor, unless you have had your proper poetical education in the metaphor, you are not safe anywhere. Because you are not at ease with figurative values: you don’t know the metaphor in its strength and its weakness. . .
Natasha Trethewey (Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir)
The fact that any person or institution, however well respected, praises or adopts something never constitutes proof of anything. It might merely illustrate that even well-educated people or powerful institutions can sometimes commit the silliest and most obvious of mistakes.
Edzard Ernst (A Scientist in Wonderland: A Memoir of Searching for Truth and Finding Trouble)
A DOZEN PHALLACIES WOMEN BUY Phallacy 3. If you use your power to support a man, he'll always support you. Truth Alas, not true. It's wonderful to stand by your man, to give to the one you love, but you must never forget yourself, and your children, since he may. Being a man, he takes for granted that his needs come first. Being a woman, you take that for granted too. Don't. Protect yourself -- not with feminist rhetoric or argument, but with actions. A bank account and real estate in your own name, money put aside for your kids' education that he can't touch (or give to the next -- younger -- wife and her spawn), a profession of your own to rely on. Above all, empower yourself, and then help empower him if it pleases you to do so.
Erica Jong (Fear of Fifty: A Midlife Memoir)
THERE ARE ENORMOUS HOLES IN MY EDUCATION. I left college in March of my freshman year and never went back. I’ve never read Moby-Dick and it’s probably too late now. I know nothing about the history of music or the history of art except what I’ve learned through osmosis. But Outsider Art is its own context. I don’t have to know all about the Impressionists or the Abstract Expressionists. I don’t have to be able to fit this art into any historic chronology. I don’t feel like an ignoramus. Irony of ironies, I don’t feel like an outsider—to fall in love I only need eyes.
Abigail Thomas (A Three Dog Life: A Memoir)
Absolutely love this particular excerpt: "Books are silent friends, and should be treated well. I am proud of my books. I hope that my children will use them and preserve them when I am gone from this world. Human friends may betray you, but not so with books. Books contain wisdom for our understanding, humour for our entertainment, information for our development, and matter for our pleasure.
Brenda C. Mohammed (Memoirs of Dr Andrew Moonir Khan - A great Educator In Trinidad and Tobago)
Each people is, I believe, inclined to believe it is the purpose of history, that all that has happened is leading to now, to this world, this country. Few of us see ourselves as fleeting phantoms on a much wider screen, or that our great cities may someday be dug from the ruins by archeologists of the future. Surely, the citizens and the rulers of Babylon and Rome did not see themselves as a passing phase. Each in its time believed it was the end-all of the world’s progression. I have no such feeling. Each age is a day that is dying, each one a dream that is fading. Someday, men—or some other intelligent creatures—will stand on the sites of New York or Los Angeles and wonder if anyone ever lived there.
Louis L'Amour (Education of a Wandering Man: A Memoir)
In the car inching its way down Fifth Avenue, toward Bergdorf Goodman and this glamorous party, I looked back on my past with a new understanding. This sickness, the “endo-whatever,” had stained so much—my sense of self, my womanhood, my marriage, my ability to be present. I had effectively missed one week of each month every year of my life since I was thirteen, because of the chronic pain and hormonal fluctuations I suffered during my period. I had lain in bed, with heating pads and hot-water bottles, using acupuncture, drinking teas, taking various pain medications and suffering the collateral effects of them. I thought of all the many tests I missed in various classes throughout my education, the school dances, the jobs I knew I couldn’t take as a model, because of the bleeding and bloating as well as the pain (especially the bathing suit and lingerie shoots, which paid the most). How many family occasions was I absent from? How many second or third dates did I not go on? How many times had I not been able to be there for others or for myself? How many of my reactions to stress or emotional strife had been colored through the lens of chronic pain? My sense of self was defined by this handicap. The impediment of expected pain would shackle my days and any plans I made. I did not see my own womanhood as something positive or to be celebrated, but as a curse that I had to constantly make room for and muddle through. Like the scar on my arm, my reproductive system was a liability. The disease, developing part and parcel with my womanhood starting at puberty with my menses, affected my own self-esteem and the way I felt about my body. No one likes to get her period, but when your femininity carries with it such pain and consistent physical and emotional strife, it’s hard not to feel that your body is betraying you. The very relationship you have with yourself and your person is tainted by these ever-present problems. I now finally knew my struggles were due to this condition. I wasn’t high-strung or fickle and I wasn’t overreacting.
Padma Lakshmi (Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir)
Lots of people tried to be like Sly. Take Rick James: more than half of the shit he did was in direct imitation. But there were only two people who were capable of that kind of cool: Miles Davis and Sly. I didn’t know Miles as well, but watching Sly was a strange experience, both educational and disorienting. To me, crazy is a prerequisite for greatness. But it doesn’t have to be actual craziness. I play crazy, when in reality, I’m pretty close to sane. Sly wasn’t playing. He believed in his own abilities, but he also believed in his own legend. And while he was a real nice guy in most ways, he wouldn’t hesitate to misuse you when it came to money and drugs. Of course, he was so ahead of the game that he wouldn’t try to trick you. He’d come right out and ask you if he could misuse you.
George Clinton (Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain't That Funkin' Kinda Hard On You?: A Memoir)
How well do you know the people who raised you? Look around your dining room table. Look around at your loved ones, especially the elders. The grandparents and the aunts and uncles who used to give you shiny new quarters and unvarnished advice. How much do you really know about their lives. Perhaps you've heard that they served in a war, or lived for a time in a log cabin, or arrived in this country speaking little or no English. Maybe they survived the Holocaust or the Dust Bowl. How were they shaped by the Depression or the Cold War, or the stutter-step march towards integration in their own community? What were they like before they married or took on mortgages and assumed all the worries that attend the feeding, clothing, and education of their children? If you don't already know the answers, the people who raised you will most likely remain a mystery, unless you take the bold step and say: Tell me more about yourself.
Michele Norris
I think, in retrospect, that it would have been better if I had denied that I had pains in my legs, if I had taken it all back, or brightly said that I was well now. But because I didn’t, the whole business began to spiral out of control. I still believed that honesty was the best policy; but the brute fact was, I was an invalid now, and I wasn’t entitled to a policy, not a policy of my own. I feared that if I didn’t tell the strict truth, my integrity would be eroded; I would have nothing then, no place to stand. The more I said that I had a physical illness, the more they said I had a mental illness. The more I questioned the nature, the reality of the mental illness, the more I was found to be in denial, deluded. I was confused; when I spoke of my confusion, my speech turned into a symptom. No one ventured a diagnosis: not out loud. It was in the nature of educated young women, it was believed, to be hysterical, neurotic, difficult, and out of control, and the object was to get them back under control, not by helping them examine their lives, or fix their practical problems—in my case, silverfish, sulking family, poverty, cold—but by giving them drugs which would make them indifferent to their mental pain—and in my case, indifferent to physical pain too.
Hilary Mantel (Giving Up the Ghost: A Memoir)
Reading Virginia Woolf will change your life, may even save it. If you want to make sense of modern life, the works of Virginia Woolf remain essential reading. More than fifty years since her death, accounts of her life still set the pace for modern modes of living. Plunge (and this Introduction is intended to help you take the plunge) into Woolf ’s works – at any point – whether in her novels, her short stories, her essays, her polemical pamphlets, or her published letters, diaries, memoirs and journals – and you will be transported by her elegant, startling, buoyant sentences to a world where everything in modern life (cinema, sexuality, shopping, education, feminism, politics, war and so on) is explored and questioned and refashioned.
Jane Goldman (The Cambridge Introduction to Virginia Woolf)
While stationed in Fort Jackson, I experienced racial prejudice for the first time and came to the understanding that humans are not born with prejudice, but learn prejudice. Back home in South Dakota, I only knew one black American. The Scandinavians in my community treated him just like any other Swede; my family considered him a friend. My parents taught me, and I believed that all men are equal because God created all men in His image. One day during a week end furlough, I boarded a crowded city bus. As I walked down the aisle, I looked for an open seat. Looking towards the rear of the bus, I noticed three huge, young black men sitting on a bench in the back. I decided to squeeze onto the bench with them. As I sat down, a woman said in a very loud voice, "What is that white soldier doing in our part of the bus?" Neither my life experiences nor my education prepared me for what I experienced walking the streets of Fort Jackson. I saw water fountains for whites only, barbershops for blacks only, and separation for most aspects of Southern living. I discovered that the feelings of prejudice ran deeply amongst many of the people that we encountered. In fact, the blacks even trained separately from the whites during our military preparation, even though we all worked towards defending the United States of America.
Oliver Omanson (Prisoner of War Number 21860: The World War II Memoirs of Oliver Omanson)
Do you know a Psychopath? You do not know me; but after reading my memoir you will know me a little better and you will have had the experience of safely getting into the mind and life of a young psychopath in training. Critics have written: It is a powerful and unusual memoir; brutal and raw. A Psychopath In Training: In 1997 psychiatrist’s contracted by the Correctional Service and the National Parole Board wrote in their final report, before I was released back into the community, they had diagnosed me to be a psychopath. A Psychopath: How does one become a Psychopath? After of the death of my young mother, when I was fourteen, I became a ward of the state and forced into the care and custody of the Catholic Christian Brothers at St. John’s Catholic Training School for Boys until after I turned sixteen. Since then I have been incarcerated over seventeen years in various prisons, institutions and juvenile detention centres. I have been interviewed and treated by so many prison psychiatrists and psychologists I should be called the professional. In my youth I have experienced almost every kind of sleaze, sex and violence humans can inflict on each other. I had to learn the hard way on how to identify and deal with the people who were the dangerous psychopath’s in my life and the proof I succeeded is; I am still alive. My book cover depicts what is coming out of the government foster homes and prisons today: Our communities and our police forces are not at all prepared for the dangerous psychopaths being churned out. Are you ready? You and the educators alike can learn from my memoir.
Michael A. Hodge
Marjory Gengler (white American) to Mark Mathabane (black South African) in the late 1970s-- Marjory: Why don't blacks fight to change the system [apartheid] that so dehumanizes them? Mark's Response, from his memoirs: I told her [Marjory] about the sophistication of apartheid machinery, the battery of Draconian laws used to buttress it, the abject poverty in which a majority of blacks were sunk, leaving them with little energy and will to agitate for their rights. I told her about the indoctrination that took place in black schools under the guise of Bantu Education, the self-hatred that resulted from being constantly told that you are less than human and being treated that way. I told her of the anger and hatred pent-up inside millions of blacks, destroying their minds. I would have gone on to tell Marjory about the suffering of wives without husbands and children without fathers in impoverished tribal reserves, about the high infant mortality rate among blacks in a country that exported food, and which in 1987 gave the world its first heart transplant. I would have told them about the ragged black boys and girls of seven, eight and nine years who constantly left their homes because of hunger and a disintegrating family life and were making it on their own; by begging along the thoroughfares of Johannesburg; by sleeping in scrapped cars, gutters and in abandoned buildings; by bathing in the diseased Jukskei River; and by eating out of trash cans, sucking festering sores and stealing rotting produce from the Indian traders on First Avenue. I would have told her about how these orphans of the streets, some of them my friends--their physical, intellectual and emotional growth dwarfed and stunted--had grown up to become prostitutes, unwed mothers and tsotsis, littering the ghetto streets with illegitimate children and corpses. I would have told her all this, but I didn't; I feared she would not believe me; I feared upsetting her.
Mark Mathabane
My mother has always loved piano music and hungered to play. When she was in her early sixties, she retired from her job as a computer programmer so that she could devote herself more fully to the piano. As she had done with her dog obsession, she took her piano education to an extreme. She bought not one, not two, but three pianos. One was the beautiful Steinway B, a small grand piano she purchased with a modest inheritance left by a friend of her parents’. She photocopied all of her music in a larger size so she could see it better and mounted it on manila folders. She practiced for several hours every day. When she wasn’t practicing the piano she was talking about the piano. I love pianos, too, and wrote an entire book about the life of one piano, a Steinway owned by the renowned pianist Glenn Gould. And I shared my mother’s love for her piano. During phone conversations, I listened raptly as she told me about the instrument’s cross-country adventures. Before bringing the Steinway north, my mother had mentioned that she was considering selling it. I was surprised, but instead of reminding her that, last I knew, she was setting it aside for me, I said nothing, unable to utter the simple words, “But, Mom, don’t you remember your promise?” If I did, it would be a way of asking for something, and asking my mother for something was always dangerous because of the risk of disappointment.
Katie Hafner (Mother Daughter Me)