Graduate Movie Quotes

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When we were five, they asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up. Our answers were thing like astronaut, president, or in my case… princess. When we were ten, they asked again and we answered - rock star, cowboy, or in my case, gold medalist. But now that we've grown up, they want a serious answer. Well, how 'bout this: who the hell knows?! This isn't the time to make hard and fast decisions, its time to make mistakes. Take the wrong train and get stuck somewhere chill. Fall in love - a lot. Major in philosophy 'cause there's no way to make a career out of that. Change your mind. Then change it again, because nothing is permanent. So make as many mistakes as you can. That way, someday, when they ask again what we want to be… we won't have to guess. We'll know. [from the movie]
Stephenie Meyer (Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, #3))
Q: Do you feel concerned that after all this work, people won't treat [Starship Titanic] with the gravity of, say, a movie or a book? That they won't treat it as an art form? D.A.: I hope that's the case, yes. I get very worried about this idea of art. Having been an English literary graduate, I've been trying to avoid the idea of doing art ever since. I think the idea of art kills creativity. ... [I]f somebody wants to come along and say, "Oh, it's art," that's as may be. I don't really mind that much. But I think that's for other people to decide after the fact. It isn't what you should be aiming to do. There's nothing worse than sitting down to write a novel and saying, "Well, okay, I'm going to do something of high artistic worth." ... I think you get most of the most interesting work done in fields where people don't think they're doing art, but merely practicing a craft, and working as good craftsmen. ... I tend to get very suspicious of anything that thinks it's art while it's being created.
Douglas Adams
She had been living like a hermit herself, in a cramped, seedy apartment in Somerville, spending long hours in the lab. All-nighters had become a regular thing. She didn't have any close friends, didn't go out on dates, didn't even go to the movies by herself. She had sacrificed a normal life in order to get a PhD, and become a scientist.
Michael Crichton (Micro)
I’M LOSING FAITH IN MY FAVORITE COUNTRY Throughout my life, the United States has been my favorite country, save and except for Canada, where I was born, raised, educated, and still live for six months each year. As a child growing up in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, I aggressively bought and saved baseball cards of American and National League players, spent hours watching snowy images of American baseball and football games on black and white television and longed for the day when I could travel to that great country. Every Saturday afternoon, me and the boys would pay twelve cents to go the show and watch U.S. made movies, and particularly, the Superman serial. Then I got my chance. My father, who worked for B.F. Goodrich, took my brother and me to watch the Cleveland Indians play baseball in the Mistake on the Lake in Cleveland. At last I had made it to the big time. I thought it was an amazing stadium and it was certainly not a mistake. Amazingly, the Americans thought we were Americans. I loved the United States, and everything about the country: its people, its movies, its comic books, its sports, and a great deal more. The country was alive and growing. No, exploding. It was the golden age of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The American dream was alive and well, but demanded hard work, honesty, and frugality. Everyone understood that. Even the politicians. Then everything changed. Partly because of its proximity to the United States and a shared heritage, Canadians also aspired to what was commonly referred to as the American dream. I fall neatly into that category. For as long as I can remember I wanted a better life, but because I was born with a cardboard spoon in my mouth, and wasn’t a member of the golden gene club, I knew I would have to make it the old fashioned way: work hard and save. After university graduation I spent the first half of my career working for the two largest oil companies in the world: Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell. The second half was spent with one of the smallest oil companies in the world: my own. Then I sold my company and retired into obscurity. In my case obscurity was spending summers in our cottage on Lake Rosseau in Muskoka, Ontario, and winters in our home in Port St. Lucie, Florida. My wife, Ann, and I, (and our three sons when they can find the time), have been enjoying that “obscurity” for a long time. During that long time we have been fortunate to meet and befriend a large number of Americans, many from Tom Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation.” One was a military policeman in Tokyo in 1945. After a very successful business carer in the U.S. he’s retired and living the dream. Another American friend, also a member of the “Greatest Generation”, survived The Battle of the Bulge and lived to drink Hitler’s booze at Berchtesgaden in 1945. He too is happily retired and living the dream. Both of these individuals got to where they are by working hard, saving, and living within their means. Both also remember when their Federal Government did the same thing. One of my younger American friends recently sent me a You Tube video, featuring an impassioned speech by Marco Rubio, Republican senator from Florida. In the speech, Rubio blasts the spending habits of his Federal Government and deeply laments his country’s future. He is outraged that the U.S. Government spends three hundred billion dollars, each and every month. He is even more outraged that one hundred and twenty billion of that three hundred billion dollars is borrowed. In other words, Rubio states that for every dollar the U.S. Government spends, forty cents is borrowed. I don’t blame him for being upset. If I had run my business using that arithmetic, I would be in the soup kitchens. If individual American families had applied that arithmetic to their finances, none of them would be in a position to pay a thin dime of taxes.
Stephen Douglass
They saw me. Milton's smile curled off his face like unsticky tape. And I knew immediately, I was a boy band, a boondoggle, born fool. He was going to pull a Danny Zuko in Grease when Sandy says hello to him in front of the T-Birds, a Mrs. Robinson when she tells Elaine she didn't seduce Benjamin, a Daisy when she chooses Tom with the disposition of a sour kiwi over Gatsby, a self-made man, a man engorged with dreams, who didn't mind throwing a pile of shirts around a room if he wanted too. My heart landslided. My legs earthquaked.
Marisha Pessl (Special Topics in Calamity Physics)
I want to tell [him] everything - everything that has ever happened to me, every observation I have ever had, and I want to share every book, song, or movie I have ever loved
Jessica Pan (Graduates in Wonderland: The International Misadventures of Two (Almost) Adults)
Pleasure died forty years ago in America, perhaps further back, in a wave of carbon monoxide, gasoline, cigarettes for dames, the belief in everything and everybody, tolerance for the intolerable, the hatred of being alone in silence for more than twenty seconds, the assurance that immortality was Americans eating all-cow franks, with speeded-up peristalsis while talking to a crowd of fifteen trillion other same-bodies eating sandwiches, gassing cokes, peristalsing, and talking, while baseball-sound-movie-TV tomorrow's trots off track betting howled roared farted choked gagged exploded reentered atmo honked bawled deafened pawed puked croaked shouted repeated repeated REPEATED, especially SAY IT AGAIN LOUDER SAY IT AGAIN, stick that product in every God-damned American's mouth and make him say I BOUGHT IT, GOD I BOUGHT IT AND IT'S GREAT IT's HOLLYWOOD IT'S MY ARSE GOING UP AND DOWN AGAIN, IT'S USA, GOD, and if you can't get it in his mouth and make him SWEAR IT SWEAR IT USA, stick it in his anal sphincter (look it up in the dictionary, college graduates, on account of you didn't have time to learn it in the College of Your Choice).
James Purdy
EVANSTON. And I’m still basically there. All the time. Unlike Eddie Vedder, I can’t get out. I work there, my doctor is there, and even though I technically live within the Chicago city limits, if I need to go to the supermarket or the movies, I always think of the Evanston ones first. It’s a trap. No one ever leaves this place. Not kidding, I see my junior-year English teacher at Starbucks every morning, which is down the block from the bagel shop this dude I graduated with just bought. It’s gross. I gotta grow the fuck up.
Samantha Irby (We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.)
Thomas Edison was a graduate of Cooper Union. Like Otis, he is principally famous for things he didn’t do. He didn’t invent electricity, or the lightbulb, the phonograph or the movies. These misappropriations didn’t bother him much: he didn’t correct folk. What he was good at, what he really knew, was patents.
A.A. Gill (To America with Love)
The Graduate, an Oscar-winning movie that appeared in late 1967, dramatized these changes. It featured a young man (Dustin Hoffman) who was in no way a hippie, a user of drugs, or a political radical. But he seemed unconnected to traditional values. Alienated from many things, he felt no kinship with fraternity men at his university or with materialistic adults of the older generation.
James T. Patterson (Grand Expectations: The United States, 1945-1974 (Oxford History of the United States Book 10))
There was prom and finals and graduation. There were summer parties. Movies. Mini golf and dates and college orientations. There as life, moving on, and I missed it. Not because I couldn't go physically, but because I couldn't go emotionally. There were whole days when I couldn't leave my bed, not because of the bruises and scars, but because getting up and facing the world for another day felt too frightening, and too pointless.
Jennifer Brown (Bitter End)
What do I want? I stared at him stupidly. What I wanted was to be with Andy forever, for us to be together, openly, in front of the world. I wanted to come home to him after work every day and hold him every night. I wanted to throw popcorn at each other while watching movies and join a soccer league on the weekends. I wanted to be there when he graduated from law school. I wanted not to have my heart shattered into a million pieces. I wanted not to be broken for however many years it was going to take me to get over this. I couldn’t have those things, though. And it wasn’t fair.
Eli Easton (Five Dares)
Until that rainy Sunday at the movies 31 years ago, for me, companionship had been a mandate for life’s good times. After Orca, it became a choice. My trip to the theater helped me to distinguish between loneliness (experienced by default), and solitude (choosing when and how to enjoy my own company), as I began a journey of engaging the world on my own terms. Over the years, that journey deepened as I traveled life’s roads with increasing independence and confidence, whether I was attending graduate school at night while working during the day, buying my first house or changing careers.
Gina Greenlee (Postcards and Pearls: Life Lessons from Solo Moments on the Road)
I know that gen Z has it tough—they’re losing their proms and graduations to the quarantine, they’re on deck to bear the full brunt of climate catastrophe, and they’re inheriting a carcass of a society that’s been fattened up and picked clean by the billionaire class, leaving them with virtually no shot at a life without crushing financial and existential anxiety, let alone any fantasy of retiring from their thankless toil or leaving anything of value to their own children. That’s bad. BUT, counterpoint! Millennials have to deal with a bunch of that same stuff, kind of, PLUS we had to be teenagers when American Pie came out!... American Pie absolutely captivated a generation because my generation is tacky as hell. “I have a hot girlfriend but she doesn’t want to have sex” was an entire genre of movies in the ’90s. In the ’90s, people loved it when things were “raunchy” (ew!). Every guy at my high school wanted to be Stifler! Can you imagine what that kind of an environment does to a person? To be of the demographic that has a Ron Burgundy quote for every occasion, without the understanding that Ron Burgundy is a satire? This is why we have Jenny McCarthy, I’m pretty sure, and, by extension, the great whooping cough revival of 2014. Thanks a lot, jocks!
Lindy West (Shit, Actually: The Definitive, 100% Objective Guide to Modern Cinema)
Only date people who respect your standards and make you a better person when you’re with them. Consider the message of the movie A Walk to Remember. Landon Carter is the reckless leader who is skating through high school on his good looks and bravado. He and his popular friends at Beaufort High publicly ridicule everyone who doesn’t fit in, including the unfashionable Jamie Sullivan, who wears the same sweater day after day and gives free tutoring lessons to struggling students. By accident, events thrust Landon into Jamie’s world and he can’t help but notice that Jamie’s different. She doesn’t care about conforming and fitting in with the popular kids. Landon’s amazed at how sure of herself she seems and asks, “Don’t you care what people think about you?” As he spends more time with her, he realizes she has more freedom than he does because she isn’t controlled by the opinions of others, as he is. Soon, despite their intentions not to, they have fallen in love and Landon has to choose between his status at Beaufort...and Jamie. “This girl’s changed you,” his best friend yells, “and you don’t even know it.” Landon admits, “She has faith in me. She wants me to be better.” He chooses her. After high school graduation, Jamie reveals to Landon that she’s dying of leukemia. During her final months, Landon does all he can to make her dreams come true, including marrying her in the same church her mother and father were married in. They spend a wonderful summer together, truly in love. Despite Jamie’s dream for a miracle, she dies. Heartbroken, but inspired by Jamie’s belief in him, Landon works hard to go to medical school. But he laments to her father that he couldn’t fulfill her last desire, to see a miracle. Jamie’s father assures him that Jamie did see a miracle before she died, for someone’s heart had truly changed. And it was his. Now that’s a movie to remember! Never apologize for having high standards and don’t ever lower your standards to please someone else.
Sean Covey (The 6 Most Important Decisions You'll Ever Make: A Guide for Teens)
You ever see that movie The Graduate?” “No, but I’ve heard of it.” “It’s a classic. Check it out some time. It takes place in the sixties or maybe the fifties. The protagonist is this college kid who has just graduated. He’s curious about how to make it in the world. This older guy, a businessman or something, has one word of advice for him – ‘plastics.’ “Plastics was the next big thing for his time, but for my time it was algorithms. All you need to know is the keyword, just one word, for your time and jump in the river of change. Let it carry you along to where we all want to go to the sea of a big bank account and all that goes with it. What’s the word for your time, Tommy? If you find out, you’re almost there." - Tommy's Exodus by Robert Hobkirk
Robert Hobkirk
TV stars are cool. Even if their characters are less than admirable, they come across as somehow sympathetic, maybe even neighborly. They are, after all, people you invite into your home every week. If you don't like them, you won't watch them. Movie stars, by contrast, are hot. They have to blaze so fiercely that they fill a screen forty feet high and demand the attention of a crowded theater. That's why very few TV stars have graduated successfully to features. It requires not only different skills but a different personality. You have to go from amiable to commanding. Likewise, some movie stars are simply too big for television. Jack Nicholson is riveting on-screen, but you wouldn't want him in your living room week after week. The television simply couldn't contain his personality.
Walter Jon Williams (Rogues)
Without rich people who want it done now, who would animate the free world? In theory, you want everyone to live peacefully according to their needs, along the banks of a river. In fact, you worry that you'd die of boredom there. In fact, you get a buzz from someone like Carole Potter, who keeps prize chickens and could teach a graduate course in landscaping; who maintains a staff of four (more in the summers, during High Guest Season); a handsome, slightly ridiculous husband; a beautiful daughter at Harvard and an incorrigible son doing something or other on Bondi Beach; Carole who is charming and self-deprecating and capable, if pushed, of a hostile indifference crueler than any form of rage; who reads novels and goes to movies and theater and yes, yes, bless her, buys art, serious art, about which she actually fucking knows a thing or two.
Michael Cunningham (By Nightfall)
the law. Even in Boston, she sometimes saw disapproval in the eyes of the passersby. Her hair was no longer the white-blond of her childhood, but it was still light enough to catch attention when bent toward James’s inky black head in movie theaters, on a park bench, at the counter at the Waldorf Cafeteria. A gaggle of Radcliffe girls came down the stairs, one hovering nearby to wait for the phone, the others crowding around the hall mirror to apply powder to their noses. One of them, just a week before, had heard about Marilyn’s marriage and came by her room “to see if it was really true.” Marilyn squeezed the receiver and pressed one palm to her belly and kept her voice sweet. “I don’t know, Mother,” she said. “Why don’t you ask him when you meet him?” So her mother came in from Virginia, the first time she’d ever left the state. Standing at the station with James hours after his graduation, waiting for her mother’s train, Marilyn told herself: she would have come anyway, even if I’d told her. Her mother stepped onto the platform and spotted Marilyn and a smile flashed across her face—spontaneous, proud—and for that instant, Marilyn believed it completely. Of course she would have. Then the smile flickered
Celeste Ng (Everything I Never Told You)
What I have said about the newspapers and the movies applies equally to the radio, to television, and even to bookselling. Thus we are in an age where the enormous per capita bulk of communication is met by an ever-thinning stream of total bulk of communication. More and more we must accept a standardized inoffensive and insignificant product which, like the white bread of the bakeries, is made rather for its keeping and selling properties than for its food value. This is fundamentally an external handicap of modern communication, but it is paralleled by another which gnaws from within. This is the cancer of creative narrowness and feebleness. In the old days, the young man who wished to enter the creative arts might either have plunged in directly or prepared himself by a general schooling, perhaps irrelevant to the specific tasks he finally undertook, but which was at least a searching discipline of his abilities and taste. Now the channels of apprenticeship are largely silted up. Our elementary and secondary schools are more interested in formal classroom discipline than in the intellectual discipline of learning something thoroughly, and a great deal of the serious preparation for a scientific or a literary course is relegated to some sort of graduate school or other.
Norbert Wiener (The Human Use of Human Beings: Cybernetics and Society)
When the time comes, & I hope it comes soon, to bury this era of moral rot & the defiling of our communal, social, & democratic norms, the perfect epitaph for the gravestone of this age of unreason should be Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley's already infamous quote: "I think not having the estate tax recognizes the people that are investing... as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies.” Grassley's vision of America, quite frankly, is one I do not recognize. I thought the heart of this great nation was not limited to the ranks of the plutocrats who are whisked through life in chauffeured cars & private jets, whose often inherited riches are passed along to children, many of whom no sacrifice or service is asked. I do not begrudge wealth, but it must come with a humility that money never is completely free of luck. And more importantly, wealth can never be a measure of worth. I have seen the waitress working the overnight shift at a diner to give her children a better life, & yes maybe even take them to a movie once in awhile - and in her, I see America. I have seen the public school teachers spending extra time with students who need help & who get no extra pay for their efforts, & in them I see America. I have seen parents sitting around kitchen tables with stacks of pressing bills & wondering if they can afford a Christmas gift for their children, & in them I see America. I have seen the young diplomat in a distant foreign capital & the young soldier in a battlefield foxhole, & in them I see America. I have seen the brilliant graduates of the best law schools who forgo the riches of a corporate firm for the often thankless slog of a district attorney or public defender's office, & in them I see America. I have seen the librarian reshelving books, the firefighter, police officer, & paramedic in service in trying times, the social worker helping the elderly & infirm, the youth sports coaches, the PTA presidents, & in them I see America. I have seen the immigrants working a cash register at a gas station or trimming hedges in the frost of an early fall morning, or driving a cab through rush hour traffic to make better lives for their families, & in them I see America. I have seen the science students unlocking the mysteries of life late at night in university laboratories for little or no pay, & in them I see America. I have seen the families struggling with a cancer diagnosis, or dementia in a parent or spouse. Amid the struggles of mortality & dignity, in them I see America. These, & so many other Americans, have every bit as much claim to a government working for them as the lobbyists & moneyed classes. And yet, the power brokers in Washington today seem deaf to these voices. It is a national disgrace of historic proportions. And finally, what is so wrong about those who must worry about the cost of a drink with friends, or a date, or a little entertainment, to rephrase Senator Grassley's demeaning phrasings? Those who can't afford not to worry about food, shelter, healthcare, education for their children, & all the other costs of modern life, surely they too deserve to be able to spend some of their “darn pennies” on the simple joys of life. Never mind that almost every reputable economist has called this tax bill a sham of handouts for the rich at the expense of the vast majority of Americans & the future economic health of this nation. Never mind that it is filled with loopholes written by lobbyists. Never mind that the wealthiest already speak with the loudest voices in Washington, & always have. Grassley’s comments open a window to the soul of the current national Republican Party & it it is not pretty. This is not a view of America that I think President Ronald Reagan let alone President Dwight Eisenhower or Teddy Roosevelt would have recognized. This is unadulterated cynicism & a version of top-down class warfare run amok. ~Facebook 12/4/17
Dan Rather
Of course, no china--however intricate and inviting--was as seductive as my fiancé, my future husband, who continued to eat me alive with one glance from his icy-blue eyes. Who greeted me not at the door of his house when I arrived almost every night of the week, but at my car. Who welcomed me not with a pat on the arm or even a hug but with an all-enveloping, all-encompassing embrace. Whose good-night kisses began the moment I arrived, not hours later when it was time to go home. We were already playing house, what with my almost daily trips to the ranch and our five o’clock suppers and our lazy movie nights on his thirty-year-old leather couch, the same one his parents had bought when they were a newly married couple. We’d already watched enough movies together to last a lifetime. Giant with James Dean, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Reservoir Dogs, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, The Graduate, All Quiet on the Western Front, and, more than a handful of times, Gone With the Wind. I was continually surprised by the assortment of movies Marlboro Man loved to watch--his taste was surprisingly eclectic--and I loved discovering more and more about him through the VHS collection in his living room. He actually owned The Philadelphia Story. With Marlboro Man, surprises lurked around every corner. We were already a married couple--well, except for the whole “sleepover thing” and the fact that we hadn’t actually gotten hitched yet. We stayed in, like any married couple over the age of sixty, and continued to get to know everything about each other completely outside the realm of parties, dates, and gatherings. All of that was way too far away, anyway--a minimum hour-and-a-half drive to the nearest big city--and besides that, Marlboro Man was a fish out of water in a busy, crowded bar. As for me, I’d been there, done that--a thousand and one times. Going out and panting the town red was unnecessary and completely out of context for the kind of life we’d be building together. This was what we brought each other, I realized. He showed me a slower pace, and permission to be comfortable in the absence of exciting plans on the horizon. I gave him, I realized, something different. Different from the girls he’d dated before--girls who actually knew a thing or two about country life. Different from his mom, who’d also grown up on a ranch. Different from all of his female cousins, who knew how to saddle and ride and who were born with their boots on. As the youngest son in a family of three boys, maybe he looked forward to experiencing life with someone who’d see the country with fresh eyes. Someone who’d appreciate how miraculously countercultural, how strange and set apart it all really is. Someone who couldn’t ride to save her life. Who didn’t know north from south, or east from west. If that defined his criteria for a life partner, I was definitely the woman for the job.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
My father scowled, warning that going to graduate school was a crazy idea for a woman. “If you’d been admitted,” he warned, “you’d never get married—you’ll turn into one of those lonely women who carry a briefcase and go to the movies alone! No, do something that really makes sense: take typing and become a secretary, or teach in an elementary school.
Elaine Pagels (Why Religion?: A Personal Story)
Alien Mind Parasites are attacking children! Alien Parasites attack children through violent video games, music videos with lyrics and images of adult sexuality, drug use, denigration of and violence toward women! Horribly, even children’s cartoons are now filled with the above images. Our children are being bombarded with electrical and chemical contamination in food, beverages, cell phones and microwave transmitters. The Alien Parasites are turning our children into materialistic, violent, Godless puppets. By the time a teenager graduates from high school, they have seen 8,000 real or simulated murders in movies, the Internet, video games and television. This negative imagery is the perfect insertion vehicle for Alien Parasites to enter the child's brain. If you care about your children - protect them from Alien Parasite attacks. Prevent your child from becoming addicted to media that is full of torture, murder, blood, bullets and violence. Beware of anything that generates negative emotions!
Laurence Galian (Alien Parasites: 40 Gnostic Truths to Defeat the Archon Invasion!)
Into that strange scene came my future mentors in the hamburger business, the McDonald brothers, Maurice and Richard, a pair of transplanted New Englanders. Maurice had moved out to California in about 1926 and got a job handling props in one of the movie studios. Richard joined him after he was graduated from West High School in Manchester, New Hampshire, in 1927. Mac and Dick worked together in the studio, moving scenery, setting up lights, driving trucks, and so forth until 1932, when they decided to go into business for themselves. They bought a run-down movie theater in Glendora. It provided a very sparse living,
Ray Kroc (Grinding It Out: The Making of McDonald's)
Somewhere between college graduation and your second job, a chorus enters your internal dialogue: Be realistic and stop pretending. Life isn’t like the movies.
Timothy Ferriss (The 4 Hour Workweek, Expanded And Updated: Expanded And Updated, With Over 100 New Pages Of Cutting Edge Content)
Traditionally, the needs of ethnically diverse consumers had been met by smaller companies—the equivalent, in movie terms, of independent filmmakers. In the seventies, Shindana introduced two Barbie-like fashion dolls: Malaika, taller and stouter than Barbie; and Career Girl Wanda, about three-quarters as tall as Barbie and as proportionately svelte. But in 1991, when Mattel brought out its "Shani" line—three Barbie-sized African-American dolls available with mahogany, tawny, or beige complexions— there could be no doubt that "politically correct" was profitable. "For six years, I had been preaching these demographics—showing pie charts of black kids under ten representing eighteen percent of the under-ten population and Hispanic kids representing sixteen percent—and nobody was interested," said Yla Eason, an African-American graduate of Harvard Business School who in 1985 founded Olmec Corporation, which makes dolls and action figures of color. "But when Mattel came out with those same demographics and said, 'Ethnically correct is the way,' it legitimatized our business." Some say that the toy industry's idea of "ethnically correct" doesn't go far enough, however. Ann duCille, chairman of the African-American Studies Program and an associate professor of English at Wesleyan University, is a severe critic. After studying representations of race in fashion dolls for over a year, she feels that the dolls reflect a sort of "easy pluralism." "I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say I'd rather see no black dolls than see something like Shani or Black Barbie," she told me, "but I would hope for something more—which is not about to happen." Nor is she wholly enamored of Imani and Melenik, Olmec's equivalent of Barbie and Ken. "Supposedly these are dolls for black kids to play with that look like them, when in fact they don't look like them. That's a problematic statement, of course, because there's no 'generic black kid.' But those dolls look too like Barbie for me. They have the same body type, the same long, straight hair—and I think it sends a problematic message to kids. It's about marketing, about business—so don't try to pass it off as being about the welfare of black children." Lisa Jones, an African-American writer who chronicled the introduction of Mattel's Shani dolls for the Village Voice, is less harsh. Too old to have played with Christie—Barbie's black friend, born in 1968—Jones recalls as a child having expressed annoyance with her white classmates by ripping the heads and arms off her two white Barbie dolls. Any fashion doll of color, she thinks, would have been better for her than those blondes. "Having been a little girl who grew up without the images," she told me, "I realize that however they fail to reach the Utopian mark, they're still useful.
M.G. Lord (Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll)
His name is C. J. Skender, and he is a living legend. Skender teaches accounting, but to call him an accounting professor doesn’t do him justice. He’s a unique character, known for his trademark bow ties and his ability to recite the words to thousands of songs and movies on command. He may well be the only fifty-eight-year-old man with fair skin and white hair who displays a poster of the rapper 50 Cent in his office. And while he’s a genuine numbers whiz, his impact in the classroom is impossible to quantify. Skender is one of a few professors for whom Duke University and the University of North Carolina look past their rivalry to cooperate: he is in such high demand that he has permission to teach simultaneously at both schools. He has earned more than two dozen major teaching awards, including fourteen at UNC, six at Duke, and five at North Carolina State. Across his career, he has now taught close to six hundred classes and evaluated more than thirty-five thousand students. Because of the time that he invests in his students, he has developed what may be his single most impressive skill: a remarkable eye for talent. In 2004, Reggie Love enrolled in C. J. Skender’s accounting class at Duke. It was a summer course that Love needed to graduate, and while many professors would have written him off as a jock, Skender recognized Love’s potential beyond athletics. “For some reason, Duke football players have never flocked to my class,” Skender explains, “but I knew Reggie had what it took to succeed.” Skender went out of his way to engage Love in class, and his intuition was right that it would pay dividends. “I knew nothing about accounting before I took C. J.’s class,” Love says, “and the fundamental base of knowledge from that course helped guide me down the road to the White House.” In Obama’s mailroom, Love used the knowledge of inventory that he learned in Skender’s class to develop a more efficient process for organizing and digitizing a huge backlog of mail. “It was the number-one thing I implemented,” Love says, and it impressed Obama’s chief of staff, putting Love on the radar. In 2011, Love left the White House to study at Wharton. He sent a note to Skender: “I’m on the train to Philly to start the executive MBA program and one of the first classes is financial accounting—and I just wanted to say thanks for sticking with me when I was in your class.
Adam M. Grant (Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success)
The fact that no one made demands on her knowledge in her special field was lucky for Simochka. Not only she but many of her girlfriends had graduated from the institute without any such knowledge. There were many reasons for this. The young girls had come from high schools with very little grounding in mathematics and physics. They had learned in the upper grades that at faculty council meetings the school director had scolded the teachers for giving out failing marks, and that even if a pupil didn't study at all he received a diploma. In the institute, when they found time to sit down to study, they made their way through the mathematics and radio-technology as through a dense pine forest. But more often there was no time at all. Every fall for a month or more the students were taken to collective farms to harvest potatoes. For this reason, they had to attend lectures for eight and ten hours a day all the rest of the year, leaving no time to study their course work. On Monday evenings there was political indoctrination. Once a week a meeting of some kind was obligatory. Then one had to do socially useful work, too: issue bulletins, organize concerts, and it was also necessary to help at home, to shop, to wash, to dress. And what about the movies? And the theater? And the club? If a girl didn't have some fun and dance a bit during her student years, when would she do so afterward? For their examinations Simochka and her girlfriends wrote many cribs, which they hid in those sections of female clothing denied to males, and at the exams they pulled out the one the needed, smoothed it out, and turned it in as a work sheet. The examiners, of course, could have easily discovered the women students' ignorance, but they themselves were overburdened with committee meetings, assemblies, a variety of plans and reports to the dean's office and to the rector. It was hard on them to have to give an examination a second time. Besides, when their students failed, the examiners were reprimanded as if the failures were spoiled goods in a production process—according to the well-known theory that there are no bad pupils, only bad teachers. Therefore the examiners did not try to trip the students up but, in fact, attempted to get them through the examination with as good results as possible.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The First Circle)
Kewauna traced a lot of her current academic difficulties to sixth grade, when, because of her poor grades and bad behavior, she was placed in a remedial class called WINGS. Officially, WINGS stood for Working Innovatively Now for Graduation Success, but Kewauna told me that at Plymouth, the joke was that it was called WINGS because the kids used to sit in class all day just eating chicken wings. That was an exaggeration, she said—but not much of one. “We never did anything in that class,” she said. “It was for kids who needed help, but they didn’t give us any help. We didn’t read. We didn’t study. We just played video games and watched movies and ate popcorn. It was fun, but that’s why I’m struggling with the ACT now. That’s why I’m getting denied from scholarships. Those two years were when we were supposed to be learning punctuation, commas, metaphors, all that stuff. When they bring it up today, they say, ‘Remember when we learned this?’ And I’m like, ‘No, I don’t! I never learned any of that.
Paul Tough (How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character)
Specifically, they argue that digital technology drives inequality in three different ways. First, by replacing old jobs with ones requiring more skills, technology has rewarded the educated: since the mid-1970s, salaries rose about 25% for those with graduate degrees while the average high school dropout took a 30% pay cut.45 Second, they claim that since the year 2000, an ever-larger share of corporate income has gone to those who own the companies as opposed to those who work there—and that as long as automation continues, we should expect those who own the machines to take a growing fraction of the pie. This edge of capital over labor may be particularly important for the growing digital economy, which tech visionary Nicholas Negroponte defines as moving bits, not atoms. Now that everything from books to movies and tax preparation tools has gone digital, additional copies can be sold worldwide at essentially zero cost, without hiring additional employees. This allows most of the revenue to go to investors rather than workers, and helps explain why, even though the combined revenues of Detroit’s “Big 3” (GM, Ford and Chrysler) in 1990 were almost identical to those of Silicon Valley’s “Big 3” (Google, Apple, Facebook) in 2014, the latter had nine times fewer employees and were worth thirty times more on the stock market.47 Figure 3.5: How the economy has grown average income over the past century, and what fraction of this income has gone to different groups. Before the 1970s, rich and poor are seen to all be getting better off in lockstep, after which most of the gains have gone to the top 1% while the bottom 90% have on average gained close to nothing.46 The amounts have been inflation-corrected to year-2017 dollars. Third, Erik and collaborators argue that the digital economy often benefits superstars over everyone else.
Max Tegmark (Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence)
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Growing up I had been ambivalent about being Chinese, occasionally taking pride in my ancestry but more often ignoring it because I disliked the way that Caucasians reacted to my Chineseness. It bothered me that my almond-shaped eyes and straight black hair struck people as “cute” when I was a toddler and that as I grew older I was always being asked, even by strangers, “What is your nationality?”—as if only Caucasians or immigrants from Europe could be Americans. So I would put them in their place by telling them that I was born in the United States and therefore my nationality is U.S. Then I would add, “If you want to know my ethnicity, my parents immigrated from southern China.” Whereupon they would exclaim, “But you speak English so well!” knowing full well that I had lived in the United States and had gone to American schools all my life. I hated being viewed as “exotic.” When I was a kid, it meant being identified with Fu Manchu, the sinister movie character created by Sax Rohmer who in the popular imagination represented the “yellow peril” threatening Western culture. When I was in college, I wanted to scream when people came up to me and said I reminded them of Madame Chiang Kai-shek, a Wellesley College graduate from a wealthy Chinese family, who was constantly touring the country seeking support for her dictator husband in the Kuomintang’s struggles against the Japanese and the Chinese Communists. Even though I was too ignorant and politically unaware to take sides in the civil war in China, I knew enough to recognize that I was being stereotyped. When I was asked to wear Chinese dress and speak about China at a meeting or a social function, I would decline because of my ignorance of things Chinese and also because the only Chinese outfit I owned was the one my mother wore on her arrival in this country.
Grace Lee Boggs (Living for Change: An Autobiography)
By my early twenties, I was still devoted to heroic woman stories, but the love narratives had started to lose some of their appeal. The release of a new Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks vehicle seemed far less interesting to me than the latest installment of the Alien movie franchise. Had I lost interest in romance? Far from it. In fact, this was at the time in my life when I was very serious about finding a great love. However, I was also struggling to be my own person, to understand my identity, to follow my own dreams and start down my chosen career path. I had plans to travel the world, to attend graduate school. I was coming into—and exercising—my own forms of strength and independence. But I was tired of the one-sided representations of male-identified characters doing this, of feeling that only one version of this kind of empowerment existed. I wanted balance and social justice. I wanted to see more evidence of women on screen doing the same, women making a difference, doing something amazing, and being the heroes of their own lives and stories. Unfortunately, there weren’t very many female-bodied characters who did that who also got to find love. In fact, the more romance a woman enjoyed in a narrative, the less strength or independence of any kind she expressed in the story, especially before the last two decades. (3)
Allison P. Palumbo
Ali pulled one of the few unoccupied chairs into what appeared to be neutral territory. Settling into it, she opened her computer. While she waited for her AirCard to connect, she listened to the talk buzzing around her. Sister Anselm was right. It was as though the presence of the computer rendered her invisible. The kids may have been there because of James, but they weren’t talking about him. They were more concerned with other issues—who had flunked which class and was having to go to summer school; who had dropped out and was going to get a GED; who had gotten tossed out of a local movie theater for fighting; and whose parents had kicked someone out of the house when they had figured out at the last minute that he wasn’t going to graduate.
J.A. Jance (Trial By Fire (Ali Reynolds, #5))