Training Course Quotes

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My muscles informed me they did not want to go through any more exercise today. So I suggest that maybe he should let me off this time. He laughed, and I'm pretty sure it was at me...not with me. "Why is that funny?" "Oh," he said, his smile dropping. "You were serious." "Of course I was! Look, I've technically been awake for two days. Why do we have to start this training now? Let me go to bed." I whined. "It's just one hour." "How do you feel right now?" "I hurt like hell." "You'll feel worse tomorrow." "So?" "So, better get a jump on it while you still feel...not as bad." "What kind of logic is that?" I retorted.
Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1))
So far Kat has been through all the Wa's she could think of, but Hale hadn't admitted to being Walter or Ward or Washington. He'd firmly denied both Warren and Waverly. Watson had prompted him to do a very bad Sherlock Holmes impersonation throughout a good portion of a train ride to Edinburgh, Scotland. And Wayne seemed so wrong she hadn't even tried. Hale was Hale. And not knowing what the W's stood for had become a constant reminder to Kat that, in life, there are some things that can be given but never stolen. Of course, that didn't stop her from trying.
Ally Carter (Heist Society (Heist Society, #1))
Of course, in Los Angeles, everything is based on driving, even the killings. In New York, most people don't have cars, so if you want to kill a person, you have to take the subway to their house. And sometimes on the way, the train is delayed and you get impatient, so you have to kill someone on the subway. That's why there are so many subway murders; no one has a car.
George Carlin (Brain Droppings)
Of course I would fall for Captain Emotionally Constipated. I could train a rock to hold more affection for me.
K.M. Shea (Red Rope of Fate (The Elves of Lessa, #1))
I'm a what?" gasped Harry. "A wizard, o' course," said Hagrid, sitting back down on the sofa, which groaned and sank even lower, "an' a thumpin' good'un I'd say, once yeh've been trained up a bit. With a mum an' dad like yours, what else would yeh be?
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
Every beginner possesses a great potential to be an expert in his or her chosen field.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
Many have marked the speed with which Muad'Dib learned the necessities of Arrakis. The Bene Gesserit, of course, know the basis of this speed. For the others, we can say that Muad'Dib learned rapidly because his first training was in how to learn. And the first lesson of all was the basic trust that he could learn. It is shocking to find how many people do not believe they can learn, and how many more believe learning to be difficult. Muad'Dib knew that every experience carries its lesson.
Frank Herbert (Dune (Dune, #1))
So I suggested to Dimitri that maybe he should let me off this time. He laughed, and I was pretty sure it was at me and not with me. Rose Hathaway: "Why is that funny?” Dimitri Belikov: "Oh, You were serious.” Rose Hathaway: "Of course I was! Look, I've technically been awake for two days. Why do we have to start this training now? Let me go to bed, It's just one hour.” Dimitri Belikov: "How do you feel right now? After the training you've done so far?” Rose Hathaway: "I hurt like hell.” Dimitri Belikov: "You'll feel worse tomorrow.” Rose Hathaway: "So?” Dimitri Belikov: "So, better to jump in now while you still feel…not as bad.” Rose Hathaway: "What kind of logic is that?
Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1))
You didn’t really hold back on Braga so Pickering could kill him, did you?” Royce asked after the two were left alone in the hallway. “Of course not. I held off because it’s death for a commoner to kill a noble.” “That’s what I thought.” Royce sounded relieved. “For a minute, I wondered if you’d gone from jumping on the good-deed wagon to leading the whole wagon train.
Michael J. Sullivan (Theft of Swords (The Riyria Revelations, #1-2))
Nagumo was suddenly on his own. At this crucial time, the cost of his failure to learn the complicated factors that played into carrier operations suddenly exploded. Now, when every minute counted, it was too late to learn the complexities involved in loading different munitions on different types of planes on the hangar deck, too late to learn how the planes were organized and spotted on the flight decks, too late to learn the flight capabilities of his different types of planes, and far too late to know how to integrate all those factors into a fast-moving and efficient operation with the planes and ordnance available at that moment. Commander Genda, his brilliant operations officer, couldn’t make the decisions for him now. It was all up to Nagumo. At 0730 on June 4, 1942, years of shipbuilding, training, and strategic planning had all come to this moment. Teams of highly trained pilots, flight deck personnel, mechanics, and hundreds of other sailors were ready and awaiting his command. The entire course of the battle, of the Combined Fleet, and even perhaps of Japan were going to bear the results of his decisions, then and there.
Dale A. Jenkins (Diplomats & Admirals: From Failed Negotiations and Tragic Misjudgments to Powerful Leaders and Heroic Deeds, the Untold Story of the Pacific War from Pearl Harbor to Midway)
Shigure: "Lemme guess; you lost your temper and yelled at her again, right? You know, you shouldn't do that if you're just going to regret it. Not too bright, now is it?" Kyo: "Save your breath. I'm just not meant to get along with other people. Period. End of story." Shigure: "Oh sure, some people just aren't. But you're not one of them. You lack experience, that's all. For example, I'm sure you could smash this table to bits with your bare hands. But I'm equally sure you could punch the table without breaking it. And why is that? Because I know your training has taught you to control your fists... at least I should hope so, after four months of fighting bears and-" Kyo: "I didn't fight bears!" Shigure: "My point is, it takes just as much training to get along with people. Only, training by yourself in the mountains won't do you any good. You need to surround yourself with others. As you get to know them, of course you take the chance that you'll end up hurting them, or they'll end up hurting you. One of those things might very well happen. That's the only way we learn... about others, and about ourselves. You're a black-belt in martial arts, but I'd guess you still a white-belt in social skills. Someday, you're going to meet someone that truly wants to be your friend, and you, theirs. But it if you don't keep training, you won't be ready when that happens." Kyo: "It'll never happen, anyways!" Shigure: "Uh-uh! Never say never." Kyo: "Ok, fine. Maybe if I meet someone with brain-damage... or something." Shigure: "That's the spirit!
Natsuki Takaya (Fruits Basket, Vol. 1)
Every morning the maple leaves. Every morning another chapter where the hero shifts from one foot to the other. Every morning the same big and little words all spelling out desire, all spelling out You will be alone always and then you will die. So maybe I wanted to give you something more than a catalog of non-definitive acts, something other than the desperation. Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I couldn’t come to your party. Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I came to your party and seduced you and left you bruised and ruined, you poor sad thing. You want a better story. Who wouldn’t? A forest, then. Beautiful trees. And a lady singing. Love on the water, love underwater, love, love and so on. What a sweet lady. Sing lady, sing! Of course, she wakes the dragon. Love always wakes the dragon and suddenly flames everywhere. I can tell already you think I’m the dragon, that would be so like me, but I’m not. I’m not the dragon. I’m not the princess either. Who am I? I’m just a writer. I write things down. I walk through your dreams and invent the future. Sure, I sink the boat of love, but that comes later. And yes, I swallow glass, but that comes later. Let me do it right for once, for the record, let me make a thing of cream and stars that becomes, you know the story, simply heaven. Inside your head you hear a phone ringing and when you open your eyes only a clearing with deer in it. Hello deer. Inside your head the sound of glass, a car crash sound as the trucks roll over and explode in slow motion. Hello darling, sorry about that. Sorry about the bony elbows, sorry we lived here, sorry about the scene at the bottom of the stairwell and how I ruined everything by saying it out loud. Especially that, but I should have known. Inside your head you hear a phone ringing, and when you open your eyes you’re washing up in a stranger’s bathroom, standing by the window in a yellow towel, only twenty minutes away from the dirtiest thing you know. All the rooms of the castle except this one, says someone, and suddenly darkness, suddenly only darkness. In the living room, in the broken yard, in the back of the car as the lights go by. In the airport bathroom’s gurgle and flush, bathed in a pharmacy of unnatural light, my hands looking weird, my face weird, my feet too far away. I arrived in the city and you met me at the station, smiling in a way that made me frightened. Down the alley, around the arcade, up the stairs of the building to the little room with the broken faucets, your drawings, all your things, I looked out the window and said This doesn’t look that much different from home, because it didn’t, but then I noticed the black sky and all those lights. We were inside the train car when I started to cry. You were crying too, smiling and crying in a way that made me even more hysterical. You said I could have anything I wanted, but I just couldn’t say it out loud. Actually, you said Love, for you, is larger than the usual romantic love. It’s like a religion. It’s terrifying. No one will ever want to sleep with you. Okay, if you’re so great, you do it— here’s the pencil, make it work … If the window is on your right, you are in your own bed. If the window is over your heart, and it is painted shut, then we are breathing river water. Dear Forgiveness, you know that recently we have had our difficulties and there are many things I want to ask you. I tried that one time, high school, second lunch, and then again, years later, in the chlorinated pool. I am still talking to you about help. I still do not have these luxuries. I have told you where I’m coming from, so put it together. I want more applesauce. I want more seats reserved for heroes. Dear Forgiveness, I saved a plate for you. Quit milling around the yard and come inside.
Richard Siken
I didn't know you owned clothes with colors." "I have a few things that aren't black." "Of course you do, darling. Only all the ones I've seen are very small, and I get to take them off with my teeth. You've trained me to salivate at the sight of color, like one of Pavlov's dogs. Your top is making me very hungry.
Ruthie Knox (About Last Night)
The stuff of nightmare is their plain bread. They butter it with pain. They set their clocks by deathwatch beetles, and thrive the centuries. They were the men with the leather-ribbon whips who sweated up the Pyramids seasoning it with other people's salt and other people's cracked hearts. They coursed Europe on the White Horses of the Plague. They whispered to Caesar that he was mortal, then sold daggers at half-price in the grand March sale. Some must have been lazing clowns, foot props for emperors, princes, and epileptic popes. Then out on the road, Gypsies in time, their populations grew as the world grew, spread, and there was more delicious variety of pain to thrive on. The train put wheels under them and here they run down the log road out of the Gothic and baroque; look at their wagons and coaches, the carving like medieval shrines, all of it stuff once drawn by horses, mules, or, maybe, men.
Ray Bradbury (Something Wicked This Way Comes)
A familiar ache fills my chest. I have felt this way before. On a larger scale, to a more intense degree, of course, but I remember the quality of the pain. You don’t forget it.
Paula Hawkins (The Girl on the Train)
The bottom line is that if you are in hell, the only way out is to go through a period of sustained misery. Misery is, of course, much better than hell, but it is painful nonetheless. By refusing to accept the misery that it takes to climb out of hell, you end up falling back into hell repeatedly, only to have to start over and over again.
Marsha M. Linehan (DBT Skills Training: Manual)
Lost really has two disparate meanings. Losing things is about the familiar falling away, getting lost is about the unfamiliar appearing. There are objects and people that disappear from your sight or knowledge or possession; you lose a bracelet, a friend, the key. You still know where you are. Everything is familiar except that there is one item less, one missing element. Or you get lost, in which case the world has become larger than your knowledge of it. Either way, there is a loss of control. Imagine yourself streaming through time shedding gloves, umbrellas, wrenches, books, friends, homes, names. This is what the view looks like if you take a rear-facing seat on the train. Looking forward you constantly acquire moments of arrival, moments of realization, moments of discovery. The wind blows your hair back and you are greeted by what you have never seen before. The material falls away in onrushing experience. It peels off like skin from a molting snake. Of course to forget the past is to lose the sense of loss that is also memory of an absent richness and a set of clues to navigate the present by; the art is not one of forgetting but letting go. And when everything else is gone, you can be rich in loss.
Rebecca Solnit (A Field Guide to Getting Lost)
Instead of waiting for a leader you can believe in, try this: Become a leader you can believe in.
Stan Slap
Will had been taken aback in his confrontation with Arisaka to discover that his name- Chocho- meant "Butterfly"... He was puzzled to know why they had selected it. His friends, of course, delighted in helping him guess the reason. 'I assume it's because you're such a snazzy dresser,' Evanlyn said. 'You Rangers are a riot of color, after all.'... 'I think it might be more to do with the way he raced around the training ground, darting here and there to correct the way a man might be holding his shield, then dashing off to show someone how to put their body weight into their javelin cast,' said Horace, a little more sympathetically. Then he ruined the effect by adding thoughtlessly, 'I must say, your cloak did flutter around like a butterfly's wings.
John Flanagan (The Emperor of Nihon-Ja (Ranger's Apprentice, #10))
See this pebble?" "Yes." "Take it." Eragon did and stared at the unremarkable lump. It was dull black, smooth, and as large as the end of his thumb. There were countless stones like it on the trail. "This is your training." Eragon looked back at him, confused. "I don't understand." "Of course you don't," said Brom impatiently. "That's why I'm teaching you and not the other way around. Now stop talking or we'll never get anywhere.
Christopher Paolini (Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle, #1))
When we speak of the Path we mean much more than a course of study. The Path is a way of life and on it the whole being must co-operate if the heights are to be won.
Dion Fortune (Esoteric Orders and Their Work and The Training and Work of the Initiate)
Of course, in our train of thought, we would all like to think we're on the right track, or at least the same railroad company as the right track.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
Halt eyed them balefully. They were all being so obvious about not mentioning his sudden reappearance that it was even worse than if they had commented on it... 'Oh, go on!' he said. 'Somebody say something! I know what you're thinking!' 'It's good to see you up and about, Halt,' Selethen said gravely... Halt glared at the others and they quickly chorused their pleasure at seeing him back to his normal self. But he could see the grins they didn't quite manage to hide. He fixed a glare on Alyss. 'I'm surprised at you Alyss,' he said. 'I expected no better of Will and Evanlyn, of course. Heartless beasts, the pair of them. But you! I thought you had been better trained!'... 'Halt, I'm sorry! It's not funny, you're right... Shut up, Will.' This last was directed at Will as he tried, unsuccessfully, to smother a snigger.
John Flanagan (The Emperor of Nihon-Ja (Ranger's Apprentice, #10))
What interests me is the number of people who believe that they have the ability to drive the train and who think that this is the power position—that driving the train is the way to shape their companies’ futures. The truth is, it’s not. Driving the train doesn’t set its course. The real job is laying the track.
Ed Catmull (Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration)
You've known him how long?" Malcolm asked. "Since he was a small boy. I firs noticed him when he slipped into Master Chubb's kitchen to steal some pies." "So, what did you have to say to Will when you caught him stealing these pies? "Oh, I didn't let on I was there. We rangers can be very unobtrusive when we choose. I remained out of sight and watched him. I thought he might have potential to be a ranger." Halt said. Horace joined in "Why?" Halt answered carefully. "Because he was excellent at moving from cover to cover. Chubb entered 3 times and never noticed him. So i thought that if he could acheive that with no training, he would make a good ranger." "No" Horace spoke. "Thats not what I meant. Why were you hiding in the kitchen in the first place?" "I told you. I was watching Will to see if he had the potential to be a ranger." "Thats not what you said. You said that was the first time you noticed Will." "Does it matter?" "Not really. Were you hiding from chub yourself and Will just turned up by coincidence?" "And why would I be hiding from master Chubb in his own kitchen?" "Well, there were freshly made pies on the windowsill, and you like pies, don't you?" "Are you acusing me of trying to steal those pies?!?!" "No, of course not. I just thought i'd give you the opportunity to confess." After a pause, Halt continued. "You know, Horace, you used to be a most agreeable young man. Whatever happened to you?" "I've spent to much time around you, I suppose." And Halt had to admit that was probably true.
John Flanagan
My name is Kvothe, pronounced nearly the same as "quothe." Names are important as they tell you a great deal about a person. I've had more names than anyone has a right to. The Adem call me Maedre. Which, depending on how it's spoken, can mean The Flame, The Thunder, or The Broken Tree. "The Flame" is obvious if you've ever seen me. I have red hair, bright. If I had been born a couple of hundred years ago I would probably have been burned as a demon. I keep it short but it's unruly. When left to its own devices, it sticks up and makes me look as if I have been set afire. "The Thunder" I attribute to a strong baritone and a great deal of stage training at an early age. I've never thought of "The Broken Tree" as very significant. Although in retrospect, I suppose it could be considered at least partially prophetic. My first mentor called me E'lir because I was clever and I knew it. My first real lover called me Dulator because she liked the sound of it. I have been called Shadicar, Lightfinger, and Six-String. I have been called Kvothe the Bloodless, Kvothe the Arcane, and Kvothe Kingkiller. I have earned those names. Bought and paid for them. But I was brought up as Kvothe. My father once told me it meant "to know." I have, of course, been called many other things. Most of them uncouth, although very few were unearned. I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. You may have heard of me.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
The theatre is an attack on mankind carried on by magic: to victimize an audience every night, to make them laugh and cry and suffer and miss their trains. Of course actors regard audiences as enemies, to be deceived, drugged, incarcerated, stupefied. This is partly because the audience is also a court against which there is no appeal.
Iris Murdoch (The Sea, the Sea)
You can’t sell it outside if you can’t sell it inside.
Stan Slap
If there is no element of asceticism in our lives, if we give free rein to the desires of the flesh (taking care of course to keep within the limits of what seems permissible to the world), we shall find it hard to train for the service of Christ. When the flesh is satisfied it is hard to pray with cheerfulness or to devote oneself to a life of service which calls for much self-renunciation.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (The Cost of Discipleship)
Query: How contrive not to waste one's time? Answer: By being fully aware of it all the while. Ways in which this can be done: By spending one's days on an uneasy chair in a dentist's waiting-room; by remaining on one's balcony all of a Sunday afternoon; by listening to lectures in a language on doesn't know; by traveling by the longest and least-convenient train routes, and of course standing all the way; by lining up at the box-office of theaters and then not buying a seat; and so forth.
Albert Camus
The purpose of leadership is to change the world around you in the name of your values, so you can live those values more fully.
Stan Slap
What was behind this smug presumption that what pleased you was bad or at least unimportant in comparison to other things? … Little children were trained not to do “just what they liked’ but … but what? … Of course! What others liked. And which others? Parents, teachers, supervisors, policemen, judges, officials, kings, dictators. All authorities. When you are trained to despise “just what you like” then, of course, you become a much more obedient servant of others — a good slave. When you learn not to do “just what you like” then the System loves you.
Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values (Phaedrus, #1))
Once there was a boy,” said Jace. Clary interrupted immediately. “A Shadowhunter boy?” “Of course.” For a moment a bleak amusement colored his voice. Then it was gone. “When the boy was six years old, his father gave him a falcon to train. Falcons are raptors – killing birds, his father told him, the Shadowhunters of the sky. “The falcon didn’t like the boy, and the boy didn’t like it, either. Its sharp beak made him nervous, and its bright eyes always seemed to be watching him. It would slash at him with beak and talons when he came near: For weeks his wrists and hands were always bleeding. He didn’t know it, but his father had selected a falcon that had lived in the wild for over a year, and thus was nearly impossible to tame. But the boy tried, because his father told him to make the falcon obedient, and he wanted to please his father. “He stayed with the falcon constantly, keeping it awake by talking to it and even playing music to it, because a tired bird was meant to be easier to tame. He learned the equipment: the jesses, the hood, the brail, the leash that bound the bird to his wrist. He was meant to keep the falcon blind, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it – instead he tried to sit where the bird could see him as he touched and stroked its wings, willing it to trust him. Hee fed it from his hand, and at first it would not eat. Later it ate so savagely that its beak cut the skin of his palm. But the boy was glad, because it was progress, and because he wanted the bird to know him, even if the bird had to consume his blood to make that happen. “He began to see that the falcon was beautiful, that its slim wings were built for the speed of flight, that it was strong and swift, fierce and gentle. When it dived to the ground, it moved like likght. When it learned to circle and come to his wrist, he neary shouted with delight Sometimes the bird would hope to his shoulder and put its beak in his hair. He knew his falcon loved him, and when he was certain it was not just tamed but perfectly tamed, he went to his father and showed him what he had done, expecting him to be proud. “Instead his father took the bird, now tame and trusting, in his hands and broke its neck. ‘I told you to make it obedient,’ his father said, and dropped the falcon’s lifeless body to the ground. ‘Instead, you taught it to love you. Falcons are not meant to be loving pets: They are fierce and wild, savage and cruel. This bird was not tamed; it was broken.’ “Later, when his father left him, the boy cried over his pet, until eventually his father sent a servant to take the body of the bird away and bury it. The boy never cried again, and he never forgot what he’d learned: that to love is to destroy, and that to be loved is to be the one destroyed.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
She met the magus's stunned look with a smile. "The Thieves of Eddis have always been uncomfortable allies to the throne, Magus. There is the niggling fear that if you fall out with a Thief, he might see it as his right and responsibility to remove you. There are some checks, of course. There is only ever one Thief. They are prohibited from owning any property. Their training inevitably generates the isolation that makes them independent, but also keeps them from forming alliances that might become threats to the throne. It is not the folly you might think.
Megan Whalen Turner (The King of Attolia (The Queen's Thief, #3))
As Vice President of Acquisitions, Mr. Lang,” she asked. “Just what is it you are supposing to acquire?” At the very most, are you seeking a compliment in return? Of course, you are! Men are always hoping for what they seldom get.” With that, she reached up to kiss him on the cheek—the freight train of doom had passed him by on a parallel track. Doubt is good. It keeps the doors open to proof of promise. Is that why she had changed into that incredibly tantalizing little blue-black dress driving the Whaler bar crowd toward a frenzy?
Tom Baldwin (Macom Farm)
Working an integral or performing a linear regression is something a computer can do quite effectively. Understanding whether the result makes sense—or deciding whether the method is the right one to use in the first place—requires a guiding human hand. When we teach mathematics we are supposed to be explaining how to be that guide. A math course that fails to do so is essentially training the student to be a very slow, buggy version of Microsoft Excel.
Jordan Ellenberg (How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking)
Our habitual patterns are, of course, well established, seductive, and comforting. Just wishing for them to be ventilated isn’t enough. Mindfulness and awareness are key. Do we see the stories that we’re telling ourselves and question their validity? When we are distracted by a strong emotion, do we remember that it is part of our path? Can we feel the emotion and breathe it into our hearts for ourselves and everyone else? If we can remember to experiment like this even occasionally, we are training as a warrior. And when we can’t practice when distracted but know that we can’t, we are still training well. Never underestimate the power of compassionately recognizing what’s going on.
Pema Chödrön (Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion)
If then a practical end must be assigned to a University course, I say it is that of training good members of society... It is the education which gives a man a clear, conscious view of their own opinions and judgements, a truth in developing them, an eloquence in expressing them, and a force in urging them. It teaches him to see things as they are, to go right to the point, to disentangle a skein of thought to detect what is sophistical and to discard what is irrelevant.
John Henry Newman (The Idea of a University (Rethinking the Western Tradition))
When you’re a manager, you work for your company. When you’re a leader, your company works for you.
Stan Slap
You are an... animal? A talking animal?" Without missing a beat, Teela said, "Of course not. She's much, much harder to train.
Michelle Sagara West (Cast in Peril (Chronicles of Elantra, #8))
Be as patient and kind with yourself as you would be with a cute little puppy that you’re trying to house-train. Stressing the puppy out will only make it pee on the floor.
Alex Korb (The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time)
Esk, of course, had not been trained, and it is well known that a vital ingredient of success is not knowing that what you're attempting can't be done.
Terry Pratchett (Equal Rites (Discworld, #3; Witches, #1))
It is hard to be happy without a life worth living. This is a fundamental tenet of DBT. Of course, all lives are worth living in reality. No life is not worth living. But what is important is that you experience your life as worth living—one that is satisfying, and one that brings happiness.
Marsha M. Linehan (DBT Skills Training: Manual)
Jace looked around uneasily at the walls hung with veils, fans, tiaras, and seed-pearl-encrusted trains. “Everything is .. .so white.” “Of course it’s white,” said Simon. “It’s a wedding.” “White for Shadowhunters is the color of funerals,” Luke explained. “But for mundanes, Jace, it’s the color of weddings. Brides wear white to symbolize their purity.” “I thought Jocelyn said her dress wasn’t white,” Simon said. “Well,” said Jace, “I suppose that ship has sailed.
Cassandra Clare (City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4))
Profitability. Growth. Quality. Exceeding customer expectations. These are not examples of values. These are examples of corporate strategies being sold to you as values.
Stan Slap
The first step to solving any problem is to accept one’s own accountability for creating it.
Stan Slap
Work/life balance is not about escaping work. It’s about living exactly the way you want to when you’re at work.
Stan Slap
To educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude means to take nothing for granted, but to always seek out and value the kind that will stand behind the action. Nothing that is done for you is a matter of course. Everything originates in a will for the good, which is directed at you. Train yourself never to put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude.
Albert Schweitzer
In my own professional work I have touched on a variety of different fields. I’ve done work in mathematical linguistics, for example, without any professional credentials in mathematics; in this subject I am completely self-taught, and not very well taught. But I’ve often been invited by universities to speak on mathematical linguistics at mathematics seminars and colloquia. No one has ever asked me whether I have the appropriate credentials to speak on these subjects; the mathematicians couldn’t care less. What they want to know is what I have to say. No one has ever objected to my right to speak, asking whether I have a doctor’s degree in mathematics, or whether I have taken advanced courses in the subject. That would never have entered their minds. They want to know whether I am right or wrong, whether the subject is interesting or not, whether better approaches are possible… the discussion dealt with the subject, not with my right to discuss it. But on the other hand, in discussion or debate concerning social issues or American foreign policy…. The issue is constantly raised, often with considerable venom. I’ve repeatedly been challenged on grounds of credentials, or asked, what special training do I have that entitles you to speak on these matters. The assumption is that people like me, who are outsiders from a professional viewpoint, are not entitled to speak on such things. Compare mathematics and the political sciences… it’s quite striking. In mathematics, in physics, people are concerned with what you say, not with your certification. But in order to speak about social reality, you must have the proper credentials, particularly if you depart from the accepted framework of thinking. Generally speaking, it seems fair to say that the richer the intellectual substance of a field, the less there is a concern for credentials, and the greater is the concern for content.
Noam Chomsky
Of course, it wouldn’t have mattered if I’d seen it coming or not. Adrian was totally unsuitable for me, and it had nothing to do with his many vices or potential descent into insanity. Adrian was a vampire. True, he was a Moroi—one of the good, living vampires—but it made no difference. Humans and vampires couldn’t be together. This was one point the Moroi and Alchemists stood firmly together on. It was still amazing to me that Adrian had voiced those feelings to me. It was amazing that he could even have them or that he’d had the nerve to kiss me, even if it was a kiss that had left me dizzy and breathless. I’d had to reject him, of course. My training would allow nothing less. Our situation here in Palm Springs forced the two us to constantly be together in social situations, and it had been rough since his declaration. For me, it wasn’t just the awkwardness of our new relationship. I…well, I missed him. Before this debacle, he and I had been friends and spent a lot of time together. I’d gotten used to his smirky smile and the quick banter that always flowed between us. Until those things were gone, I hadn’t realized how much I relied on them. How much I needed them. I felt empty inside...which was ridiculous, of course. Why should I care so much about one vampire? Sometimes it made me angry. Why had he ruined such a good thing between us? Why had he made me miss him so much? And what had he expected me to do? He had to have known it was impossible for us to be together. I couldn’t have feelings for him. I couldn’t. If we’d lived among the Keepers—a group of uncivilized vampires, humans, and dhampirs—maybe he and I could have…no. Even if I had feelings for him—and I firmly told myself I didn’t—it was wrong for us to even consider such a relationship. Now, Adrian spoke to me as little as possible. And always, always, he watched me with a haunted look in his green eyes, one that made my heart ache and—
Richelle Mead (The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3))
The process of writing a novel is like taking a journey by boat. You have to continually set yourself on course. If you get distracted or allow yourself to drift, you will never make it to the destination. It's not like highly defined train tracks or a highway; this is a path that you are creating discovering. The journey is your narrative. Keep to it and there will be a tale told.
Walter Mosley (This Year You Write Your Novel)
But then I realized, they weren't calling out for their own mothers. Not those weak women, those victims. Drug addicts, shopaholics, cookie bakers. They didn't mean the women who let them down, who failed to help them into womanhood, women who let their boyfriends run a train on them. Bingers, purgers, women smiling into mirrors, women in girdles, women on barstools. Not those women with their complaints and their magazines, controlling women, women who asked, what's in in for me? Not the women watching TV while they made dinner, women who dyed their hair blond behind closed doors trying to look twenty-three. They didn't mean the mothers washing dishes wishing they'd never married, the ones in the ER, saying they fell down the stairs, not the ones in prison saying lonliness is the human condition, get used to it. The wanted the real mother, the blood mother, the great womb, mother of fierce compassion, a woman large enough to hold all the pain, to carry it away. What we needed was someone who bled, someone deep and rich as a field, a wide-hipped mother, awesome, immense, women like huge soft couches, mothers coursing with blood, mothers big enough, wide enough for us to hid in, to sink down to the bottom of, mothers who would breathe for us when we could not breathe anymore, who would fight for us, who would kill for us, die for us.
Janet Fitch (White Oleander)
As Annabeth hung in the air, descending hand over hand with the ladder swinging wildly, she thanked Chiron for all those years of training on the climbing course at Camp Half-Blood. She’d complained loudly and often that rope climbing would never help her defeat a monster. Chiron had just smiled, like he knew this day would come.
Rick Riordan (The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3))
Complex PTSD consists of of six symptom clusters, which also have been described in terms of dissociation of personality. Of course, people who receive this diagnosis often also suffer from other problems as well, and as noted earlier, diagnostic categories may overlap significantly. The symptom clusters are as follows: Alterations in Regulation of Affect ( Emotion ) and Impulses Changes in Relationship with others Somatic Symptoms Changes in Meaning Changes in the perception of Self Changes in Attention and Consciousness
Suzette Boon (Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation: Skills Training for Patients and Therapists (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology))
I'm here," she said, skidding to a stop. "Can we go now?" Sebastian insisted on helping her on with the coat. "I don't think anyone's ever helped me with my coat before," Clary observed, freeing the hair that had gotten trapped under her collar. "Well, maybe waiters. Were you ever a waiter?" "No, but I was brought up by a Frenchwoman," Sebastian reminded her. "It involves an even more rigorous course of training.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
If we can use an H-bomb--and as you said it's no checker game; it's real, it's war and nobody is fooling around--isn't it sort of ridiculous to go crawling around in the weeds, throwing knives and maybe getting yourself killed . . . and even losing the war . . . when you've got a real weapon you can use to win? What's the point in a whole lot of men risking their lives with obsolete weapons when one professor type can do so much more just by pushing a button?' Zim didn't answer at once, which wasn't like him at all. Then he said softly, 'Are you happy in the Infantry, Hendrick? You can resign, you know.' Hendrick muttered something; Zim said, 'Speak up!' I'm not itching to resign, sir. I'm going to sweat out my term.' I see. Well, the question you asked is one that a sergeant isn't really qualified to answer . . . and one that you shouldn't ask me. You're supposed to know the answer before you join up. Or you should. Did your school have a course in History and Moral Philosophy?' What? Sure--yes, sir.' Then you've heard the answer. But I'll give you my own--unofficial--views on it. If you wanted to teach a baby a lesson, would you cuts its head off?' Why . . . no, sir!' Of course not. You'd paddle it. There can be circumstances when it's just as foolish to hit an enemy with an H-Bomb as it would be to spank a baby with an ax. War is not violence and killing, pure and simple; war is controlled violence, for a purpose. The purpose of war is to support your government's decisions by force. The purpose is never to kill the enemy just to be killing him . . . but to make him do what you want him to do. Not killing . . . but controlled and purposeful violence. But it's not your business or mine to decide the purpose of the control. It's never a soldier's business to decide when or where or how--or why--he fights; that belongs to the statesmen and the generals. The statesmen decide why and how much; the generals take it from there and tell us where and when and how. We supply the violence; other people--"older and wiser heads," as they say--supply the control. Which is as it should be. That's the best answer I can give you. If it doesn't satisfy you, I'll get you a chit to go talk to the regimental commander. If he can't convince you--then go home and be a civilian! Because in that case you will certainly never make a soldier.
Robert A. Heinlein (Starship Troopers)
Surviving war is an excellent training process. If it weren't so brutal, I 'd recommend it as an excellent start-up course in life. I feel that over years of endurance, hard work and perseverance of determination and conviction, of claiming our rights to stay alive, to be free and to be ourselves, of fighting the biggest wars as much as the smaller ones, our will can indeed move mountains for us.
Joumana Haddad (I Killed Scheherazade: Confessions of an Angry Arab Woman)
Our schools will not improve if we continue to focus only on reading and mathematics while ignoring the other studies that are essential elements of a good education. Schools that expect nothing more of their students than mastery of basic skills will not produce graduates who are ready for college or the modern workplace. *** Our schools will not improve if we value only what tests measure. The tests we have now provide useful information about students' progress in reading and mathematics, but they cannot measure what matters most in education....What is tested may ultimately be less important that what is untested... *** Our schools will not improve if we continue to close neighborhood schools in the name of reform. Neighborhood schools are often the anchors of their communities, a steady presence that helps to cement the bond of community among neighbors. *** Our schools cannot improve if charter schools siphon away the most motivated students and their families in the poorest communities from the regular public schools. *** Our schools will not improve if we continue to drive away experienced principals and replace them with neophytes who have taken a leadership training course but have little or no experience as teachers. *** Our schools cannot be improved if we ignore the disadvantages associated with poverty that affect children's ability to learn. Children who have grown up in poverty need extra resources, including preschool and medical care.
Diane Ravitch (The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education)
There was once a lady who was arrogant and proud. Determined to attain enlightenment, she asked all the authorities how to go about it. She was told, "Well, if you climb to the top of this very high mountain, you'll find a cave there. Sitting inside that cave is a wise old woman. She will tell you." Having endured great hardships, the lady finally found this cave. Sure enough, sitting there was a gentle spiritual-looking old woman in white clothing, who smiled beatifically. Overcome with awe and respect, the lady prostrated at the feet of this woman and said, "I want to attain enlightenment. Show me how." This wise woman looked at her and asked sweetly, "Are you sure you want to attain enlightenment?" And the woman said, "Of course I'm sure." Whereupon the smiling woman turned into a demon, stood up brandishing a great big stick, and started chasing her, saying, "Now! Now! Now!" For the rest of her life, that lady could never get away from the demon who was always saying, Now! Now--that's the key. Mindfulness trains us to be awake and alive, fully curious, about now.
Pema Chödrön (Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion)
It was just regular growing up, of course, the kind everyone does - but it still hurt him, I know, like the memory I have of the time he dropped me off at the train station when I was going back to Chicago. I could see him through the window of the train, but he couldn't see me through the tinted glass. I waved, trying to get his attention as he walked up and down the platform trying to figure out where I was sitting. From up in the train, he looked so small. If he'd seen me, he would have smiled and waved, but he didn't know I could see him, and the sadness on his face was exposed to me then. He looked lost. He stood there on the platform a long time, even after my train started pulling away, still trying to catch a glimpse of me waving back.
Catherine Chung (Forgotten Country)
A child has a deep longing to discover that the World is based on Truth. Respect that longing. In our attempt to help children grow into Inspired Adults, we wish them to carry the Youthfulness of their Souls, and the Wonders of Childhood into their old age.' Conscious Parenting by Natasa Pantovic Nuit Quotes about kids and world based on truth
Nataša Pantović (Conscious Parenting: Mindful Living Course for Parents (AoL Mindfulness #5))
Now, remember: they're not for eating, but for listening, because you'll often be hungry for sounds as well as food. Here are street noises at night, train whistles from a long way off, dry leaves burning, busy department stores, crunching toast, creaking bed springs, and of course, all kinds of laughter. There's a little of each, and in far off, lonely places, I think you will be glad to have them.
Norton Juster (The Phantom Tollbooth)
At last, Sturmhond straightened the lapels of his teal frock coat and said, “Well, Brekker, it’s obvious you only deal in half-truths and outright lies, so you’re clearly the man for the job.” “There’s just one thing,” said Kaz, studying the privateer’s broken nose and ruddy hair. “Before we join hands and jump off a cliff together, I want to know exactly who I’m running with.” Sturmhond lifted a brow. “We haven’t been on a road trip or exchanged clothes, but I think our introductions were civilized enough.” “Who are you really, privateer?” “Is this an existential question?” “No proper thief talks the way you do.” “How narrow-minded of you.” “I know the look of a rich man’s son, and I don’t believe a king would send an ordinary privateer to handle business this sensitive.” “Ordinary,” scoffed Sturmhond. “Are you so schooled in politics?” “I know my way around a deal. Who are you? We get the truth or my crew walks.” “Are you so sure that would be possible, Brekker? I know your plans now. I’m accompanied by two of the world’s most legendary Grisha, and I’m not too bad in a fight either.” “And I’m the canal rat who brought Kuwei Yul-Bo out of the Ice Court alive. Let me know how you like your chances.” His crew didn’t have clothes or titles to rival the Ravkans, but Kaz knew where he’d put his money if he had any left. Sturmhond clasped his hands behind his back, and Kaz saw the barest shift in his demeanor. His eyes lost their bemused gleam and took on a surprising weight. No ordinary privateer at all. “Let us say,” said Sturmhond, gaze trained on the Ketterdam street below, “hypothetically, of course, that the Ravkan king has intelligence networks that reach deep within Kerch, Fjerda, and the Shu Han, and that he knows exactly how important Kuwei Yul-Bo could be to the future of his country. Let us say that king would trust no one to negotiate such matters but himself, but that he also knows just how dangerous it is to travel under his own name when his country is in turmoil, when he has no heir and the Lantsov succession is in no way secured.” “So hypothetically,” Kaz said, “you might be addressed as Your Highness.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
Toward the end of his second decade in the airport, Clark was thinking about how lucky he’d been. Not just the mere fact of survival, which was of course remarkable in and of itself, but to have seen one world end and another begin. And not just to have seen the remembered splendors of the former world, the space shuttles and the electrical grid and the amplified guitars, the computers that could be held in the palm of a hand and the high-speed trains between cities, but to have lived among those wonders for so long. To have dwelt in that spectacular world for fifty-one years of his life. Sometimes he lay awake in Concourse B of the Severn City Airport and thought, “I was there,” and the thought pierced him through with an admixture of sadness and exhilaration.
Emily St. John Mandel (Station Eleven)
Imagine that you are stuck on a long train ride and must choose one of two books to read in order to pass the time: the first is a novel whose main character is an office worker who is essentially working to pay his monthly cable bill; the second is about someone who decides to travel in South America (and of course encounters various setbacks in the process), but who pushes beyond the boundaries of conventional American life. Which... book would you pick up to read? Indeed, which of the two characters would you rather be?
Mark Thompson
Despite the sale of millions of copies of "How to.." books and programmes each year, very few people take actions and put what they learn into practice. Here´s why. The "how to..." book has usually been written by someone who accomplished something of value. They then capture the steps they took to accomplish it in book, training course, or multimedia programme. Innocently, they´re sharing the symptoms of their accomplishment, but not the causes. If the symptoms are like apples, the causes are the tree that grew them. When people buy "how to" books and programmes, they´re unknowingly trying to glue someone else´s apples onto their tree, without realizing an essential fact: it doesn´t work that way!
Jamie Smart (Clarity: Clear Mind, Better Performance, Bigger Results)
Selethen was names Hawk. Alyss had been given the title of Tsuru, or Crane. . .Evanlynn was Kitsune, the Nihon-Jan word for Fox . . .Halt strangly enough had been known only as Halto-san. . . But Will had been taken aback in his confrotation with Arisaka to discover that his name - Chocho - meant "butterfly". It seemed a highly unwarlike name to him- not at all glamorous.And he was puzzled to know why they had selected it. His friends,of course, were delighted in helping him guess the reason. "I assume its because you're such a snazzy dresser," Evanlynn said. "You Rangers are like a riot of color after all." Will glared at her and was mortified to hear Alyss snigger at the princess's sally. He'd thought Alyss, at least, might stick up for him. "I think it might be more to do with the way he raced around the the training ground, darting here and there to correct the way a man might be holding his sheidl then dashing off to show someone how to put theri body weight into their javelin cast," said Horace, a little more sympathetically. Then he ruined the effect by adding thoughtlessly, "I must say, your cloak did flutter around like a butterfly's wings." "It was neither of those things," Halt said finally, and they all turned to look at him. "I asked Shigeru," he explained. "He said that they had all noticed how Will's mind and imagination darts from one idea to another at such high speed," . . Will looked mollified. "Isuppose it's not too bad it you put it that way. It's just it does seem a bit . . girly." .... " I like my name Horace said a little smugly. "Black Bear. It describes my prodigous strength and my mighty prowess in battle." Alyss might have let him get away with it if it hadn't been for his tactless remark about Will's cloak flapping like a butterfly's wings. "Not quite," she said. "I asked Mikeru where the name came from. He said it described your prdogious appetite and your mighty prowess at the dinner table. It seems that when you were escaping through the mountains, Shigeru and his followers were worried you'd eat the supplies all by yourself." There was a general round of laughter. After a few seconds, Horace joined in.
John Flanagan (The Emperor of Nihon-Ja (Ranger's Apprentice, #10))
She needed Andrew Simpson Smith, it was that simple. And he had spent his life training to help people like her. Gods. "Okay, Andrew. But let's leave today. I'm in a hurry." "Of course. Today." He stroked the place where his slight beard was beginning to grow. "These ruins where your friends are waiting? Where are they?" Tally glances up at the sun, still low enough to indicate the eastern horizon. After a moment's calculation, she pointed off to the northwest, back toward the city and beyond that, the Rusty Ruins. "About a week's walk that way." "A week?" "That means seven days." "Yes, I know the gods' calendar," he said huffily. "But a whole week?" "Yeah. That's not so far, is it?" The hunters had been tireless on their march the night before. He shook his head, an awed expression on his face. "But that is beyond the edge of the world.
Scott Westerfeld (Pretties (Uglies, #2))
Do you train Fabrikators at the Little Palace?” asked Wylan. Jesper scowled. Why did he have to go and start that? “Of course. There’s a school on the palace grounds.” “What if a student were older?” said Wylan, still pushing. “A Grisha can be taught at any age,” said Genya. “Alina Starkov didn’t discover her power until she was seventeen years old, and she… she was one of the most powerful Grisha who ever lived.” Genya pushed at Wylan’s left nostril. “It’s easier when you’re younger, but so is everything. Children learn languages more easily. They learn mathematics more easily.” “And they’re unafraid,” said Wylan quietly. “It’s other people who teach them their limits.” Wylan’s eyes met Jesper’s over Genya’s shoulder, and as if he was challenging both Jesper and himself.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
Conscious Parenting on Children's Happiness and matrix of influences: 'We live surrounded by an increasingly complex matrix of impulses allowing strangers of all sorts (TV, media, Internet) interfere in our children’s mental, emotional and spiritual development. Understanding this intricate network and how does the human brain interacts with it is increasingly becoming our door to happiness and health.
Nataša Pantović (Conscious Parenting: Mindful Living Course for Parents (AoL Mindfulness #5))
Some people read for instruction, which is praiseworthy, and some for pleasure, which is innocent, but not a few read from habit, and I suppose that is neither innocent nor praiseworthy. Of that lamentable company am I. Conversation after a time bores me, games tire me, and my own thoughts, which we are told are the unfailing resource of a sensible man, have a tendency to run dry. Then I fly to my book as the opium-seeker to his pipe. I would sooner read the catalogue of the Army and Navy stores or Bradshaw's Guide than nothing at all, and indeed I have spent many delightful hours over both these works. At one time I never went out without a second-hand bookseller's list in my pocket. I know no reading more fruity. Of course to read in this way is as reprehensible as doping, and I never cease to wonder at the impertinence of great readers who, because they are such, look down on the illiterate. From the standpoint of what eternity is it better to have read a thousand books than to have ploughed a million furrows? Let us admit that reading with us is just a drug that we cannot do without — who of this band does not know the restlessness that attacks him when he has been severed from reading too long, the apprehension and irritability, and the sigh of relief which the sight of a printed page extracts from him? — and so let us be no more vainglorious than the poor slaves of the hypodermic needle or the pint-pot. And like the dope-fiend who cannot move from place to place without taking with him a plentiful supply of his deadly balm I never venture far without a sufficiency of reading matter. Books are so necessary to me that when in a railway train I have become aware that fellow-travellers have come away without a single one I have been seized with a veritable dismay. But when I am starting on a long journey the problem is formidable.
W. Somerset Maugham (Collected Short Stories: Volume 4)
But I have to do something, and at least this feels like action. All those plans I had—photography courses and cookery classes—when it comes down to it, they feel a bit pointless, as if I’m playing at real life instead of actually living it. I need to find something that I must do, something undeniable. I can’t do this, I can’t just be a wife. I don’t understand how anyone does it—there is literally nothing to do but wait. Wait for a man to come home and love you. Either that or look around for something to distract you.
Paula Hawkins (The Girl on the Train)
Shoes. I needed to get on my tennis shoes. I scrambled through my things on the floor and found them, shoving my feet in and tying the knots. Of course Kaidan Rowe would know what freesia smelled like. He probably had to take a flower course during lust training. “Going somewhere?” In my peripheral vision I saw him standing in the bathroom door. I wouldn't meet his eyes, afraid they'd be as stormy as they were after our kiss. I stood and looked at the clock. It was nine. “Yeah, I'm going for a run.” “Mind if I join you?” I huffed out a determined breath and looked at him now. “Only if you'll do something for me.” He raised his eyebrows in response. “Teach me to hide my colors.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
You okay?" he says, touching my cheek. His hand cradles the side of my head, his long fingers slipping through my hair. He smiles and holds my head in place as he kisses me. Heat spreads through me slowly.And fear, buzzing like an alarm in my chest. His lips still on mine,he pushes the jacket from my shoulders.I flinch when I hear it drop,and push him back,my eyes burning. I don't know why I feel this way. I didn't feel like this when he kissed me on the train.I press my palms to my face,covering my eyes. "What? What's wrong?" I shake my head. "Don't tell me it's nothing." His voice is cold.He grabs my arm. "Hey. Look at me." I take my hands from my face and lift my eyes to his.The hurt in his eyes and the anger in his clenched jaw surprise me. "Sometimes I wonder," I say,as calmly as I can, "what's in it for you. This...whatever it is." "What's in it for me," he repeats. He steps back,shaking his head. "You're an idiot,Tris." "I am not an idiot," I say. "Which is why I know that it's a little weird that,of all the girls you could have chosen,you chose me.So if you're just looking for...um,you know...that..." "What? Sex?" He scowls at me. "You know, if that was all I wanted, you probably wouldn't be the first person I would go to." I feel like he just punched me in the stomach. Of course I'm not the first person he would go to-not the first, not the prettiest,not desirable. I press my hands to my abdomen and look away, fighting off tears. I am not the crying type.Nor am I the yelling type. I blink a few times, lower my hands, and stare up at him. "I'm going to leave now," I say quietly. And I turn toward the door. "No,Tris." He grabs my wrist and wrenches me back. I push him away,hard, but he grabs my other wrist, holding our crossed arms between us. "I'm sorry I said that," he says. "What I meant was that you aren't like that. Which I knew when I met you." "You were an obstacle in my fear landscape." My lower lip wobbles. "Did you know that?" "What?" He releases my wrists, and the hurt look is back. "You're afraid of me?" "Not you," I say. I bite my lip to keep it still. "Being with you...with anyone. I've never been involved with someone before,and...you're older, and I don't know what your expectations are,and..." "Tris," he says sternly, "I don't know what delusion you're operating under,but this is all new to me, too." "Delusion?" I repeat. "You mean you haven't..." I raise my eyebrows. "Oh. Oh.I just assumed..." That because I am so absorbed by him, everyone else must be too. "Um. You know." "Well,you assumed wrong." He looks away. His cheeks are bright,like he's embarrassed. "You can tell me anything, you know," he says. He takes my face in his hands,his fingertips cold and his palms warm. "I am kinder than I seemed in training. I promise." I believe him.But this has nothing to do with his kindness. He kisses me between the eyebrows, and on the tip of my nose,and then carefully fits his mouth to mine. I am on edge.I have electricity coursing through my veins instead of blood. I want him to kiss me,I want him to; I am afraid of where it might go.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
Most schooling is training for stupidity and conformity, and that's institutional, but occasionally you get a spark, somebody'll challenge your mind, make you think and so on, and that has a tremendous effect you just reach all sorts of people. Of course if you do it you may very have problems, you have to tread the narrow line. There are plenty of people who don't want students to think, they're afraid of the crisis of democracy. If people start thinking you get all these problems that I quoted before. They won't have enough humility to submit to a civil rule or they'll start trying to press their demands in the political arena and have ideas of their own, instead of beleiving what they're told. And privelage and power typically doesn't want that and so they react and the high school teacher that tries to get students to think may find oppression, firing and so on.
Noam Chomsky
Annie held up her hand. “Oh, sorry. One more thing—” She turned to DuBois. “Martin, we have about fifteen minutes of personal time after this lesson and before our next training exercise. Want to meet up in the bathroom down the hall and have sex?” “I find that agreeable,” said DuBois. “Thank you, Dr. Shapiro.” “Okay, cool.” They both looked to me, ready for their lesson. I waited a few seconds to make sure there was no more oversharing, but they seemed content. “Okay, so the Krebs cycle in Astrophage has a variant—wait. Do you call her Dr. Shapiro while having sex?” “Of course. That’s her name.” “I kind of like it,” she said. “I’m sorry I asked,” I said. “Now,
Andy Weir (Project Hail Mary)
And, of course, that is what all of this is - all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs - that song, endlesly reincarnated - born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 - same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness.
Nick Tosches
it takes just as much training to get along with people. Only, training by yourself in the mountains won't do you any good. You need to surround yourself with others. As you get to know them, of course you take the chance that you'll end up hurting them, or they'll end up hurting you. One of those things might very well happen. That's the only way we learn... about others, and about ourselves. You're a black-belt in martial arts, but I'd guess you still a white-belt in social skills. Someday, you're going to meet someone that truly wants to be your friend, and you, theirs. But it if you don't keep training, you won't be ready when that happens." ~Shigure Sohma
Natsuki Takaya (Fruits Basket, Vol. 1)
In the words of Mr Thierry Coup of Warner Bros: 'We are taking the most iconic and powerful moments of the stories and putting them in an immersive environment. It is taking the theme park experience to a new level.' And of course I wish Thierry and his colleagues every possible luck, and I am sure it will be wonderful. But I cannot conceal my feelings; and the more I think of those millions of beaming kids waving their wands and scampering the Styrofoam turrets of Hogwartse_STmk, and the more I think of those millions of poor put-upon parents who must now pay to fly to Orlando and pay to buy wizard hats and wizard cloaks and wizard burgers washed down with wizard meade_STmk, the more I grind my teeth in jealous irritation. Because the fact is that Harry Potter is not American. He is British. Where is Diagon Alley, where they buy wands and stuff? It is in London, and if you want to get into the Ministry of Magic you disappear down a London telephone box. The train for Hogwarts goes from King's Cross, not Grand Central Station, and what is Harry Potter all about? It is about the ritual and intrigue and dorm-feast excitement of a British boarding school of a kind that you just don't find in America. Hogwarts is a place where children occasionally get cross with each other—not 'mad'—and where the situation is usually saved by a good old British sense of HUMOUR. WITH A U. RIGHT? NOT HUMOR. GOTTIT?
Boris Johnson
Her true heart, however, was buried so far inside her, so gone beneath the vast blanket of her lies and deceptions and whims. Like her jewels now beneath the snow, it lay hidden until some thaw might some to it. She had no way of knowing, of course, whether this heart she imagined herself to have was, in fact, real in any way. Perhaps it was like the soldier's severed arm that keeps throbbing for years, or like a broken bone that aches at the approach of a storm. Perhaps the heart she imagined was one she had never really had at all. But how did they do it, those women she saw on the street, laughing with their charming or their ill-tempered children in restaurants, in train stations, everywhere around her? Any why was she left out of the whole sentimental panorama she felt eddying around her every day of her life?
Robert Goolrick
Mindfulness works with continuous awareness of body, breath; feelings, thoughts, intentions. Our state of mind, our positive or negative attitude towards the world, is closely related to our experiences of happiness or suffering. Mindfulness is awareness of everything that is happening in the moment of 'Now'. Mindfulness is a self development technique that will change the focus of our mind towards happiness. Mindfulness is continuous undisturbed awareness of the present moment. Fully aware of here, and now, we pay attention to what is happening right in front of us, we set aside our mental and emotional baggage. To be mindful we have to re-train our mind.
Nataša Pantović (Mindful Being)
Burnout at its deepest level is not the result of some train wreck of examinations, long call shifts, or poor clinical evaluations. It is the sum total of hundreds and thousands of tiny betrayals of purpose, each one so minute that it hardly attracts notice. When a great ship steams across the ocean, even tiny ripples can accumulate over time, precipitating a dramatic shift in course. There are many Tertius Lydgates, male and female, inhabiting the lecture halls, laboratories, and clinics of today’s medical schools. Like latter-day Lydgates, many of them eventually find themselves expressing amazement and disgust at how far they have veered from their primary purpose.
Richard B. Gunderman
Right! Let's get on with it! All right... you... Will... have trained as apprentice to Ranger Halt of Redmont Fief these last five twelvemonths and blah blah blah and so on and so on. You've shown the necessary level of proficiency in the use of the weapons a Ranger uses- the longbow, the saxe knife, the throwing knife." He paused and glanced up Halt. "He has shown the proficiency, hasn't he? Of course he has," he went on, before Halt could answer. "Furthermore, you are a trusted officer in the service of the King and so on and so on and hi diddle diddle dee dee..." He glanced up again. "These forms really do carry on a bit, don't they? But I have to make a pretense of reading them. And so forth and so on and such like." He paused, nodded several times, then continued. "So basically..." He flicked a few more pages, found the one he was after and then continued, "You are in all ways ready to assume the position and authority of a fully operational Ranger in the Kingdom of Araluen. Correct?" He glanced up again, his eyebrows raised. Will realized he was waiting for an answer. "Correct," he said hastily, then in case that wasn't enough, he added, "Yes. I mean... I do... I am. Yes." "Well, good for you.
John Flanagan (Erak's Ransom (Ranger's Apprentice, #7))
He slid back again into his earlier position. "This getting up early," he thought, "makes a man quite idiotic. A man must have his sleep. Other travelling salesmen live like harem women. For instance, when I come back to the inn during the course of the morning to write up the necessary orders, these gentlemen are just sitting down to breakfast. If I were to try that with my boss, I'd be thrown out on the spot. Still, who knows whether that mightn't be really good for me? If I didn't hold back for my parents' sake, I'd have quit ages ago. I would've gone to the boss and told him just what I think from the bottom of my heart. He would've fallen right off his desk! How weird it is to sit up at that desk and talk down to the employee from way up there. The boss has trouble hearing, so the employee has to step up quite close to him. Anyway, I haven't completely given up that hope yet. Once I've got together the money to pay off my parents' debt to him—that should take another five or six years—I'll do it for sure. Then I'll make the big break. In any case, right now I have to get up. My train leaves at five o'clock
Franz Kafka (The Metamorphosis)
Magnolias don't look like that," Ignatius said, thrusting his cutlass at the offending pastel magnolia. "You ladies need a course in botany. And perhaps geometry, too." "You don't have to look at our work," an offended voice said from the group, the voice of the lady who had drawn the magnolia in question. "Yes, I do!" Ignatius screamed. "You ladies need a critic with some taste and decency. Good heavens! Which one of you did this camellia? Speak up. The water in this bowl looks like motor oil." "Let us alone," a shrill voice said. "You women had better stop giving teas and brunches and settle down to the bustiness of learning how to draw," Ignatius thundered. "First, you must learn how to handle a brush. I would suggest that you all get together and paint someone's house for a start." "Go away." "Had you 'artists' had a part in the decoration of the Sistine Chapel, it would have ended up looking like a particularly vulgar train terminal," Ignatius snorted.
John Kennedy Toole (A Confederacy of Dunces)
He nearly called you again last night. Can you imagine that, after all this time? He can. He imagines calling you or running into you by chance. Depending on the weather, he imagines you in one of those cotton dresses of yours with flowers on it or in faded blue jeans and a thick woollen button-up cardigan over a checkered shirt, drinking coffee from a mug, looking through your tortoiseshell glasses at a book of poetry while it rains. He thinks of you with your hair tied back and the characteristic sweet scent on your neck. He imagines you this way when he is on the train, in the supermarket, at his parents' house, at night, alone, and when he is with a woman. He is wrong, though. You didn't read poetry at all. He had wanted you to read poetry, but you didn't. If pressed, he confesses to an imprecise recollection of what it was you read and, anyway, it wasn't your reading that started this. It was the laughter, the carefree laughter, the three-dimensional Coca-Cola advertisement that you were, the try-anything-once friends, the imperviousness to all that came before you, the chain telephone calls, the in-jokes, the instant music, the sunlight you carried with you, the way he felt when you spoke to his parents, the introductory undergraduate courses, the inevitability of your success, the beach houses, ...
Elliot Perlman (Seven Types of Ambiguity)
How do people get to this clandestine Archipelago? Hour by hour planes fly there, ships steer their course there, and trains thunder off to it--but all with nary a mark on them to tell of their destination. And at ticket windows or at travel bureaus for Soviet or foreign tourists the employees would be astounded if you were to ask for a ticket to go there. They know nothing and they've never heard of the Archipelago as a whole or any one of its innumerable islands. Those who go to the Archipelago to administer it get there via the training schools of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Those who go there to be guards are conscripted via the military conscription centers. And those who, like you and me, dear reader, go there to die, must get there solely and compulsorily via arrest. Arrest! Need it be said that it is a breaking point in your life, a bolt of lightning which has scored a direct hit on you? That it is an unassimilable spiritual earthquake not every person can cope with, as a result of which people often slip into insanity? The Universe has as many different centers as there are living beings in it. Each of us is a center of the Universe, and that Universe is shattered when they hiss at you: "You are under arrest." If you are arrested, can anything else remain unshattered by this cataclysm? But the darkened mind is incapable of embracing these dis­placements in our universe, and both the most sophisticated and the veriest simpleton among us, drawing on all life's experience, can gasp out only: "Me? What for?" And this is a question which, though repeated millions and millions of times before, has yet to receive an answer. Arrest is an instantaneous, shattering thrust, expulsion, somer­sault from one state into another. We have been happily borne—or perhaps have unhappily dragged our weary way—down the long and crooked streets of our lives, past all kinds of walls and fences made of rotting wood, rammed earth, brick, concrete, iron railings. We have never given a thought to what lies behind them. We have never tried to pene­trate them with our vision or our understanding. But there is where the Gulag country begins, right next to us, two yards away from us. In addition, we have failed to notice an enormous num­ber of closely fitted, well-disguised doors and gates in these fences. All those gates were prepared for us, every last one! And all of a sudden the fateful gate swings quickly open, and four white male hands, unaccustomed to physical labor but none­theless strong and tenacious, grab us by the leg, arm, collar, cap, ear, and drag us in like a sack, and the gate behind us, the gate to our past life, is slammed shut once and for all. That's all there is to it! You are arrested! And you'll find nothing better to respond with than a lamblike bleat: "Me? What for?" That's what arrest is: it's a blinding flash and a blow which shifts the present instantly into the past and the impossible into omnipotent actuality. That's all. And neither for the first hour nor for the first day will you be able to grasp anything else.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation V-VII)
State philosophy reposes on a double identity: of the thinking subject, and of the concepts it creates and to which it lends its own presumed attributes of sameness and constancy. The subjects, its concepts, and also the objects in the world to which the concepts are applied have a shared, internal essence: the self-resemblance at the basis of identity. Representational thought is analogical; its concern is to establish a correspondence between these symmetrically structured domains. The faculty of judgment is the policeman of analogy, assuring that each of these terms is honestly itself, and that the proper correspondences obtain. In thought its end is truth, in action justice. The weapons it wields in their pursuit are limitive distribution (the determination of the exclusive set of properties possessed by each term in contradistinction to the others: logos, law) and hierarchical ranking (the measurement of the degree of perfection of a term’s self-resemblance in relation to a supreme standard, man, god, or gold: value, morality). The modus operandi is negation: x = x = not y. Identity, resemblance, truth, justice, and negation. The rational foundation for order. The established order, of course: philosophers have traditionally been employees of the State. The collusion between philosophy and the State was most explicitly enacted in the first decade of the nineteenth century with the foundation of the University of Berlin, which was to become the model of higher learning throughout Europe and in the United States. The goal laid out for it by Wilhelm von Humboldt (based on proposals by Fichte and Schleiermacher) was the ‘spiritual and moral training of the nation,’ to be achieved by ‘deriving everything from an original principle’ (truth), by ‘relating everything to an ideal’ (justice), and by ‘unifying this principle and this ideal to a single Idea’ (the State). The end product would be ‘a fully legitimated subject of knowledge and society’ – each mind an analogously organized mini-State morally unified in the supermind of the State. More insidious than the well-known practical cooperation between university and government (the burgeoning military funding of research) is its philosophical role in the propagation of the form of representational thinking itself, that ‘properly spiritual absolute State’ endlessly reproduced and disseminated at every level of the social fabric.
Gilles Deleuze (A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia)
The change will do you good,” she said simply, when he had finished; “and you must be sure to go and see Ellen,” she added, looking him straight in the eyes with her cloudless smile, and speaking in the tone she might have employed in urging him not to neglect some irksome family duty. It was the only word that passed between them on the subject; but in the code in which they had both been trained it meant: “Of course you understand that I know all that people have been saying about Ellen, and heartily sympathize with my family in their effort to get her to return to her husband. I also know that, for some reason you have not chosen to tell me, you have advised her against this course, which all the older men of the family, as well as our grandmother, agree in approving; and that it is owing to your encouragement that Ellen defies us all, and exposes herself to the kind of criticism of which Mr. Sillerton Jackson probably gave you this evening, the hint that has made you so irritable… Hints have indeed not been wanting; but since you appear unwilling to take them from others, I offer you this one myself, in the only form in which well-bred people of our kind can communicate unpleasant things to each other: by letting you understand that I know you mean to see Ellen when you are in Washington, and are perhaps going there expressly for that purpose; and that, since you are sure to see her, I wish you to do so with my full and explicit approval—and to take the opportunity of letting her know what the course of conduct you have encouraged her in is likely to lead to.” Her hand was still on the key of the lamp when the last word of this mute message reached him. She turned the wick down, lifted off the globe, and breathed on the sulky flame. “They smell less if one blows them out,” she explained, with her bright housekeeping air. On the threshold she turned and paused for his kiss.
Edith Wharton (The Age of Innocence)
A critical analysis of the present global constellation-one which offers no clear solution, no “practical” advice on what to do, and provides no light at the end of the tunnel, since one is well aware that this light might belong to a train crashing towards us-usually meets with reproach: “Do you mean we should do nothing? Just sit and wait?” One should gather the courage to answer: “YES, precisely that!” There are situations when the only true “practical” thing to do is to resist the temptation to engage immediately and to “wait and see” by means of a patient, critical analysis. Engagement seems to exert its pressure on us from all directions. In a well-known passage from his ‘Existentialism and Humanism’, Sartre deployed the dilemma of a young man in France in 1942, torn between the duty to help his lone, ill mother and the duty to enter the war and fight the Germans; Sartre’s point is, of course, that there is no a priori answer to this dilemma. The young man needs to make a decision grounded only in his own abyssal freedom and assume full responsibility for it. An obscene third way out of this dilemma would have been to advise the young man to tell his mother that he will join the Resistance, and to tell his Resistance friends that he will take care of his mother, while, in reality, withdrawing to a secluded place and studying. There is more than cheap cynicism in this advice. It brings to mind a well-known Soviet joke about Lenin. Under socialism; Lenin’s advice to young people, his answer to what they should do, was “Learn, learn, and learn.” This was evoked all the time and displayed on the school walls. The joke goes: Marx, Engels, and Lenin are asked whether they would prefer to have a wife or a mistress. As expected, Marx, rather conservative in private matters, answers, “A wife!” while Engels, more of a bon vivant, opts for a mistress. To everyone’s surprise, Lenin says, “I’d like to have both!” Why? Is there a hidden stripe of decadent jouisseur behind his austere revolutionary image? No-he explains: “So that I can tell my wife that I am going to my mistress and my mistress that I am going to my wife. . .” “And then, what do you do?” “I go to a solitary place to learn, learn, and learn!” Is this not exactly what Lenin did after the catastrophe in 1914? He withdrew to a lonely place in Switzerland, where he “learned, learned, and learned,” reading Hegel’s logic. And this is what we should do today when we find ourselves bombarded with mediatic images of violence. We need to “learn, learn, and learn” what causes this violence.
Slavoj Žižek (Violence: Six Sideways Reflections)
Richards remembered the day - that glorious and terrible day - watching the planes slam into the towers, the image repeated in endless loops. The fireballs, the bodies falling, the liquefaction of a billion tons of steel and concrete, the pillowing clouds of dust. The money shot of the new millennium, the ultimate reality show broadcast 24-7. Richards had been in Jakarta when it happened, he couldn't even remember why. He'd thought it right then; no, he'd felt it, right down to his bones. A pure, unflinching rightness. You had to give the military something to do of course, or they'd all just fucking shoot each other. But from that day forward, the old way of doing things was over. The war - the real war, the one that had been going on for a thousand years and would go on for a thousand thousand more - the war between Us and Them, between the Haves and the Have-Nots, between my gods and your gods, whoever you are - would be fought by men like Richards: men with faces you didn't notice and couldn't remember, dressed as busboys or cab drivers or mailmen, with silencers tucked up their sleeves. It would be fought by young mothers pushing ten pounds of C-4 in baby strollers and schoolgirls boarding subways with vials of sarin hidden in their Hello Kitty backpacks. It would be fought out of the beds of pickup trucks and blandly anonymous hotel rooms near airports and mountain caves near nothing at all; it would be waged on train platforms and cruise ships, in malls and movie theaters and mosques, in country and in city, in darkness and by day. It would be fought in the name of Allah or Kurdish nationalism or Jews for Jesus or the New York Yankees - the subjects hadn't changed, they never would, all coming down, after you'd boiled away the bullshit, to somebody's quarterly earnings report and who got to sit where - but now the war was everywhere, metastasizing like a million maniac cells run amok across the planet, and everyone was in it.
Justin Cronin (The Passage (The Passage, #1))
Man is made up of opposing characteristics. History demonstrates vividly the fact that it always moves in the worst possible direction. Either man is not capable of directing history, or else he does direct it, but only by pushing it down the most terrible, wrong path there is. There is not a single example to prove the opposite. People are not capable of governing others. They are only capable of destroying. And materialism—naked and cynical—is going to complete the destruction. Despite the fact that God lives in every soul, that every soul has the capacity to accumulate what is eternal and good, as a mass people can do nothing but destroy. For they have come together not in the name of an ideal, but simply for the sake of a material notion. Mankind has hurried to protect the body (perhaps on the strength of that natural and unconscious gesture which served as the beginning of what is called progress) and has given no thought to protecting the soul. The church (as opposed to religion) has not been able to do so. In the course of the history of civilization, the spiritual half of man has been separated further and further from the animal, the material, and now in an infinite expanse of darkness we can just make out, like the lights of a departing train, the other half of our being as it rushes away, irrevocably and for ever. Spirit and flesh, feeling and reason can never again be made one. It's too late. For the moment we are crippled by the appalling disease of spiritual deficiency; and the disease is fatal. Mankind has done everything possible to annihilate itself, starting with its own moral annihilation—physical death is merely the result. Everyone can be saved only if each saves himself.
Andrei Tarkovsky (Journal 1970-1986)
This story takes place a half a billion years ago-an inconceivably long time ago, when this planet would be all but recognizable to you. Nothing at all stirred on the land except the wind and the dust. Not a single blade of grass waved in the wind, not a single cricket chirped, not a single bird soared in the sky. All these things were tens of millions of years away in the future. But of course there was an anthropologist on hand. What sort of world would it be without an anthropologist? He was, however a very depressed and disillusioned anthropologist, for he'd been everywhere on the planet looking for someone to interview, and every tape in his knapsack was as blank as the sky. But one day as he was moping alongside the ocean he saw what seemed to be a living creature in the shallows off shore. It was nothing to brag about, just sort of a squishy blob, but it was the only prospect he'd seen in all his journeys, so he waded out to where it was bobbing in the waves. He greeted the creature politely and was greeted in kind, and soon the two of them were good friends. The anthropologist explained as well as he could that he was a student of life-styles and customs, and begged his new friend for information of this sort, which was readily forthcoming. ‘And now’, he said at last, ‘I'd like to get on tape in your own words some of the stories you tell among yourselves.’ ‘Stories?’ the other asked. ‘You know, like your creation myth, if you have one.’ ‘What is a creation myth?’ the creature asked. ‘Oh, you know,’ the anthropologist replied, ‘the fanciful tale you tell your children about the origins of the world.’ Well, at this, the creature drew itself up indignantly- at least as well as a squishy blob can do- and replied that his people had no such fanciful tale. ‘You have no account of creation then?’ ‘Certainly we have an account of creation,’ the other snapped. ‘But its definitely not a myth.’ ‘Oh certainly not,’ the anthropologist said, remembering his training at last. ‘Ill be terribly grateful if you share it with me.’ ‘Very well,’ the creature said. ‘But I want you to understand that, like you, we are a strictly rational people, who accept nothing that is not based on observation, logic, and scientific method.’ ‘"Of course, of course,’ the anthropologist agreed. So at last the creature began its story. ‘The universe,’ it said, ‘was born a long, long time ago, perhaps ten or fifteen billion years ago. Our own solar system-this star, this planet, and all the others- seem to have come into being some two or three billion years ago. For a long time, nothing whatever lived here. But then, after a billion years or so, life appeared.’ ‘Excuse me,’ the anthropologist said. ‘You say that life appeared. Where did that happen, according to your myth- I mean, according to your scientific account.’ The creature seemed baffled by the question and turned a pale lavender. ‘Do you mean in what precise spot?’ ‘No. I mean, did this happen on land or in the sea?’ ‘Land?’ the other asked. ‘What is land?’ ‘Oh, you know,’ he said, waving toward the shore, ‘the expanse of dirt and rocks that begins over there.’ The creature turned a deeper shade of lavender and said, ‘I cant imagine what you're gibbering about. The dirt and rocks over there are simply the lip of the vast bowl that holds the sea.’ ‘Oh yes,’ the anthropologist said, ‘I see what you mean. Quite. Go on.’ ‘Very well,’ the other said. ‘For many millions of centuries the life of the world was merely microorganisms floating helplessly in a chemical broth. But little by little, more complex forms appeared: single-celled creatures, slimes, algae, polyps, and so on.’ ‘But finally,’ the creature said, turning quite pink with pride as he came to the climax of his story, ‘but finally jellyfish appeared!
Daniel Quinn (Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit (Ishmael, #1))
He meditated resentfully on the physical texture of life. Had it always been like this? Had food always tasted like this? He looked round the canteen. A low-ceilinged, crowded room, its walls grimy from the contact of innumerable bodies; battered metal tables and chairs, placed so close together that you sat with elbows touching; bent spoons, dented trays, coarse white mugs; all surfaces greasy, grime in every crack; and a sourish, composite smell of bad gin and bad coffee and metallic stew and dirty clothes. Always in your stomach and in your skin there was a sort of protest, a feeling that you had been cheated of something that you had a right to. It was true that he had no memories of anything greatly different. In any time that he could accurately remember, there had never been quite enough to eat, one had never had socks or underclothes that were not full of holes, furniture had always been battered and rickety, rooms underheated, tube trains crowded, houses falling to pieces, bread dark-coloured, tea a rarity, coffee filthy-tasting, cigarettes insufficient -- nothing cheap and plentiful except synthetic gin. And though, of course, it grew worse as one's body aged, was it not a sign that this was not the natural order of things, if one's heart sickened at the discomfort and dirt and scarcity, the interminable winters, the stickiness of one's socks, the lifts that never worked, the cold water, the gritty soap, the cigarettes that came to pieces, the food with its strange evil tastes? Why should one feel it to be intolerable unless one had some kind of ancestral memory that things had once been different?
George Orwell (1984)
To him who in the love of Nature holds Communion with her visible forms, she speaks A various language; for his gayer hours She has a voice of gladness, and a smile And eloquence of beauty, and she glides Into his darker musings, with a mild And healing sympathy, that steals away Their sharpness, ere he is aware. When thoughts Of the last bitter hour come like a blight Over thy spirit, and sad images Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall, And breathless darkness, and the narrow house, Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at heart;— Go forth, under the open sky, and list To Nature’s teachings, while from all around— Earth and her waters, and the depths of air— Comes a still voice— Yet a few days, and thee The all-beholding sun shall see no more In all his course; nor yet in the cold ground, Where thy pale form was laid, with many tears, Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist Thy image. Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again, And, lost each human trace, surrendering up Thine individual being, shalt thou go To mix for ever with the elements, To be a brother to the insensible rock And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mould. Yet not to thine eternal resting-place Shalt thou retire alone, nor couldst thou wish Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down With patriarchs of the infant world—with kings, The powerful of the earth—the wise, the good, Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past, All in one mighty sepulchre. The hills Rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun,—the vales Stretching in pensive quietness between; The venerable woods—rivers that move In majesty, and the complaining brooks That make the meadows green; and, poured round all, Old Ocean’s gray and melancholy waste,— Are but the solemn decorations all Of the great tomb of man. The golden sun, The planets, all the infinite host of heaven, Are shining on the sad abodes of death, Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread The globe are but a handful to the tribes That slumber in its bosom.—Take the wings Of morning, pierce the Barcan wilderness, Or lose thyself in the continuous woods Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound, Save his own dashings—yet the dead are there: And millions in those solitudes, since first The flight of years began, have laid them down In their last sleep—the dead reign there alone. So shalt thou rest, and what if thou withdraw In silence from the living, and no friend Take note of thy departure? All that breathe Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care Plod on, and each one as before will chase His favorite phantom; yet all these shall leave Their mirth and their employments, and shall come And make their bed with thee. As the long train Of ages glide away, the sons of men, The youth in life’s green spring, and he who goes In the full strength of years, matron and maid, The speechless babe, and the gray-headed man— Shall one by one be gathered to thy side, By those, who in their turn shall follow them. So live, that when thy summons comes to join The innumerable caravan, which moves To that mysterious realm, where each shall take His chamber in the silent halls of death, Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night, Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave, Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.
William Cullen Bryant (Thanatopsis)
Traffic was in confusion for several days. For red to mean "stop' was considered impossibly counterrevolutionary. It should of course mean "go." And traffic should not keep to the right, as was the practice, it should be on the left. For a few days we ordered the traffic policemen aside and controlled the traffic ourselves. I was stationed at a street corner telling cyclists to ride on the left. In Chengdu there were not many cars or traffic lights, but at the few big crossroads there was chaos. In the end, the old rules reasserted themselves, owing to Zhou Enlai, who managed to convince the Peking Red Guard leaders. But the youngsters found justifications for this: I was told by a Red Guard in my school that in Britain traffic kept to the left, so ours had to keep to the right to show our anti-imperialist spirit. She did not mention America. As a child I had always shied away from collective activity. Now, at fourteen, I felt even more averse to it. I suppressed this dread because of the constant sense of guilt I had come to feel, through my education, when I was out of step with Mao. I kept telling myself that I must train my thoughts according to the new revolutionary theories and practices. If there was anything I did not understand, I must reform myself and adapt. However, I found myself trying very hard to avoid militant acts such as stopping passersby and cutting their long hair, or narrow trouser legs, or skirts, or breaking their semi-high-heeled shoes. These things had now become signs of bourgeois decadence, according to the Peking Red Guards. My own hair came to the critical attention of my schoolmates. I had to have it cut to the level of my earlobes. Secretly, though much ashamed of myself for being so "petty bourgeois," I shed tears over losing my long plaits. As a young child, my nurse had a way of doing my hair which made it stand up on top of my head like a willow branch. She called it "fireworks shooting up to the sky." Until the early 1960s I wore my hair in two coils, with rings of little silk flowers wound around them. In the mornings, while I hurried through my breakfast, my grandmother or our maid would be doing my hair with loving hands. Of all the colors for the silk flowers, my favorite was pink.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
In my travels on the surface, I once met a man who wore his religious beliefs like a badge of honor upon the sleeves of his tunic. "I am a Gondsman!" he proudly told me as we sat beside eachother at a tavern bar, I sipping my wind, and he, I fear, partaking a bit too much of his more potent drink. He went on to explain the premise of his religion, his very reason for being, that all things were based in science, in mechanics and in discovery. He even asked if he could take a piece of my flesh, that he might study it to determine why the skin of the drow elf is black. "What element is missing," he wondered, "that makes your race different from your surface kin?" I think that the Gondsman honestly believed his claim that if he could merely find the various elements that comprised the drow skin, he might affect a change in that pigmentation to make the dark elves more akin to their surface relatives. And, given his devotion, almost fanaticism, it seemed to me as if he felt he could affect a change in more than physical appearance. Because, in his view of the world, all things could be so explained and corrected. How could i even begin to enlighten him to the complexity? How could i show him the variations between drow and surface elf in the very view of the world resulting from eons of walking widely disparate roads? To a Gondsman fanatic, everything can be broken down, taken apart and put back together. Even a wizard's magic might be no more than a way of conveying universal energies - and that, too, might one day be replicated. My Gondsman companion promised me that he and his fellow inventor priests would one day replicate every spell in any wizard's repertoire, using natural elements in the proper combinations. But there was no mention of the discipline any wizard must attain as he perfects his craft. There was no mention of the fact that powerful wizardly magic is not given to anyone, but rather, is earned, day by day, year by year and decade by decade. It is a lifelong pursuit with gradual increase in power, as mystical as it is secular. So it is with the warrior. The Gondsman spoke of some weapon called an arquebus, a tubular missile thrower with many times the power of the strongest crossbow. Such a weapon strikes terror into the heart of the true warrior, and not because he fears that he will fall victim to it, or even that he fears it will one day replace him. Such weapons offend because the true warrior understands that while one is learning how to use a sword, one should also be learning why and when to use a sword. To grant the power of a weapon master to anyone at all, without effort, without training and proof that the lessons have taken hold, is to deny the responsibility that comes with such power. Of course, there are wizards and warriors who perfect their craft without learning the level of emotional discipline to accompany it, and certainly there are those who attain great prowess in either profession to the detriment of all the world - Artemis Entreri seems a perfect example - but these individuals are, thankfully, rare, and mostly because their emotional lacking will be revealed early in their careers, and it often brings about a fairly abrupt downfall. But if the Gondsman has his way, if his errant view of paradise should come to fruition, then all the years of training will mean little. Any fool could pick up an arquebus or some other powerful weapon and summarily destroy a skilled warrior. Or any child could utilize a Gondsman's magic machine and replicate a firebal, perhaps, and burn down half a city. When I pointed out some of my fears to the Gondsman, he seemed shocked - not at the devastating possibilities, but rather, at my, as he put it, arrogance. "The inventions of the priests of Gond will make all equal!" he declared. "We will lift up the lowly peasant
R.A. Salvatore (Streams of Silver (Forgotten Realms: Icewind Dale, #2; Legend of Drizzt, #5))
FatherMichael has entered the room Wildflower: Ah don’t tell me you’re through a divorce yourself Father? SureOne: Don’t be silly Wildflower, have a bit of respect! He’s here for the ceremony. Wildflower: I know that. I was just trying to lighten the atmosphere. FatherMichael: So have the loving couple arrived yet? SureOne: No but it’s customary for the bride to be late. FatherMichael: Well is the groom here? SingleSam has entered the room Wildflower: Here he is now. Hello there SingleSam. I think this is the first time ever that both the bride and groom will have to change their names. SingleSam: Hello all. Buttercup: Where’s the bride? LonelyLady: Probably fixing her makeup. Wildflower: Oh don’t be silly. No one can even see her. LonelyLady: SingleSam can see her. SureOne: She’s not doing her makeup; she’s supposed to keep the groom waiting. SingleSam: No she’s right here on the laptop beside me. She’s just having problems with her password logging in. SureOne: Doomed from the start. Divorced_1 has entered the room Wildflower: Wahoo! Here comes the bride, all dressed in . . . SingleSam: Black. Wildflower: How charming. Buttercup: She’s right to wear black. Divorced_1: What’s wrong with misery guts today? LonelyLady: She found a letter from Alex that was written 12 years ago proclaiming his love for her and she doesn’t know what to do. Divorced_1: Here’s a word of advice. Get over it, he’s married. Now let’s focus the attention on me for a change. SoOverHim has entered the room FatherMichael: OK let’s begin. We are gathered here online today to witness the marriage of SingleSam (soon to be “Sam”) and Divorced_1 (soon to be “Married_1”). SoOverHim: WHAT?? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE? THIS IS A MARRIAGE CEREMONY IN A DIVORCED PEOPLE CHAT ROOM?? Wildflower: Uh-oh, looks like we got ourselves a gate crasher here. Excuse me can we see your wedding invite please? Divorced_1: Ha ha. SoOverHim: YOU THINK THIS IS FUNNY? YOU PEOPLE MAKE ME SICK, COMING IN HERE AND TRYING TO UPSET OTHERS WHO ARE GENUINELY TROUBLED. Buttercup: Oh we are genuinely troubled alright. And could you please STOP SHOUTING. LonelyLady: You see SoOverHim, this is where SingleSam and Divorced_1 met for the first time. SoOverHim: OH I HAVE SEEN IT ALL NOW! Buttercup: Sshh! SoOverHim: Sorry. Mind if I stick around? Divorced_1: Sure grab a pew; just don’t trip over my train. Wildflower: Ha ha. FatherMichael: OK we should get on with this; I don’t want to be late for my 2 o’clock. First I have to ask, is there anyone in here who thinks there is any reason why these two should not be married? LonelyLady: Yes. SureOne: I could give more than one reason. Buttercup: Hell yes. SoOverHim: DON’T DO IT! FatherMichael: Well I’m afraid this has put me in a very tricky predicament. Divorced_1: Father we are in a divorced chat room, of course they all object to marriage. Can we get on with it? FatherMichael: Certainly. Do you Sam take Penelope to be your lawful wedded wife? SingleSam: I do. FatherMichael: Do you Penelope take Sam to be your lawful wedded husband? Divorced_1: I do (yeah, yeah my name is Penelope). FatherMichael: You have already e-mailed your vows to me so by the online power vested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride. Now if the witnesses could click on the icon to the right of the screen they will find a form to type their names, addresses, and phone numbers. Once that’s filled in just e-mail it off to me. I’ll be off now. Congratulations again. FatherMichael has left the room Wildflower: Congrats Sam and Penelope! Divorced_1: Thanks girls for being here. SoOverHim: Freaks. SoOverHim has left the room
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
Laden with all these new possessions, I go and sit at a table. And don't ask me what the table was like because this was some time ago and I can't remember. It was probably round." [...] "So let me give you the layout. Me sitting at the table, on my left, the newspaper, on my right, the cup of coffee, in the middle of the table, the packet of biscuits." "I see it perfectly." "What you don't see," said Arthur, "because I haven't mentioned him yet, is the guy sitting at the table already. He is sitting there opposite me." "What's he like?" "Perfectly ordinary. Briefcase. Business suit. He didn't look," said Arthur, "as if he was about to do anything weird." "Ah. I know the type. What did he do?" "He did this. He leaned across the table, picked up the packet of biscuits, tore it open, took one out, and . . ." "What?" "Ate it." "What?" "He ate it." Fenchurch looked at him in astonishment. "What on earth did you do?" "Well, in the circumstances I did what any red-blooded Englishman would do. I was compelled," said Arthur, "to ignore it." "What? Why?" "Well, it's not the sort of thing you're trained for, is it? I searched my soul, and discovered that there was nothing anywhere in my upbringing, experience, or even primal instincts to tell me how to react to someone who has quite simply, calmly, sitting right there in front of me, stolen one of my biscuits." "Well, you could. . ." Fenchurch thought about it. "I must say I'm not sure what I would have done either. So what happened?" "I stared furiously at the crossword," said Arthur, "couldn't do a single clue, took a sip of coffee, it was too hot to drink, so there was nothing for it. I braced myself. I took a biscuit, trying very hard not to notice," he added, "that the packet was already mysteriously open. . ." "But you're fighting back, taking a tough line." "After my fashion, yes. I ate the biscuit. I ate it very deliberately and visibly, so that he would have no doubt as to what it was I was doing. When I eat a biscuit," said Arthur, "it stays eaten." "So what did he do?" "Took another one. Honestly," insisted Arthur, "this is exactly what happened. He took another biscuit, he ate it. Clear as daylight. Certain as we are sitting on the ground." Fenchurch stirred uncomfortably. "And the problem was," said Arthur, "that having not said anything the first time, it was somehow even more difficult to broach the subject the second time around. What do you say? 'Excuse me... I couldn't help noticing, er . . .' Doesn't work. No, I ignored it with, if anything, even more vigor than previously." "My man..." "Stared at the crossword again, still couldn't budge a bit of it, so showing some of the spirit that Henry V did on St. Crispin's Day . ." "What?" "I went into the breach again. I took," said Arthur, "another biscuit. And for an instant our eyes met." "Like this?" "Yes, well, no, not quite like that. But they met. Just for an instant. And we both looked away. But I am here to tell you," said Arthur, "that there was a little electricity in the air. There was a little tension building up over the table. At about this time." "I can imagine."” "We went through the whole packet like this. Him, me, him, me . . ." "The whole packet?" "Well, it was only eight biscuits, but it seemed like a lifetime of biscuits we were getting through at this point. Gladiators could hardly have had a tougher time." "Gladiators," said Fenchurch, "would have had to do it in the sun. More physically gruelling." "There is that. So. When the empty packet was lying dead between us the man at last got up, having done his worst, and left. I heaved a sigh of relief, of course. "As it happened, my train was announced a moment or two later, so I finished my coffee, stood up, picked up the newspaper, and underneath the newspaper . . ." "Yes?" "Were my biscuits." "What?" said Fenchurch. "What?" "True." "No!
Douglas Adams (So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #4))
In every interview I’m asked what’s the most important quality a novelist has to have. It’s pretty obvious: talent. Now matter how much enthusiasm and effort you put into writing, if you totally lack literary talent you can forget about being a novelist. This is more of a prerequisite than a necessary quality. If you don’t have any fuel, even the best car won’t run.The problem with talent, though, is that in most cases the person involved can’t control its amount or quality. You might find the amount isn’t enough and you want to increase it, or you might try to be frugal and make it last longer, but in neither case do things work out that easily. Talent has a mind of its own and wells up when it wants to, and once it dries up, that’s it. Of course, certain poets and rock singers whose genius went out in a blaze of glory—people like Schubert and Mozart, whose dramatic early deaths turned them into legends—have a certain appeal, but for the vast majority of us this isn’t the model we follow. If I’m asked what the next most important quality is for a novelist, that’s easy too: focus—the ability to concentrate all your limited talents on whatever’s critical at the moment. Without that you can’t accomplish anything of value, while, if you can focus effectively, you’ll be able to compensate for an erratic talent or even a shortage of it. I generally concentrate on work for three or four hours every morning. I sit at my desk and focus totally on what I’m writing. I don’t see anything else, I don’t think about anything else. … After focus, the next most important thing for a novelist is, hands down, endurance. If you concentrate on writing three or four hours a day and feel tired after a week of this, you’re not going to be able to write a long work. What’s needed of the writer of fiction—at least one who hopes to write a novel—is the energy to focus every day for half a year, or a year, or two years. … Fortunately, these two disciplines—focus and endurance—are different from talent, since they can be acquired and sharpened through training. You’ll naturally learn both concentration and endurance when you sit down every day at your desk and train yourself to focus on one point. This is a lot like the training of muscles I wrote of a moment ago. You have to continually transmit the object of your focus to your entire body, and make sure it thoroughly assimilates the information necessary for you to write every single day and concentrate on the work at hand. And gradually you’ll expand the limits of what you’re able to do. Almost imperceptibly you’ll make the bar rise. This involves the same process as jogging every day to strengthen your muscles and develop a runner’s physique. Add a stimulus and keep it up. And repeat. Patience is a must in this process, but I guarantee results will come. In private correspondence the great mystery writer Raymond Chandler once confessed that even if he didn’t write anything, he made sure he sat down at his desk every single day and concentrated. I understand the purpose behind his doing this. This is the way Chandler gave himself the physical stamina a professional writer needs, quietly strengthening his willpower. This sort of daily training was indispensable to him. … Most of what I know about writing I’ve learned through running every day. These are practical, physical lessons. How much can I push myself? How much rest is appropriate—and how much is too much? How far can I take something and still keep it decent and consistent? When does it become narrow-minded and inflexible? How much should I be aware of the world outside, and how much should I focus on my inner world? To what extent should I be confident in my abilities, and when should I start doubting myself? I know that if I hadn’t become a long-distance runner when I became a novelist, my work would have been vastly different. How different? Hard to say. But something would definitely have been different.
Haruki Murakami (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)