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View Diary: Books That Changed My Life - How lust, Steppenwolf, and hunger got me into college (83 comments)

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  •  You're absolutely right (4+ / 0-)

    I was terrified. I figured I had a 50/50 chance that anything I thought would be a cliche or wrong.

    The journey through graduate school helped me realize that the conversation has been going on for thousands of years, and there isn't really a first word. (I used to try to find out who "first said" particular things, and reference books would disagree. I would inevitably find prior examples than the earliest. ("We are dwarves standing on the shoulders of giants," for example, comes, in English, in print, from William Temple's "Essay on Ancient and Modern Learning," but it had been said earlier in French. The earliest French source seems to be at the time of Charlemagne and attributed to him. Then there is a Latin version before, then....))

    Classes and textbooks are about context, in my opinion, whether the context is "how to use it" or "how to develop it" or "how to understand it in a conversation," which is why we autodidacts want the classes and the books. Just don't insult your genius. Be proud of the energy it takes and the commitment you've shown to learn on your own. Never doubt that.

    "man, proud man,/ Drest in a little brief authority,. . . Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven/ As make the angels weep; who, with our spleens,/ Would all themselves laugh mortal." -- Shakespeare, Measure for Measure II ii, 117-23

    by The Geogre on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 06:56:53 PM PDT

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