Words That Inspired & Guided

“As a dramatic writer throws himself successfully into the characters of the drama he is composing that he may express the ideas and emotions peculiar to each, so the mind of a teacher should migrate, as it were, into those of his pupils to discover what they know and feel and need; and, then, supplying from his own stock what they require, he should reduce it to such a form and bring it within such a distance that they can reach out and seize and appropriate it.”  - Horace Mann

“The words of my book nothing, the drift of them everything.” -Walt Whitman

"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
- Samuel Beckett

"Please forgive me if I do talk to the clouds." - Henry David Thoreau,  

"Dazzling and tremendous, how quick the sun-rise would kill me, If I could not now and always send sun-rise out of me."          - Walt Whitman

'You may be done with the past, but the past ain't done with you."
                       - Paul Thomas Anderson, Magnolia

The truth is great, and shall prevail, when none cares whether it prevail or not.”
                                                                                                               - Coventry Patmore

“What does education often do! – it makes a straight cut ditch out of a meandering brook.” - Henry David Thoreau, Journal, October 31, 1850

“I would make education a pleasant thing both to the teacher and scholar…We should seek to be fellow students with the pupil, and should learn of, as well as with him, if we would be most helpful to him.”
- Henry David Thoreau, Letter to Orestes Brownson

“When any real progress is made, we unlearn and learn anew, what we thought we knew before.” - Henry David Thoreau, Journal, December 31, 1838

“When any real progress is made, we unlearn and learn anew, what we thought we knew before.”- Henry David Thoreau, Journal, December 31, 1838

“We boast of our system of education, but why stop at schoolmasters and schoolhouses? We are all schoolmasters, and our schoolhouse is the universe. To attend chiefly to the desk or schoolhouse while we neglect the scenery in which it is placed is absurd. If we do not look out we shall find our fine schoolhouse standing in a cow-yard at last.  - Henry David Thoreau, Journal, Oct. 15, 1859

"How vain to try to teach youth or anybody truths! They can only learn them after their own fashion when they are ready. I do not mean by this to condemn our system of education, but to show what it amounts to. A hundred boys are drilled in physics and metaphysics, language, etc. They get a valuable drilling to be sure, but they do not learn what you profess to teach. They at most learn where the arsenal is should they ever want to use any of the weapons. The young men being young, necessarily listen to the lecturer in history, just as they do to the singing of the birds. They expect to be affected by something he may say. It is a kind of poetic pabulum and imagery they get. Nothing comes quite amiss to their mill." - Henry David Thoreau, Journal, Dec. 31, 1859

“Unless you feel a thing, you can never guess its meaning.”
- attributed to Emma Goldman

“You go to school at the age of twelve or thirteen; and for the next four or five years you are not engaged so much in acquiring knowledge as in making mental efforts under criticism. A certain amount of knowledge you can indeed with average faculties acquire so as to retain; nor need you regret the hours that you spent on much that is forgotten, for the shadow of lost knowledge at least protects you from lost illusions. But you go to a great school, not for knowledge so much as for arts and habits; for the habit of attention, for the art of expression, for the art of assuming at a moment’s notice a new intellectual posture, for the art of entering quickly into another person’s thoughts, for the habit of submitting to censure and refutation, for the art of indicating assent or dissent in graduated terms, for the habit of regarding minute points of accuracy, for the habit of working out what is possible, in a given time, for taste, for discrimination, for mental courage and mental soberness. Above all, you go to a great school for self-knowledge.”
- William Johnson Cory, A Great Eton Master, 1861

The Past is never dead, it’s not even past.  - William Faulkner

“Memory is the answer, perhaps the only answer.” - Elie Wiesel

“The Past - the dark unfathomed retrospect! The teeming gulf -the sleepers and the shadows! The past! the infinite greatness of the past! For what is the present after all but a growth out of the past?”  - Walt Whitman

 “I was a wretched history student. History classes were like visits to the waxworks or the Region of the Dead. The past was lifeless, hollow, dumb. They taught us about the past so that we should resign ourselves with drained consciences to the present: not to make history, which was already made, but to accept it. Poor history had stopped breathing: betrayed in academic texts, lied about in classrooms, drowned in dates, they had imprisoned her in museums, and buried her, with floral wreaths, beneath statuary bronze and monumental marble.” – Eduardo Galeano

“History is a flea market, a jumble shop. What comes down to us from the past? A slice of hardtack, a shard of bell, a few grains of barley. A jumble, suspended in a now invisible web of family and circumstance, sin and sacrifice. Of all the objects that ever were, we have these. Of all the Sundays that were, we have a scrap of bell, a few pew cushions, and a chart showing where the families sat.”
– Howard Mansfield, “In the Memory House”

 “Consider what stuff history is made of,--that for the most part it is merely a story agreed on by posterity . . . I believe that, if I were to live the life of mankind over again myself, (which I would not be hired to do,) with the Universal History in my hands, I should not be able to tell what was what.”
- Henry David Thoreau, “A Week On The Concord & Merrimac”

“The Past -- the dark unfathomed retrospect! The teeming gulf --the sleepers and the shadows! The past! the infinite greatness of the past! For what is the present after all but a growth out of the past?”  - Walt Whitman

“We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are.” -Talmud