Saturday, August 11, 2007

Words of wisdom for the college-bound

Well, it's going to be sunny and 85 in Toledo today and tomorrow the same with only a 30% chance of a thunderstorm in the afternoon.

(One of the things that I've noticed about the weather forecasts is that they only mention the 'chance' of rain, if it's estimated to be 30% or more...and they estimate percentages by increments of 10. So if it's only a 20% chance of rain, it doesn't make it into the forecast.)

And considering the numerous days we didn't get rain when there was a 30%chance of it, I'm expecting a beautiful weekend!

And why, you may be wondering, do I find the weather for this particular weekend worthy of a blog post? It's because of my niece, Ashley, who is having her graduation/off-to-college party today...and I'm so very glad she'll have a good day for it.

In many ways, Ashley is a typical teenager - her favorite music, the things she likes to do, the clothes she likes to wear, her penchant for sarcasm. But in many ways, she is not. She strikes me as more thoughtful of others and more patient than many of her contemporaries, except - of course - when it comes to her brother. :)

Ashley loves to read - everything! She enjoys Harry Potter as much her uncle and grandmother, but she also likes the classics and books many would look at and ask "why are you reading that?" She is inquisitive and courageous (try something new? sure!) But blessed with sound judgment so she doesn't take unnecessary risks.

I think these traits will serve her well in college.

Many families are sending their children off to college at this time of the year. They won't be "children" by the time they come home for winter break. So in honor of the incoming freshmen (anxious to be out on their own) and their families (anxious about everything else), both filled with excitement and fear, and especially to Ashley, I offer the following quotations for reflection as you embark upon this next stage:

The college undergraduate is a lot of things--many of them as familiar, predictable and responsible as the bounce of a basketball, and others as startling (and occasionally disastrous) as the bounce of a football.
- John Sloan Dickey

You can lead a boy to college, but you can't make him think.
- Elbert Hubbard

The purpose of the university is to make students safe for ideas -- not ideas safe for students.
- Clark Kerr

A college education is not a quantitative body of knowledge salted away in a card file. It is a taste for knowledge, a taste for philosophy, if you will; a capacity to explore, to question, to perceive relationships, between fields of knowledge and experience.
- A. Whitney Griswold

I have never let schooling interfere with my education.- Mark Twain

I learned three important things in college - to use a library, to memorize quickly and visually, to drop asleep at any time given a horizontal surface and fifteen minutes.
~Agnes DeMille, Dance to the Piper, 1952

The things taught in schools and colleges are not an education, but the means to an education.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing worth knowing can be taught.
~Oscar Wilde, "The Critic as Artist," 1890

Where we love is home,
Home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.

~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., Homesick in Heaven

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You're on your own.
And you know what you know.
You are the guy who'll decide where to go.

~Dr. Seuss

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