Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"Liberal Education" Thomas Huxley

Back when I was in high school, my junior year English teacher required that all students memorize and recite before their classmates 3 "short" pieces "The Prologue to the Canterbury Tales" (in the Old English), one of Shakespeare's sonnets, and the first paragraph of Thomas Huxley's "Liberal Education".

I wonder how many of today's students could memorize just one of these.

Not from memory, but worth repeating.

"That man, I think, has had a liberal education who has been so trained in youth that his body is the ready servant of his will, and does with ease and pleasure all the work that, as a mechanism, it is capable of; whose intellect is a clear, cold, logic machine, with all its parts of equal strength, and in smooth working order; ready, like a steam engine, to be turned to any kind of work, and spin the gossamers as well as forge the anchors of the mind; whose mind is stored with a knowledge of the great and fundamental truths of Nature and the laws of her operations; one who, no stunted ascetic, is full of life and fire, but whose passions are trained to come to heel by a vigorous will, the servant of a tender conscience; who has learned to love all beauty , whether of Nature or of art, to hate all vileness, and to respect others as himself."

I think of my teacher, Mr Humphries, frequently, and offer a silent prayer of thanks to this great teacher, for all that he taught his students, and that he required that we work hard to become better folks. Mr. Humphries, Thank You.

Hope you have a good day!

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