I want to sit on the other side so I can look out the window. I've already seen everything on my side of the bus. Student whose school system mandates boys and girls must sit on opposite sides of a school bus, 1997
I mean, I think everybody in the world, all the young people in the world, went to journalism school and wanted to investigate everything. And I think they overdid it. I think that you have to investigate things, you have to e skeptical, but you shouldn't be vengeful. You have to be fair and you have to be careful.
You're aware the boy failed my grade school math class, I take it? And not that many years later he's teaching college. Now I ask you: Is that the sorriest indictment of the American educational system you ever heard? [pauses to light cigarette.] No aptitude at all for long division, but never mind. It's him they ask to split the atom. How he talked his way into the Nobel prize is beyond me. But then, I suppose it's like the man says, It's not what you know . . .
More mony is put into prisons than into schools. That, in itself, is the description of a nation bent on suicide. I mean, what is more precious to us than our own children? We are going to build alot more prisons if we do not deal with the schools and their inequalities.
The most important moral of all is that excellence is where you find it. I would extend this generalization to cover not just higher education but all education from vocational high school to graduate school. We must learn to honor excellence, indeed to demand it in every socially accepted human activity, however humble that activity, and to scorn shoddiness, however exalted the activity. An excellent plumber is infinitely more admirable than an incompetent philosopher. The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because philosophy is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.
It is our American habit if we find the foundations of our educational structure unsatisfactory to add another story or wing. We find it easier to add a new study or course or kind of school than to recognize existing conditions so as to meet the need.