That is the way to learn the most, that when you are doing something with such enjoyment that you don’t notice that the time passes. I am sometimes so wrapped up in my work that I forget about the noon meal.
I realized early on that the academy and the literary world alike – and I don’t think there really is a distinction between the two – are always dominated by tools, knaves, charlatans and bureaucrats. And that being the case, any human being, male or female, of whatever status, who has a voice of her or his own, is not going to be Liked.
If you complain of neglect of education in sons, what shall I say with regard to daughters…I most sincerely wish…that our new Constitution may be distinguished for encouraging learning and virtue. If we mean to have heroes, statesmen, and philosophers, we should have learned women.
Learning is not to be tacked to the mind, but we must fuse and blend them together, not merely giving the mind a slight tincture, but a thorough and perfect dye. And if we perceive no evident change and improvement, it would be better to leave it alone: learning is a dangerous weapon, and apt to wound its master if it be wielded by a feeble hand, and by one not well acquainted with its use.
It is certain that a serious attention to the sciences and liberal arts softens and humanizes the temper, and cherishes those fine emotions in which true virtue and honor consist. It rarely, very rarely happens that a man of taste and learning is not, at least, an honest man, whatever frailties may attend him.
The best educators are the ones that inspire their students. That inspiration comes from a passion that teachers have for the subject they’re teaching. Most commonly, that person spent their lives studying that subject, and they bring an infectious enthusiasm to the audience. I think many people have that enthusiasm, but they are prevented from being teachers because they didn’t go through the teacher mill. Now you have teachers who have been through the teacher mill, yet they have no capacity to inspire anyone at all. It’s the inspired student that continues to learn on their own. That’s what separates the real achievers in the world from those who pedal along, finishing assignments.
Knowledge is indivisible. When people grow wise in one direction, they are sure to make it easier for themselves to grow wise in other directions as well. On the other hand, when they split up knowledge, concentrate on their own field, and scorn and ignore other fields, they grow less wise — even in their own field.