As first-year medical-school students at Wayne State University in Detroit, we were instructed to forsake the competitiveness that dominated our undergraduate studies. The faculty urged us to do our best and to forget about class rankings.
However, this message did not sink in until one instructor asked what people call the person who graduates at the bottom of his or her medical-school class. No one knew. The professor smiled and said, "Doctor."
—Contributed by Ronald L. Fong
During a phone conversation with my daughter Carolleigh, a freshman at the University of Georgia, I asked how she was enjoying college life. Her response was a detailed description of fraternity parties, sorority functions, terrific football games and off-campus club activities.
I quickly told her that too much partying could lead to flunking out and that she had better hit the books. "Mother," she replied in that tone only a daughter can achieve, "do you really think I'd flunk out and miss all
this fun ? " —Contributed by Lestt Smith
James D. Newton/
There is a story—whether true or myth, it is characteristic of him—that when Thomas Edison was working on improving his first light bulb, he handed a finished bulb to a young helper, who nervously carried it upstairs, step by step. At the last moment, the boy dropped it. The whole team had to work another 24 hours to make another bulb. Edison looked around, then handed it to the same boy. The gesture probably changed the boy's life. Edison knew that more than the bulb was at stake.
—Uncommon Friends (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich)
Church services have this wonderful element: people with other things to do get up on a Sunday morning, put on good clothes, and assemble out of nothing but faith-some vague yen toward something larger. Simply as a human gathering I find it moving, reassuring and even inspiring.
I need a dose of church now and then. I need some sort of other-worldly point of reference. A church is a litde like a novel: both are saying there's something very important about being human.
—Alvin P. Sanoffin U.S, News & World Report
My father, a native New Englander, did his best to instill Yankee thrift in his often extravagant daughters. When I was working as a camp counselor, I gleefully wrote a letter home on a piece of tree bark, pointing out that I had not bought stationery but had made do with the materials at hand.
Once again, however, my father bested me. Carefully separating a layer of the same tree bark, he penned this reply: "Remember, Jean, you can always get along on half of what you have."
—Je*n Summbrville (Prniu Gorda, Fla.)
Covering All the Bases
C7f little boy was overheard talking to himself as he strode through his back yard, baseball cap in place and toting ball and bat. "I'm the greatest baseball player in the world," he said proudly. Then he tossed the ball in the air, swung and missed. Undaunted, he picked up the ball, threw it into the air and said to himself, "I'm the greatest player ever!" He swung at the ball again, and again he missed. He paused a moment to examine bat and ball carefully. Then once again he threw the ball into the air and said, "I'm the greatest baseball player who ever lived." He swung the bat hard and again missed the ball. "Wow!" he exclaimed. "What a pitcher!" -Robert Schuller,/^Changer,(Revell)