Classmates Quotes (displaying: 1 - 20 of 20 quotes )
Other people - store clerks, burger flippers, software engineers, the whole vocabulary of meaningless jobs that make up Life in America - other people just rely on plain old competition. Better flip your burgers or debug your subroutines faster than your high school classmate two blocks down the strip is flipping or debugging, because we're in competition with those guys, and people notice these things. What a fucking rat race that is.
Since I was in flight from religion, I assumed that my classmates had to be in flight from religion too, albeit in a quieter, savvier way than I had as yet been able to discover. Only today do I realize how mistaken I was. They were never in flight at all. Nor are their children in flight, or their grandchildren. By the time I reached by seventieth year, I used to predict, all the churches in the world would have been turned into barns or museums or potteries. But I was wrong. Behold, new churches spring up every day, all over the place, to say nothing of mosques. So Nietzsche's dictum needs to be amended: while it may be so that only the higher animals are capable of boredom, man proves himself highest of all by domesticating boredom, giving it a home.
Which is nonsense, for whatever you live is Life. That is something to remember when you meet the old classmate who says, "Well now, on our last expedition up the Congo-" or the one who says, "Gee, I got the sweetest little wife and three of the swellest kids ever-" You must remember it when you sit in hotel lobbies or lean over bars to talk to the bartender or walk down a dark street at night, in early March, and stare into a lighted window. And remember little Susie has adenoids and the bread is probably burned, and turn up the street, for the time has come to hand me down that walking cane, for I got to catch that midnight train, for all my sin is taken away. For whatever you live is life
I also thought about that seminar classmate on Adam's ninth birthday. Adam had insisted on going to a pizza-and-games arcade for his party. The only person he'd invited besides his sisters was someone I'll call Lonnie, whom Adam claimed to be his girlfriend. Although I had often heard Adam sing about Lonnie, I had never met her, or seen Adam interact with any girl. I was afraid that he would start humping her leg the second she came in range. These were fears I'd sustained since before he was born; I though all people with Down syndrome were grossly overaffectionate. I was grossly wrong.
With my academic achievement in high school I was accepted rather readily at Princeton and equally as fast at Yale, but my test scores were not comparable to that of my classmates. And that's been shown by statistics, there are reasons for that - there are cultural biases built into testing, and that was one of the motivations for the concept of affirmative action to try to balance out those effects.
I couldn't help but to think back to my classmates at Thomas Jefferson High School in San Antonio. They had the same talent, the same brains, the same dreams as the folks we sat with at Stanford and Harvard. I realized the difference wasn't one of intelligence or drive. The difference was opportunity.