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Kit Menkin

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Harvard Quiz

I sure miss John Wayne.  He was smarter than most people remember. I remember in the movie Iwo Jima, he is sitting on the hill, just before he gets shot by a sniper ( remember that one ), and he is talking to this young Marine what he should do after the war:

 " Life is tough.  It's even tougher, if you don't get an education."

Now maybe you didn't get the message, but I sure remember it.

This comes from the principal of Saratoga High School, Saratoga, California.  He is a Harvard graduate, and he related this to me.

 During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until I read the last one:

  "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?"

 Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her name? I  handed in my paper, leaving the    last question blank.

 Just before  class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.

 "Absolutely," said the professor. "In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say 'hello'."

 "I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy."

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