Category Archives: quotes

Poor Claude (Monet)

“I was born undisciplined. Never, even as a child, could I be made to obey a set rule. What little I know I learned at home. School was always like a prison to me, I could never bring myself to stay there, even four hours a day, when the sun was shining and the sea was so tempting, and it was such fun scrambling over cliffs and paddling in the shallows. Such, to the great despair of my parents, was the unruly but healthy life I lived until I was fourteen or fifteen. In the meantime I somehow picked up the rudiments of reading, writing and arithmetic, with a smattering of spelling. And there my schooling ended. It never worried me very much because I always had plenty of amusements on the side. I doodled in the margins of my books, I decorated our blue copy paper with ultra-fantastic drawings, and I drew the faces and profiles of my schoolmasters as outrageously as I could, distorting them out of all recognition.”

== Claude Monet (On November 26, 1900 the Paris, France newspaper “Le Temps” published this autobiographyquoted in: Denis Rouart (1972) Claude Monet, p. 21 : About his youth


“J’étais un indiscipliné de naissance ; on n’a jamais pu me plier, même dans ma petite enfance, à une règle.

C’est chez moi que j’ai appris le peu que je sais. Le collège m’a toujours fait l’effet d’une prison, et je n’ai jamais pu me résoudre à y vivre, même quatre heures par jour, quand le soleil était invitant, la mer belle, et qu’il faisait si bon courir sur les falaises, au grand air, ou barboter dans l’eau.

Jusqu’à quatorze ou quinze ans, j’ai vécu, au grand désespoir de mon père, cette vie assez irrégulière, mais très saine. Entre temps, j’avais appris tant bien que mal mes quatre règles, avec un soupçon d’orthographe. Mes études se sont bornées là. Elles n’ont pas été trop pénibles, car elles s’entremêlaient pour moi de distractions. J’enguirlandais la marge de mes livres, je décorais le papier bleu de mes cahiers d’ornements ultra-fantaisistes, et j’ y représentais, de la façon la plus irrévérencieuse, en les déformant le plus possible, la face ou le profil de mes maîtres.”

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In the mood…

“Learn to rush to your laptop and open it up. Open the file without asking yourself if you’re in the mood, without thinking about anything else. Just open the file: and then you’re safe. Once the words are on the screen, that becomes your distraction.”

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“At present there are differences of opinion….for all peoples do not agree as to the things that the young ought to learn, either with a view to virtue or with a view to the best life, nor is it clear whether their studies should be regulated with regard to intellect or with regard to character.”
— Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)

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on the bottom of things…

“Email is a wonderful thing for people whose role in life is to be on top of things. But not for me; my role is to be on the bottom of things. What I do takes long hours of studying and uninterruptible concentration. I try to learn certain areas of computer science exhaustively; then I try to digest that knowledge into a form that is accessible to people who don’t have time for such study.” — Donald Knuth

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