"An excellent plumber is infinitely more admirable than an incompetent philosopher. The society that scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity, will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water." John Gardner
I keep a yellowed copy of this quotation within easy view of my desk. It brings me back to reality of our responsibility to offer every student the opportunity to achieve excellence in whatever endeavor *the student* chooses to pursue at whatever stage of her/his life.
Have a good holiday break - hope to see you in San Diego.
* Date: 12/13/95 4:07 PM * From: Robert Jamison * Reply to: RE>Why Study Mathematics? * * There are two types of errors in education, just as in hypothesis testing. * In one we raise standards so high that only a few can attain them. In the * other, we push standards so low that, altho easy to attain, they are * meaningless. American education has committed itself to the second error * with grim determination. If Meiklejohn is right, and I believe he is, then * he has clearly pointed out the deadly flaw in the American educational system. * The great mass of people never were, and never will be interested, in * "cultivation". Nor should they be. There is a role for both the skilled * worker and the refined thinker in society. Both deserve respect and both * deserve adequate training. Our present system provides neither. * Robert Jamison