My dear son,
I am appalled, even horrified, that you have adopted Classics as a major. As a matter of fact, I almost puked on the way home today. I suppose that I am old-fashioned enough to believe that the purpose of an education is to enable one to develop a community of interest with his fellow men, to learn to know them, and to learn how to get along with them. In order to do this, of course, he must learn what motivates them, and how to impel them to be pleased with his objectives and desires.
I am a practical man, and for the life of me I cannot possibly understand why you should wish to speak Greek. With whom will you communicate in Greek? …
For the life of me I cannot understand why you should be vitally interested in informing yourself about the influences of the Classics on English literature. It is not necessary for you to know how to make a gun in order to know how to use it.
In 1957, at 18 years of age, future billionaire and founder of CNN, Ted Turner, informed his father that he would be majoring in Classics after being inspired by a professor at Brown University. His father was furious to say the least, and responded to his son’s announcement with the following despairing letter — a letter which Ted later sent to the college paper in retaliation, who then reprinted it in full.
The rest of the letter is epic.
I have a random question. Bill Nye has been cited by some as an ill-informed advocate for climate adaptation. His recent interview on CNN made me aware of the controversy that exists regarding his authenticity as a scientist who may or may not be educated enough about climate change. Some people are saying that although Bill is a good scientist, he has no credentials in the actual topic of climate change and should not be expressing his opinion on national television. Thoughts?
Look, you meant to write, “advocate for climate change,” not adaptation. Second, “advocating for climate change” is nonsensical. You meant to write “advocate for climate change solutions.”
Words matter. I get what you are asking, but know that, in life, sloppy inquiries waste people’s time, could land you in trouble, or cost you an opportunity, such as a dream job…
Regardless, I tersely covered the Bill Nye “interview” here.