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Sunday: June 17, 2007

The Value of a First-Class Education

Filed under: — site admin @ 9:45 AM GMT-0500

What one British rogue learned at school in the early 19th century:

. . . I was sent to one of the most fashionable and famous of the great public schools. I will not mention it by name, because I don’t think the masters would be proud of my connection with it. I ran away three times, and was flogged three times. I made four aristocratic connections, and had four pitched battles with them; three thrashed me, and one I thrashed. I learned to play at cricket, to hate rich people, to cure warts, to write Latin verses, to swim, to recite speeches, to cook kidneys on toast, to draw caricatures of the masters, to construe Greek plays, to black boots, and to receive kicks and serious advice resignedly. Who will say that the fashionable public school was of no use to me after that?

(Wilkie Collins, A Rogue’s Life, Chapter I)


Filed under: — site admin @ 8:36 AM GMT-0500

I’ve been in Staunton, Virginia, for some Shakespeare at the Blackfriars Playhouse — more on that later. For now, I’ll just post about some interesting signs seen along the way:

  • Sign that looks like it’s missing a letter: Grim Realty.
  • Sign overtaken by events to produce an unfortunate ambiguity: (on the back of an ambulance) S.A.R.S. Ambulance. I imagine that stands for Staunton Area Rescue Service, or something like that, but the tinfoil-hat crowd might think we now have special ambulances for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, the deadly flu which killed over 700 people in China, Canada, and other countries four years ago.
  • Surprisingly accurate sign: Every city in America seems to have an ‘Oak Grove Road’, and I’ve never seen an oak grove anywhere near any of them. I’m no dendrologist, and I passed rather quickly, but it looked to me like the Oak Grove Baptist Church near Farmville is located in an actual grove of oak trees. That shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did.
  • Least expected message on a sign: Goat Milk Soap, next right.