One thing that I plan on doing more now that I’m done with school is read. I still read for fun while I was in school (it helped me decompress better than watching TV), but I gravitated more to fiction books to counteract all the chapters of dry finance and management reading was assigned to me (ugh, if I have to read another management book ever again it will be too soon!). Now that my assigned reading days are over I’ve set a goal for myself to read one non-fiction book for every fiction book I devour. It’ll be my little way of making sure that I keep learning and growing, and that I stay in the habit of studying (albeit at a much more relaxed pace) past graduation. I’m hoping to share a few of my favorite things from every book here, as a way to keep track of my goal.

First up is The Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy.  My parents are huge fans of Conroy and have been recommending his books for years! I finally heeded their advice and took The Water is Wide with me when I went to Mexico. I’ve been a believer ever since.

Here are my favorite gems from Lords

I chose my professors at the Institute with discrimination and care, on the basis of their legend in the Corps or the passion and neurosis they brought to the lectern, not on the subject they taught. Early on, I had discovered that I would rather take “Principles of Business Management” taught by an excellent teacher than suffer through “Shakespeare’s Tragedies,” a subject I normally would have enjoyed, with a mediocre one. Nothing bored me more than flaccid, humorless academicians punishing their students with limpid melancholy lectures while they polished up their deadly little monographs on vital subjects like “The Nose Hair of Grendel.”

A great teacher is my adversary, my conqueror, commissioned to chastise me. He leaves me tame and grateful for the new language he has purloined from other kings whose granaries are filled and whose libraries are famous. He tells me that teaching is the art of theft: of knowing what to steal and from whom.

Bad teachers do not touch me; the great ones never leave me. They ride with me during all my days, and I pass on to others what they have imparted to me. I exchange their handy gifts with strangers on trains, and I pretend the gifts are mine. I steal from the great teachers. And the truly wonderful thing about them is they would applaud my theft, laugh at the thought of it, realizing they had taught me their larcenous skills well.

 

You had to decide what was estimable and precious in your life and set out to find it. The objects you valued defined you.

 

What have you been reading lately? If you have any recommendations for fiction or non-fiction books that I should read next, I’d love to hear. xo

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