Marie's Random Quotes

Updated 1/14/16

Open Mindedness and Truth

"If someone is able to show me that what I think or do is not right, I will happily change, for I seek the truth, by which no one was ever truly harmed. It is the person who continues in his self-deception... who is harmed."

---Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Academic Administration

"More faculty members, therefore, will have to face the self-development and acquiring of attitudes and skills that go with being effective administrators. At the heart of that development must be a responsiveness to service, a willingness to lead, a capability for taking care of details, a firmness in holding on to higher goals, an ability to marshall successfully one's own energies, and an ability to make the most of the work of others."

---Kenneth E. Eble, "The Art of Administration"


"Just barrel through life with all the audacity you can."

---Lily Tomlin

Tell All The Truth

Tell all the truth but tell it slant,
Success in circuit lies,
Too bright for our infirm delight
The truth's superb surprise;

As lightning to the children eased
With explanation kind,
The truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind.
---Emily Dickinson

On What Matters

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."

---Dr. Seuss (with a shout-out to Holly Fieni)

On Marie

"All hail the mighty Marie, shatterer of GPAs and unraveller of crosswords! Her enemies tremble at the mention of her name and obstructive faculty cower in terror and flee the field of the faculty meeting when she approaches! No code bugs may stand against her and no spaghetti code is too dense to unravel! To Marie, all PSPACE problems are as NP-complete, NP-complete are as polynomial, and polynomial are effectively constant time! Funding agencies rush to shower her with money and her progress reports are epitomes of brilliance, illumination, and conciseness! Her students worship the ground she walks upon and her advisees worship the water she walks upon! No gordian knot of research mystery can withstand the keen blade of her insight! Dogs love her and even cats think she's ok!"

--Terran Lane

On Honesty

"Speak the truth thoughtfully and constructively."

--Marie desJardins, personal motto

"The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest."

--Thomas Jefferson, "Rights of British America"

"I had a thing to say which nobody else would say, and it was necessary to be said."

--Ambrose Bierce

"Other examples of ways in which Friends testify or bear witness to truth and integrity include such practices as:

--Wikipedia, "Testimony of Integrity"

On Tenure

"The juvenile sea squirt wanders through the sea searching for a suitable rock or hunk of coral to cling to and make its home for life. For this task it has a rudimentary nervous system. When it finds its spot and takes root it doesn't need its brain anymore so it eats it. It's rather like getting tenure."

--Neuroscientist Rodolfo Llinas, as elaborated by Daniel C. Dennett in "Consciousness Explained"

On Gifted Children

"He never pays attention, he always knows the answer, and he can never tell you how he knows. We can't keep thrashing him. He is a bad example to the other pupils. There's no educating a smart boy."

--Terry Pratchett, "Thief of Time"

On Intelligence

"I believe that mobility, acute vision and the ability to carry out survival-related tasks in a dynamic environment provide a necessary basis for the development of true intelligence." (emphasis mine; see next quote)

--Rodney Brooks, "Intelligence Without Representation", AIJ 1991

On Acute Vision

"Helen Adams Keller ... was a woman of luminous intelligence, high ambition and great accomplishment."

--Helen Keller,, 10/04

On Democracy

"I had always thought that in a democracy---and again, I don't know; I've only lived in this country..."

--Jon Stewart, Crossfire, 10/04

On Iraq

"Facts in Iraq have an anti-Bush agenda."

--Rob Corddry, The Daily Show, 5/3/04

(Unintentionally) On Bush

"We enter a perilous country when we decide that because we mean well, or because we are largely good, that we are thus allowed to do something we know is wrong."

--The War of the Flowers, by Tad Williams

On the Division of Labor

"It must have been like that in the old days--the men sitting around bragging about some gazelle they speared three weeks ago while the women gathered food, made clothes, cooked, took care of the children."

--Otherland Volume One: City of Golden Shadow, by Tad Williams

On Shock

"When somebody is a little bit wrong--say, when a waiter puts nonfat milk in your espresso macchiato, instead of lowfat milk--it is often quite easy to explain to them how and why they are wrong. But if somebody is surpassingly wrong--say, when a waiter bites your nose instead of taking your order--you can often be so surprised that you are unable to say anything at all. Paralyzed by how wrong the waiter is, your mouth would hang slightly open and your eyes would blink over and over, but you would be unable to say a word. This is what the Baudelaire children did."

--The Reptile Room, by Lemony Snicket