When I was in high school and college, I thought everybody could think in pictures. And my first inkling to my thinking was even different was when I was in college and I read an article about, you know, some scientist said that the caveman could not have designed tools until they had language.
I want my kids to graduate from high school. But that’s not enough. I also want them to go to college. Why? Because rich people’s kids go to college. And if that’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for my kids. Because you know what? College graduates don’t tend to go to jail as frequently as nongraduates.
In a high school, the norms act to hold down the achievements of those who are above average, so that the school’s demands will be at a level easily maintained by the majority.
I developed a mania for Fitzgerald – by the time I’d graduated from high school I’d read everything he’d written. I started with ‘The Great Gatsby’ and moved on to ‘Tender Is the Night,’ which just swept me away. Then I read ‘This Side of Paradise,’ his novel about Princeton – I literally slept with that book under my pillow for two years.
I wrote poetry off and on in high school, when I could manage to get out of gym classes and sports – using my allergies as an excuse – and climb the hill behind school till I found a nice place to settle down with a notebook and look at Spokane spread out below.
My first three years of high school, I wasn’t that cool.
When I was in high school in the ’50s you were supposed to be an Elvis Presley, a James Dean, a Marlon Brando or a Kingston Trio type in a button-down shirt headed for the fraternities at Stanford or Cal.
I tell you, in this country, you don’t get much of an education. Throughout high school, through junior college, which is all I went, I didn’t know anything about the annihilation of all the Indian nations that were here.
When I was in high school, I remember writing a research paper, and the teacher said I should write about Langston Hughes. I felt as if I was the only black dude who didn’t like Langston Hughes. He didn’t seem as dark and layered as someone like Flannery O’Connor.
The first book that really knocked me out was the ‘Brothers Karamazov.’ I read it when I was a senior in high school.