Quotations XXII: Six Months in the Dark


[Photo by frozenchipmunk.]

School is in session, which means I am once again searching out pithy, inspirational quotations for my chalkboard. Some recent tidbits…

The more I work and practice, the luckier I seem to get.

Gary Player
Quoted in Precalculus Mathematics in a Nutshell

It is a great nuisance that knowledge can only be acquired by hard work.

W. Somerset Maugham
Who wrote Of Human Bondage

The excitement of learning separates youth from old age. As long as you’re learning, you’re not old.

Rosalyn S. Yallow
In Rosalie Maggio (ed.), The Beacon Book of Quotations by Women

This last one is a bit long for the blackboard, so I plan to read it aloud:

Perhaps I can best describe my experience of doing mathematics in terms of a journey through a dark, unexplored mansion. You enter the first room of the mansion, and it’s completely dark. You stumble around bumping into the furniture, but gradually you learn where each piece of furniture is. Finally, after six months or so, you find the light switch. You turn it on, and suddenly it’s all illuminated. You can see exactly where you were. Then you move into the next room and spend another six months in the dark.

Andrew Wiles
Who finally solved Fermat’s Enigma


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