Dispatches > Quotables


Issue: "Germ warfare and national security," June 2, 2001

I took easy classes instead of hard classes, so I could get out in December.

L.A. Lakers center (and recent Louisiana State University graduate) Shaquille O'Neal, commenting on Toronto Raptors guard Vince Carter's decision to attend his graduation the morning of the deciding game seven in an NBA playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers. Many sportswriters criticized the Raptors star for allowing such a distraction on game day. The University of North Carolina grad explained that he attended because he wanted to please his mother, a schoolteacher. The Raptors lost, 88-87, after Mr. Carter missed a shot at the buzzer.

You have a great future, even if the future isn't what it used to be.

Hall-of-fame catcher Yogi Berra, 76, speaking briefly to graduates of Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I., after receiving an honorary doctorate. Mr. Berra, the most quoted athlete in Bartlett's Quotations, is known for plainspoken, delightfully illogical one-liners. The eighth-grade educated Berra was lauded for his life experience: He won 10 World Series titles with the New York Yankees, served his country in World War II and participated in the D-Day invasion at Omaha Beach, and has been married 52 years.

To those of you who received honors, awards, and distinctions, I say, well done. And to the 'C' students, I say: You too can be president.

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The self-deprecating President Bush, in a commencement address at his alma mater, Yale.

We're talking about young people who can't remember to bring their homework to school or set their alarm clock.

Addia Wuchner, who oversees the Florence, Ky., health board, which recently changed its sex ed curriculum to abstinence only-because instruction in contraceptive use amounted to nothing more than permissive lessons in "how to." The action was in part a response to a Planned Parenthood campaign to blanket high schools around the country with "Prom Survival Kits," which featured contraceptive devices.


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