Category Archives: Quotes

Quotes, from a variety of sources, related to teaching and learning–somewhat more loosely defined than in other categories on Mark’s Text Terminal.

Reconstructive Memory

“An active process whereby various strategies are used during the process of memory retrieval to rebuild information from memory, filling in missing elements while remembering. It was first differentiated from reproductive memory in 1932 by the English psychologist Sir Frederic Charles Bartlett (1886-1969), who studied it with the technique of successive reproduction.

Excerpted from: Colman, Andrew M., ed. Oxford Dictionary of Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.

Emile Zola on His Concerns

“I am little concerned with beauty or perfection. I don’t care for the great centuries. All I care about is life, struggle, intensity. I am at ease in my generation.”

Emile Zola

My Hates (1866)

Excerpted from: Shapiro, Fred, ed. The Yale Book of Quotations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.


“(fr Arab kal’-at hamra, “the red castle”) A citadel and palace at Granada, Spain, built by Moorish kings in the 13th century. The buildings stand on a plateau some thirty-five acres in area and are surrounded by a reddish brick wall. Considered one of the finest examples of Moorish architecture in Spain, the palace consists largely of two rectangular courts, the Court of the Pool or Myrtles and the Court of the Lions, and their adjoining chambers. The latter court contains a famous central fountain, consisting of an alabaster basin supported by twelve lions of white marble. While he was an attache at the American legation in Madrid in 1829, Washington Irving spend much time in the Alhambra and wrote a well-known volume of sketches and tales called Legends of the Alhambra (1832, 1852). An admirer of Moorish civilization, he wrote about the clashes between the Spaniards and the Moors.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

Year 1

“Our Western dating system–BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini–Year of Our Lord)–was conceived in the sixth century by a Romanian monk called Dionysius Exiguus, and came into widespread scholarly use after its adoption by the Anglo-Saxon historian the Venerable Bede. Prior to that, European historians dated years according to the Roman consul who held office in a given year.

Working in Rome, Dionysius declared that the current year was 525 AD, based on the birth of Christ taking place in the year 1 (there being not Western concept at the time of zero). Gospel historians later decided that Jesus was actually born a few years earlier, between 6 and 4 BC. Dionysius, it seems, may have wanted to disprove the idea that the end of the world would take place 500 years after the Birth of Jesus. That would have made it 6000 years after the creation, which was believed to have taken place 5500 years before Christ. Dionysius himself estimated, based on cosmological readings, that the end of the world would take place in 2000.

The CE/BCE (Common Era) designations, increasingly used to secularize history, are widely regarded as modern, politically correct innovations but were in fact introduced by Jewish historians in the mid-nineteenth century. But for those who might want an alternative, there are plenty of other dating systems. The Jews start their calendar in 3761 BC; the Mayans, in 3114 BC; the Chinese, with the start of the Yellow Emperor’s reign in 2696 BC; the Japanese in 680 BC; the Muslims, with the emigration of the Prophet Muhammad to Medina from Mecca in 622 AD; the Copts, with the Year of the Martyrs in 284 AD, while the Ethiopian Church starts the clock back in 5493 BC.”

Excerpted from: Rogerson, Barnaby. Rogerson’s Book of Numbers: The Culture of Numbers–from 1,001 Nights to the Seven Wonders of the World. New York: Picador, 2013.

Rotten Rejections: Memo from a Chinese Economic Journal…

“We have read your manuscript with boundless delight. If we were to publish your paper, it would be impossible for us to publish any work of lower standard. And as it is unthinkable that in the next thousand years we shall see its equal, we are, to our regret, compelled to return your divine composition, and to beg you a thousand times to overlook our short sight and timidity.”

Excerpted from: Bernard, Andre, and Bill Henderson, eds. Pushcart’s Complete Rotten Reviews and Rejections. Wainscott, NY: Pushcart Press, 1998.

Term of Art: Resource Room

“A room where students (usually in special education) who need extra help may go during regular class time. The resource room teacher may have special education and/or bilingual credentials and may provide one-on-one instruction or teach a subject to the students as a group.”

Excerpted from: Ravitch, Diane. EdSpeak: A Glossary of Education Terms, Phrases, Buzzwords, and Jargon. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2007.

To Kill a Mockingbird

“The only novel (1960) by the US writer Harper Lee (1926-2016), which won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. The trial of a black man accused of raping a white woman and its aftermath are seen through the eyes of Scout, the six-year-old daughter of the white defense lawyer, Atticus Finch. Though clearly innocent, the man is found guilty and is subsequently shot 17 times by prison guards while, it is claimed, he was trying to escape. The editor of a local paper writes a courageous leader comparing the death to ‘the senseless slaughter of songbirds by hunters and children.’ The common, or northern, mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) is a noted songbird and mimic, and its range extends from the northern USA to Mexico. It particularly favors suburban habitats, and sometimes sings at night. A film version (1962) was directed by Robert Mulligan, with an Oscar-winning performance by Gregory Peck as Finch.”

Excerpted from: Crofton, Ian, ed. Brewer’s Curious Titles. London: Cassell, 2002.