Wednesday, May 9, 2018

“Plato: Teacher and Theorist”

History of Education, a prerequisite, holds few memories for Beverly Cleary:

What I do recall is the paper the entire class was required to write on one subject, “Plato: Teacher and Theorist.” The paper had to be twenty-four pages long. Not twenty-three, not twenty-five. Twenty-four. Fortunately, I was fresh from Plato the previous semester, but I resented every word of that paper, every footnote, every ibid., every op cit., and longed to add one footnote, “I thought of this myself.” Footnotes in foreign languages, according to the wisdom of Stebbins, always impressed a reader, but I couldn’t work one in on Plato. Someday, someday, I vowed, I would write entire books without footnotes.

Beverly Cleary, My Own Two Feet: A Memoir (New York: William Morrow, 1995).
This paper and its footnotes were to become the stuff of a scene in the 1963 Cleary novel Sister of the Bride.

Related reading
All OCA Beverly Cleary posts (Pinboard)

[Stebbins: Stebbins Hall, University of California at Berkeley.]

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