During a particularly stirring scene in Dead Poets Society, the teacher played by Robin Williams asks one of his students to read from a textbook about how to evaluate poetry.
The student recites, “If the poem’s score for perfection is plotted along the horizontal of a graph, and its importance is plotted on the vertical, then calculating the total area of the poem yields the measure of its greatness.”
By the end of the scene, at the behest of Williams, the students gleefully tear these very pages from their books and throw them in the air. Says Williams, “We’re not laying pipe. We’re talking about poetry.”
I feel the same way each time I disappoint a parent or student with my inability to articulate the specific GPA and test scores necessary for gaining admission to William and Mary.
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– Henry Broaddus