Three Interesting Paragraphs

English teacher Susan Jonas of the Bronx, New York, in a New York Times letter to the editor about the pressure put on students to win good grades and get into college:

“It breaks my heart to see students depressed, stressed, ill, exhausted, neurotic and unable to appreciate an honest, well-earned B or B+.…We need to teach students to love learning, to take risks and know that failure is part of growing… “
Sportswriter Barry Svrluga in the Washington Post on the toll taken on the bodies and minds of professional baseball players:

“There is no sport with an everydayness, a drum-drum-drum beat like baseball.…All sorts of professions come replete with their own rhythms. In professional sports, baseball’s is uniquely unyielding. It might not feel that way now, with opening day such a symbol for spring, for hope. But the players know what lies ahead. They all refer to it the same way, with unmistakable reverence: The Grind.”
Thomas Polgar, the last CIA station chief in Saigon during the Vietnam war, whose last cable to the agency from Saigon shortly after midnight on April 30, 1975, has become legendary in CIA lore. It was quoted in the Washington Post’s 4/1/2014 obituary of Polgar, who had died nine days earlier:

“This will be the final message from Saigon station. It has been a long fight and we have lost it.…Those who fail to learn from history are forced to repeat it. Let us hope that we will not have another Vietnam experience and that we have learned our lesson. Saigon signing off.”

—Compiled by Mike Feinsilber, who asks that if you come across an interesting paragraph in your reading that you’d like to share with others, send it, along with the date and publication, to

Speak Your Mind