In the summer of 2000, On Course Ambassadors from around the globe shared their favorite quotations with colleagues on the On Course Ambassadors’ Listserv.  Many of the quotations are listed here.  Below the quotations are four ideas for incorporating quotations into your course or other interactions with students.

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As long as you think the problem is out there, that is the problem. –Scott Peck

The ideal teacher guides his students but does not pull them along; he urges them to go forward and does not suppress them; he opens the way but does not take them to the place. –Confucious

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.  –Antoine de Saint-Exupery

A good instructor is someone who can spark and kindle the fire of intellectual curiosity — and the learner believes it’s a result of spontaneous combustion.  –Anonymous

Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least. –Goethe

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates other. –Nelson Mandela

The greater part of our happiness depends on our dispositions, and not on our circumstances. We carry the seeds with us in our minds wherever we go.  –Martha Washington

The pleasant things in the world are pleasant thoughts; and the art of life is to have as many of them as possible. –Michel de Montaigne

Reflect on your present blessings, of which everyone has many, not on your past misfortunes, of which everyone has some.   –Marquis de Condorecet

Security is an illusion. Life is either a daring adventure or it is nothing at all.   –Helen Keller

A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle. –Kahlil Gibran

A lonely man on a rainy night who cannot read. –Benjamin Franklin, when asked of all men whom he pitied most.

The illiterate of the year 2000 will not be someone who cannot read or write, but someone who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. –Alvin Toffler, writing in the 1970’s

The wicked leader is he whom the people despise. The good leader is he whom the people revere. The great leader is he of whom the people say, “We did it ourselves.” –Lao Tzu

For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin-real life.  But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid.  Then life would begin.  At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.  –Fr. Alfred D’Souza

It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?” Actually, who are you NOT to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fears, our presence automatically liberates others. –Nelson Mandela (1994 Inaugural speech)

The means by which we live have outdistanced the ends for which we live. Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men. -Martin Luther King, Jr.

It’s all right to have butterflies in your stomach. Just get them to fly in formation. -Dr. Rob Gilbert

If the world is wrong, then right your own self. –Dave Gardener

It remained for the twentieth century to discover that locked within the atom is the energy of the sun itself.  For this energy to be released, however, the atom must be bombarded from without.  So too, locked in every human being is a store of love that partakes of the divine—the imago dei—image of God, it is sometimes called.  And it too can be activated only through bombardment, in its case love’s bombardment  –Huston Smith

A person does not get old until regrets take the place of dreams. — John Noe

To be nobody – but yourself – in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.”  –e.e.cummings

Everything we do is music.  Everywhere is the best seat. –John Cage

There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up. –John Andrew Holmer

Our life is what our thoughts make of it.  — Marcus Aurelius

If you have built castles in air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them. — Henry David Thoreau

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than by the ones you did do.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore.  Dream.  Discover.  — Mark Twain

If a man has any greatness in him, it comes to light not in one flamboyant hour, but in the ledger of his daily work.  –Beryl Markham

Something’s your vocation if it keeps making more of you.  –Gail Godwin

You dare your Yes — and experience a meaning…You repeat your Yes – and all things acquire a meaning…When everything has a meaning, how can you live anything but a YES.”  –Dag Hammarskjold

Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.”  –t.s.eliot

Always know in your heart that you are far bigger than anything that can happen to you. –Dan Zadra

Sometimes you just have to take the leap, and build your wings on the way down.  –Kobi Yamada

Remember, self-portraits are painted by other people. So the next time you have the opportunity to add to someone’s painting, make sure it is a beautiful addition. –George Baum

Live as if you were to die tomorrow.  Learn as if you were to live forever.  –Gandhi.

QUALITY–Why is there seldom enough time to do something right, but always enough time to do it over? –Author unknown

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. –Eleanor Roosevelt

The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind. –William James

Tread carefully when you enter my world, for you will forever change it. ‘Tis a responsibility not to be taken lightly. –Ed Ketz, who teaches at Hawaii Community College

If you keep saying things are going to be bad, you have a good chance of being a prophet. –Isaac Bashevis Singer

On the human chessboard, all moves are possible. –Miriam Schiff

I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it.  I want to have lived the width of it as well. –Diane Ackerman

The key to wisdom is knowing all the right questions. –John A. Simone, Jr.

The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.  –William James

We can be knowledgeable with other men’s knowledge, but we cannot be wise with other men’s wisdom.” –Michel de Montaigne

The best way to live is to appreciate each minute as an unrepeatable miracle. Work at your work and play at your play.  Don’t try to borrow from your future. Accept that now is the best time of your life.”  –Author Unknown

Do great in the small things. –Mother Teresa

 If I really want to improve my situation, I can work on the one thing over which I have control–myself. I can stop trying to shape up my wife and can work on my own weaknesses. I can focus an being a great marriage partner, a source of unconditional love and support. Hopefully, my wife will feel the power of proactive example and respond in kind.  But, whether she does or doesn’t, the most positive way I can influence my situation is to work on myself, on my being.  –Stephen Covey

What can I have that I still want?  –May Sarton, a writer who published into her eighties

You begin never knowing that you know how to begin to begin to know.  –carved in the polished stone wall of a grand old store in downtown Los Angeles

You wouldn’t worry so much about what other people thought if you realized how seldom they do. —Eleanor Roosevelt

There is no failure except in no longer trying. –Elbert Hubbard

The impossible is often the untried. –Jim Goodwin

Rabbi Zusia said: “When I appear before the Almighty, I am not afraid to be asked: ‘Reb Zusia, why have you not been like Abraham, the patriarch, or like Moses, our great teacher?’  The question I truly fear is: ‘Reb Zusia, have you truly been Reb Zusia?'”   –quoted in A Tale of Two Continents by Abraham Pais.

Here are four ideas for using quotations:

1. In my classroom, I have a bulletin board that has all sorts of quotes on it (laminated on cardstock and presented beautifully with graphics) that go along with the theme of the week (whatever the workshop topics of that week would cover -i.e., communication, working with people, motivating others, etc.)  In the bottom left-hand corner, I put one quote to which the students have an opportunity to write their reaction for extra credit points.  The paper, which need not be more than 2 paragraphs, should express how they felt about the quotation: Did they like it, did they agree with it, was it something they could live by…..did it incite them to action?  The student comments have always been extremely enlightening, and those who participated always looked forward to challenging their thinking and feeling about life.  Each week the extra credit quote changes.  —Karen Robert, Faculty Coordinator, Student Development Programs, Cuesta College, CA

2. I often use quotations in personal counseling sessions but also in my student orientation and psychology classes.  Sometimes I use a quote to begin small group discussions regarding what the quote means and how it might be applied to the students’ lives.  —Jessica Genco, Counselor, Mountain Empire Community College, VA

3. I print quotations on 3×5 cards and lay them all out on my desk. Then I ask my College Success Seminar students to come and choose one that speaks to them.  Then, in groups of 3–so it’s not intimidating–I ask them to share what it was about the quote that caught their attention.  Then I have them affix the card inside their journal notebooks, asking them to look at their quote frequently.  Later on–after about three weeks–I have a third of the class at a session share one by one with all their classmates what the quote means to them. —Mardon Walker, Learning Community Mentor, Baltimore City Community College, MD

4. On the first night of class when I have my students introduce themselves to one another, I march them to the library, introduce them to the quote section, and tell them to record their favorite quote. Later students read their chosen quotation to the class. This exercise introduces students to the library, gives them practice in oral presentation, and makes their personal introduction more interesting. If I taught in a computer lab, I’d have students search for quotes on the computer. —Louise Walkup, Faculty English, Three Rivers Community College, CT

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