Penn State

Peter K. Hatemi - Professor of Political Science, Penn State University Park

Book Title: All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

Author: Robert Fulghum

Book Description:

Too often I think people focus on career and professional success. In the academy, even more so, it would seem, with so much emphasis placed on how much impact one’s publications are, how much grant money one has raised, and how “big” one’s profile is. When we were young, we explored for the sake of wonder and joy. The lessons we seek to teach our young we seem to forget ourselves. My life, my wife Emilly, my grandfather Mort, my brother Jon, my comrades in arms in the Army and in service to my country, my loved ones and that means you too Rose, my true friends, my nephew Jon, my niece Lindsay, and my goddaughters Mya and Avery serve as a testament and reminder that it is the personal not the professional that truly matters. Fulghum’s wisdom here, while far from complete, is a great place to start:
Share everything.
Play fair.
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life -- learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
Be aware of wonder.
Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup -- they all die. So do we.
And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned -- the biggest word of all -- LOOK.


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