La Verne Magazine
Spring 1999

"Education in La Verne"

What Was the Best or Worst Thing You Learned in School?

by Araceli Esparza
photography by Isela Peña

"The best thing I learned was that life is not all black and white -- it's much more gray; which means a lot of the time there isn't a right or a wrong answer... it's somewhere in the middle there."
-- Don Morel, University of La Verne head football coach

"School really is a microcosm for life, and that probably is the greatest thing you'll learn from it -- the experience of going through it -- more so than any one particular book that I read, or formula that I learned, or science principle that I learned or anything like that. I think that's one of the biggest learnings -- the experience of going through school. It is a journey. It is a whole package."
-- Dr. Lonnie McConnell, assistant superintendent, Bonita Unified School District

"The best thing I learned perhaps was independence and responsibility. I think those are very important, and maybe that's part of my background to explain who I am. [I remember] my friends, and participation in activities-the pleasure of learning. I've always been interested in learning, and I am still interested in learning; even at my advanced age, I still like to learn a lot."
-- Ida Howell, 94, Hillcrest Homes resident

"I guess I would say the value of hard work; it's important every day [and] something that I practice every day."
-- Jon Blickenstaff, City of La Verne mayor, 1982-present

"I think the worst thing I learned was in grade school, where I was told that math was for boys; and that happens to be what I'm really good at. It was discouraging, if anything."
-- Maricela Duran, Joan Macy School teacher specialist

"I think the best thing that I learned in school was that human beings have more in common than they have differences, and we should try to concentrate on those similarities rather than what makes us different. Probably the worst thing I learned is that we haven't figured out a way to better work out our differences than through war in so many cases. War seems like it is the primitive solution in trying to reconcile our differences."
-- Dr. Stephen Morgan, president, University of La Verne

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