A Dad’s Advice

“I wasn’t a scholar by any means at McGill, but I did reasonably well and decided during my last year there that I should go to law school. My French, as you might imagine, was not great. I had attended a private high school in Montreal, and you can imagine how seriously we took French class at our boys school.”

The Old Boy continued. “My dad didn’t give me a lot of advice, but he insisted that I go to Laval. He knew it (going to law school in French) would be difficult, and that I would have to work very, very hard to become fully bi-lingual. But I do remember his advice, ‘Be the strangest animal in the zoo’. I followed it, and I think he was right. And I’ve often thought about the importance of being the strangest animal in the zoo.”

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One Response to “A Dad’s Advice”

  1. djmcmahon Says:

    Jim, thank for the post–I was put in mind (I am pulpteacher after all) of the advice that Tyrien (the imp or dwarf) in Game of Thrones gives to John Snow. He tells him to (I am paraphrasing) to “wear his difference [Snow is a bastard] like armor–that way no one can use it to hurt you.” I hope that I have been encouraging young men over all these years to embrace whatever strange animal, to get comfortable in the skin of their own difference. D

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