Monday, March 21, 2011

School Through the Ages: Guess Who?

This will be part of an occasional series, I hope (!) The following is a passage from a famous person's autobiography, describing his school days:

I passed my childhood in P. The fact that I recollect nothing more of those days than having learnt, in company with other boys, to call our teacher all kinds of names, would strongly suggest that my intellect must have been sluggish, and my memory raw.

... I was put into a primary school ... there is hardly anything to note about my studies. I could only have been a mediocre student. ... I do not remember having ever told a lie, during this short period, either to my teachers or to my school-mates.

Let me know if you need a hint!


  1. I have a feeling I made this one too hard. Here's a first hint -- it's completely characteristic of this person that s/he reports nothing of the content of his/her studies, but instead describes moral lapses s/he committed at the time.

  2. Come to think of it, I may as well refer to the person as "he", since he says "in company with other boys" ...

  3. Not a bad guess, but not right either. You're in about the right time period.

    The person who wrote this was not himself British, but very heavily British-influenced.

    I'll give another hint -- notice how he says he never lied? The word "Truth" appears in the title of his autobiography.

    For my ultimate hint, I'll tell you what the "P" stands for!

  4. I just cheated and used Google, so now I have to let other people guess . . .

  5. Nobody else seems to be playing, so I'll just say that it's M.K. Gandhi, and the "P" stands for "Porbandar".

    I've been thinking about Gandhi, because I just finished watching "Gandhi, My Father". It's an interesting look at Gandhi's oldest son, who was an alcoholic wreck.

    As for the quote, it's a reminder of how little school actually matters to kids, including kids who grow up to change the world.