Posted by: mattcolvin | August 5, 2014

John Adams, Latin, and Ditches


“As a boy, John Adams found the study of Latin to be boring and grew to hate it. He went to his father to see if there was not something else he could do instead. Deacon John, who had been a laborer, told his son, ‘You might try ditching; my meadow yonder needs a ditch.’ So young John went about the task of digging the ditch and soon found it to be arduous work. By the end of the day, he was ready to return to the study of Latin; but being too proud to admit it, he spent one more day in digging the ditch before admitting he preferred the study of Latin. Adams said ‘toil conquered my pride’ and ever after claimed ‘ditching’ had played an important part in building his character.” – Paul Boller, Presidential Anecdotes.


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