Poster by graphic designer Rachel Bartholomay for an exhibition of student posters about
historic pencil sharpeners from the P.D. Whitson Collection. Department
of Art, University of Northern Iowa.
John C. Thirlwall, quoted in
Robert Bruce Williams, ed., John Dewey, Recollections (Washington DC:
University Press of America, 1970), p. 157.
In 1932 I was an English
graduate student at Columbia [University]. Ashley Thorndike was then Chairman
of the English Department, and every graduate student took his Shakespeare
course, which [began] at 2:00 pm in a lecture room holding over one hundred [students],
on the sixth floor of Philosophy Hall. One day, promptly at 2:00 pm, Professor
[John] Dewey shambled in, sat down at the desk and proceeded to read a long
list, marking absent each one, since there was no reply from a crowded room. At
2:10 [Professor] Thorndike strode into the room, gawped at Dewey at moment,
then tapped him on the shoulder, saying: “John, you are one flight up.” None of
us laughed as Thorndike proceeded to read the proof sheets of his Shakespearian