A Quote From Al Russell That's Stayed With Me For Many Years
There's something about this quote that really resonates with me. I think it's
that it lines up with Russell's teaching philosophy that some people become their
most motivated when told something is too difficult to accomplish, or that it
cannot be done. He's right. Many people would hear that and rise to the challenge.
I think that's why his opening lecture for
Theory and Design Of Mechanical Measurements
was so intimidating... he was trying to suss out the students who would rise
to the challenge.
"Laramee, when you go out to work in the world, you'll soon find out that nearly everybody
has a god damn excuse. An excuse for why something can't be done (usually they'll tell you
it's too hard) ... an excuse for why something is late, etc etc." He then paused, his
glasses resting down on the way-lower part of his nose, and he fixed his gaze on me
carefully and said: "Be that guy who never has an excuse, not for anything".
Al Russell (1936-2012), circa 1994, Amherst, Massachusetts.
"Dear Al: consider it done".