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xi

acquired abilities to transcend cultures and language, maybe we can finally admit we have outgrown that one-size-fits-all standard as surely as we have outgrown buggy whips.

Meanwhile we can’t wait any longer for all this to get sorted out. Regardless of changes in schools, what kids need to learn is how to think. And from thinking comes the ability to make crucial deci-sions and good choices that will lead to living and prospering in any environment.

My Passion

Learning requires passion. It requires the freedom to be curious and to discover a “fire in the belly” about something that has sig-nificance and meaning for the learner. When I attended what is now Truman State University in Missouri, my favorite professor held court after class at the Bulldog Café, discussingwithwilling students anything they wanted to discuss with him. Somehow over many cups of coffee, this valued professor sparked an interest for me in Clarence Darrow, the great “attorney of the damned.” Darrow had been retained to defend the teenage thrill-killers Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, who murdered 14-year-old Bobby Franks. Later Darrow was called in to defend John T. Scopes, who violated the law by teaching evolution in his classroom. In the famous “monkey trial” that ensued, Darrow successfully opposed the lawyer, statesman, orator, and later presidential nominee William Jennings Bryan. My professor sent me to the library to study the transcripts of these and others of Darrow’s trials. I sat in the stacks, reading and studying, taking no tests and receiving no credit or grades—the subject had simply become my fire in the belly. I was in the zone. I was learning. I was thinking.

Darrow’s questioning skills fascinated me. I studied his rhetoric and questioning processes to figure out what exactly made them so strategic and persuasive. Whether I agreed with him or not did

Introduction

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