Give Yourself an Informal Education that Kicks the Crap out of Your Formal One
Srinivas Rao

Many many years before the internet, a writer, F. Scott Fitzgerald, found himself in a love affair (not just affair) with a newspaper gossip columnist named Shelia Graham. It seems that Graham had been born and raised in a downtrodden part of Britain but had devised a new background for herself, one of status and wealth. When Fitzgerald discovered that she’d never finished her education, he wrote out a long list of books for her to read. Fitzgerald believed (and probably was right) that these books were tantamount to a university education.

After Fitzgerald’s death, Graham wrote a book, partly about their love affair but mostly about her lover’s “College of One.” It lists all the books that F. Scott had recommended. I have a well-worn copy of the book and, because I never realized my dream of going to college, still refer to it.

It’s easier today when one can go online but not nearly as inspiring as having someone teach you with love and wisdom. Shelia Graham was a very lucky woman.

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