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The University of Hard Knocks by Ralph Parlette

The University of Hard Knocks


Ralph Parlette

The School That Completes Our Education

"He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son"--Revelation 21:7.

"Sweet are the uses of adversity; Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, Wears yet a precious jewel in his head; And thus our life, exempt from public haunt, Finds tongues in trees, books in running brooks Sermons in stones, and good in everything." Shakespeare

Why It Is Printed

MORE than a million people have sat in audiences in all parts of the United States and have listened to "The University of Hard Knocks." It has been delivered to date more than twenty-five hundred times upon lyceum courses, at chautauquas, teachers' institutes, club gatherings, conventions and before various other kinds of audiences. Ralph Parlette is kept busy year after year lecturing, because his lectures deal with universal human experience.

"Can I get the lecture in book form?" That continuous question from audiences brought out this book in response. Here is the overflow of many deliveries.

"What is written here is not the way I would write it, were I writing a book," says Ralph Parlette. "It is the way I say it. The lecture took this unconscious colloquial form before audiences. An audience makes a lecture, if the lecture survives. I wish I could shake the hand of every person who has sat in my audiences. And I wish I could tell the lecture committees of America how I appreciate the vast amount of altruistic work they have done in bringing the audiences of America together. For lecture audiences are not drawn together, they are pushed together."

The warm reception given "The University of Hard Knocks" by the public, has encouraged the publishers to put more of Mr. Parlette's lectures into book form, "Big Business" and "Pockets and Paradises" are now in preparation as this, the third edition of "The University of Hard Knocks" comes from the press.


SOME PRELIMINARY REMARKS--The lecturer the delivery wagon--The sorghum barrel--Audience must have place to put lecture--Why so many words

The University of Hard Knocks

I. THE BOOKS ARE BUMPS--Every bump a lesson--Why the two kinds of bumps--Description of University--"Sweet are the uses of Adversity"--Why children are not interested

II. THE COLLEGE OF NEEDLESS KNOCKS, the bumps that we bump into--Getting the coffee-pot--Teaching a wilful child--Bumps make us "stop, look, listen"--Blind man learns with one bump--Going up requires effort--Prodigals must be bumped--The fly and the sticky fly-paper--"Removed" and "knocked out"

III. THE COLLEGE OF NEEDFUL KNOCKS, the bumps that bump into us--Our sorrows and disappointments--How the piano was made--How the "red mud" becomes razor-blades--The world our mirror--The cripple taught by the bumps--Every bump brings a blessing--You are never down and out

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