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“Owing to my boat’s shape, she could not wear a tall mast without turning over and so her pocket-handkerchief-sized sail could only garner and harvest the tiniest cupfuls of wind; thus, for the most part, she was propelled from point to point with oars, and when we had a full crew on board—three dogs, an owl, and sometimes a pigeon—and were carrying a full cargo—some two dozen containers full of seawater and specimens—she was a back-aching load to push through the water.”

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source: Fauna and Family (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978), 21.

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medium: nonfiction

“The way to learn to sail a big boat is first to sail a little one, because the little one is so much harder to manage. The same is true of udders. I can milk a sheep now, with her small cleverly concealed udder, and so I have no hesitancy about going on to a larger and more forthright bag.”

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source: “Getting Ready for a Cow,” in One Man’s Meat (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1944), 317.

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medium: essay

notes: White wrote this essay in September 1942.

“When are you sailing so I can meet you at the dock with champagne?”

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source: letter to Elizabeth Bishop, dated April 24, 1952, in Words in Air (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010), 137.

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medium: letter

“Sailors know to train their eyes on the horizon to avoid seasickness. When you’re landlocked in New York City, look at the farthest curb, which, in its own way, is the horizon line.”

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source: Walks with Men (New York: Scribner, 2010), 33.

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medium: fiction

“I don’t consider myself a hero. I’m an ordinary girl who believed in her dream. You don’t have to be someone special or anything special to achieve something amazing. You’ve just got to have a dream, believe in it, and work hard.”

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source: CNN, May 15, 2010

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medium: television news

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