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“…I’m extremely happy with her, and part of it has to do with the fact that she is at once completely familiar to me, so that I can be myself and she knows me very well and I trust her completely, but at the same time she is also a complete mystery to me in some ways. And there are times when we are lying in bed and I look over and sort of have a start. Because I realize here is this other person who is separate and different and has different memories and backgrounds and thoughts and feelings. It’s that tension between familiarity and mystery that makes for something strong, because, even as you build a life of trust and comfort and mutual support, you retain some sense of surprise or wonder about the other person.”

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source: “A Couple in Chicago,” interview by Mariana Cook, The New Yorker, January 19, 2009.

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medium: interview

notes: Interview originally conducted on May 26, 1996 by Mariana Cook, who visited the Obamas in Hyde Park as part of a photography project on couples in America.

“I suggest that the most important interview is the child’s interview of the teacher. The child is preparing to leave the caring and loving environment of his parents, where he is free to act as he chooses. Is this teacher worthy of his trust?”

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source: “Interviewing the Child,” Public School Montessorian, Issue 87, Spring 2010

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“I’m sorry, I’ve never been a fan of books. I don’t trust them. They’re all fact, no heart. I mean, they’re elitist, telling us what is or isn’t true or what did or didn’t happen. Who’s Britannica to tell me the Panama Canal was built in 1914? If I want to say it was built in 1941, that’s my right as an American! I’m with the President. Let history decide what did or did not happen.”

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source: White House Correspondents’ Dinner, 2006

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