Tag Archives: botanist

The Botanist

This is a legend the informant tells when reminded of either botany or memories. She learned it at some point while working in the administration of a college (she cannot recall which)


Okay, so the story is that there was a um… botanist who was a professor at Stanford university, and he became president of the university, and in his inauguration he said that he was going to learn the names off all the students on campus. So, the first few months, he went around campus, shaking hands with all of the students and trying to learn their names and working very hard at it. And then after a few months, his staff noticed that he’d kind of stopped doing that. And, so, they ask him very gently uh “Professor, why have you stopped doing this?” And he says, “Well, I’m a botanist and the trouble is, every time I learned the name of a student, I forgot the name of a plant!”

The informant told the story after I had mentioned that I used to remember certain things that I had since forgotten. She likely told it to inform as to the importance of prioritizing what one memorizes because the mind only has room for so much information.