The future wilderness photographer, Ansel Adams, was an active, curious child who loved to be outdoors running around. His family lived in a sturdy home above the sand dunes outside of San Francisco. It was a great place for a hyperactive little boy to grow up – exploring the beaches and nearby Lobos Creek, inspecting everything and collecting insect specimens.
In his autobiography, Ansel had nothing good to say about his early education in dismal institutional settings. It was depressing, dirty and uninspiring. He thought the act of memorizing irrelevant facts (such as which states border Nebraska) was useless, saying “Education without either meaning or excitement is impossible.” One of his teachers, hoping to cure his restless tendencies, would invite him to her house periodically to lecture him on proper behavior. But all he could think about was getting outdoors. Finally, when he was twelve he became so bored that one day he simply burst out laughing at the ridiculousness of it all. The principal escorted him home for a week’s suspension. (more…)