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Alberto Gonzales

Former Attorney General of the United States

I enlisted in the Air Force, and my first assignment was at Fort Yukon, Alaska, it's a little remote radar site north of the Arctic Circle. There were about 100 GIs there, and the nearest civilization was an Indian village about a mile away. There were 600 native Americans who lived there. And the only way you could get to Fort Yukon during the winter was by airplane, in the summer by airplane and by boat, down the Fort Yukon River. But it was a very isolated assignment. I took that assignment, I volunteered for that assignment because the Air Force told me that during my four-year commitment, that I would have one remote assignment in Alaska, and I could choose to do it up front or wait until it came up in my rotation. And my first assignment was Key West, Florida, and so I made the decision to bypass Key West and go to Fort Yukon because I wanted to get the hard stuff out of the way first. And it really -- it was one of the best decisions I ever made, because when I was stationed there, there were two Air Force Academy graduates, and I listened to them talk about their experiences at the Academy, and I thought this is something I'd like to do. So I began the process of seeking an appointment to the Academy and was fortunate enough to get in.
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Alberto Gonzales

Former Attorney General of the United States

I have learned that the media often times writes things that are incorrect because they don't have all the information, and so you learn to live with it. I mean that's just the way it is. There's some information that cannot be shared, should not be shared, and so you don't share it. And so people write stories, and it's really hard on the family sometimes because they feel it and it's frustrating for them, but that's part of the business, and if you can't handle the criticism, then you shouldn't be in government, because it's a fish bowl, it really is. Everything you say and everything you do is certainly analyzed by critics and by the media. If you make a mistake, everybody knows about it, and so it's something that you just have to learn to deal with. And, you know, criticism or analysis is not a bad thing. I think that we should be accountable to the American people. We are their public servants, and so that's not something that I think is a bad thing, I think that it's a good thing. I wish more of it was accurate. But to the extent that you're talking simply about the analysis or criticism or scrutiny of the way that we do our jobs, absolutely, we should be totally accountable to the American people.
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Jane Goodall

The Great Conservationist

Who was going to give money to a crazy project like a young girl straight from England, no degree, going out into a potentially dangerous situation? And finally, he found some money for six months. And then the second problem, which was, I think, harder to overcome, was that in those days what we call Tanzania today was Tanganyika. It was a British protectorate, part of the British colonial empire, and the British authorities would not take responsibility for this young girl going out in the bush alone. But in the end, they said, "Well, if she brings a companion " So who volunteered to come for four of those six months? We had money for six months. For four of those months, my same amazing mother! She packed up in England. She came out. We had so little money for this expedition, a couple of tin plates and cups. Food in tins, very little at that. One cook; we had to have somebody out there. An ex-army tent. No sewn-in groundsheet like all the fancy tents have today, just a piece of canvass on the ground and the flaps at the bottom you rolled up and tied with strings. All the centipedes and spiders and snakes could come in.
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Jane Goodall

The Great Conservationist

Jane Goodall: The toughest part of my study initially was getting the confidence of the chimps. So it started off, they were afraid. Then, when they began to lose their fear they became belligerent. They treated me a bit as though I was a predator, and that is very scary. I mean they're about eight times stronger than I am. And when the big males were bristling their hair -- and often it was in the rain, so they looked very black, because they feel kind of more belligerent in the rain, I guess -- and shaking branches, and even sort of the ends of the branches were hitting my head. And knowing they could actually tear me to bits if they'd wanted to. And then the belligerence went away. And it was David Greybeard who really helped me get into their world, because he lost his fear. He wasn't belligerent. He visited my camp one day to eat palm nuts. Saw some bananas lying around, took them, and then came back for more. So I would wait down in the camp instead of getting up at half past five every day. And one day David took a banana from my hand. That was just after my mother had left.
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Jane Goodall

The Great Conservationist

Jane Goodall: I've been dragged, hit, buffeted. It's a chimpanzee trying to prove he's stronger, which we know anyway, but they like to prove it. One -- Fifi's second son, Frodo -- is a bully. He bullies other chimps, he bullies people, and especially bullied me. And it's actually very scary because he's the biggest, toughest, strongest chimp we've ever known. And it's like being charged by a tank. There's nothing you can do except pray, really. Hang on to a tree and hope.
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Doris Kearns Goodwin

Pulitzer Prize for History

Doris Kearns Goodwin: I decided when my two little kids were one and two years old, to give up being a professor at Harvard. Harvard had been an identity. When you are connected to a university -- and especially one like Harvard -- you go places and you say, "I'm a Harvard professor." They know who you are. I had written my Lyndon Johnson book, but I didn't have the same confidence that I could be as good a writer as I thought I was as a teacher. So it was scary to give up that umbrella in a certain sense. But I knew that if I could spend the time writing and being at home with my kids, that if I could do that, it would give me more satisfaction, because I wouldn't feel torn in a million directions, as I was feeling. Luckily, it really did work out, because I don't think I would have had the chance to write the book on the Kennedys, to write the book on Franklin Delano Roosevelt, if I was also trying to teach. I think I would have been doing things sort of half well all the way through. It wasn't so easy at that time.
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Doris Kearns Goodwin

Pulitzer Prize for History

Doris Kearns Goodwin: When the first book came out on Lyndon Johnson, before the reviews came out, I was certainly not sure how it would be received. It was the first. I had never even written articles before, much less a book, and I was young in writing it, and a lot was riding on it, because I needed to stay teaching for my tenure at Harvard. I needed it for my reputation as an historian. So I remember, in those months before the book came out, being quite scared. I mean, there's no question. The weird thing is -- I mean, luckily the reviews were wonderful. So I had this quick sense of being able to feel somewhat confident about it. But then you think, once the first one was really successful, then you would be fine when the second one came out. But I got nervous all over again, and I think you almost have to. I think it's like anybody who performs. If you're not nervous each time a new book comes out -- or even when I'm writing a book, if I finish one chapter and I go to write the next chapter, I wonder, "Can I write this next chapter? What do I have to say? I don't remember what I'm going to do."
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