Saturday, March 2, 2013

Happy Birthday Theodor Geisel

A well-read The Cat in the Hat Dictionary.

In the early 70s I was a graduate student in botany at NC State University taking my written examination for my PhD degree.  Dr. James Hardin had given me an extensive list of questions, one of which involved identifying a number of individuals who were supposedly significant to the field of botany.  I sailed through these except for one, Theodor Geisel.  I racked my brain and finally just had to leave it blank.  When I turned in my exam, I asked Dr. Hardin*, "Who is Theodor Geisel?"  He laughed heartily and replied, "Dr. Seuss."

He knew of course that I had young children, and he supposed, correctly, that I had read many of the Dr. Seuss books with them. But in the context of my written examination, Dr. Seuss was the last person in my mind. So I was trying to figure out who this "botanist" Theodor Geisel was.

Michael, almost two, gets his first Dr. Seuss book, Christmas 1964. (Still from home movie).
The first Dr. Seuss book that came into our house was at Christmas 1964 when son Michael got The Cat In The Hat Dictionary from Santa. The book had just been published that year.  But there were many Seuss books for Michael and Patrick during their childhood.

One of my favorite lines from a Dr. Seuss book is:
" You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes.  You can steer yourself any direction you choose."  from Oh the Places You Will Go.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY THEODOR GEISEL! (Today would have been his 109th birthday.)

* Today's post is dedicated to Dr. James Hardin.  I like his sense of humor.

I posted this last year, but because it is one of my favorite posts, I have posted it again this year.  


  1. Buddy Dog went to school yesterday as "The Cat in the Hat". It was Dr. Suess day at school. All the kids loved Buddy's outfit.

  2. Helen, did you get a pic? Post it if you did or send it to me and I'll post it.