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Excerpted from Living, Loving and Learning by Leo Buscaglia. Copyright © 1982 by Leo Buscaglia. Excerpted by permission of Fawcett, a division of Random House, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.  HTML and web pages copyright © by SpiritSite.com.

"Youíre really very brave to allow me to come here and talk about love in the classroom."

Leo Buscaglia, 
Living, Loving and Learning
, Part 1

Iím overwhelmed at the pleasure of being introduced by someone who knows how to pronounce my name. I love to talk about my name because itís one of those beautiful Italian names that has every letter in the alphabet. Itís spelled B-u-s-c-a-g-l-i-a, and itís pronounced like everything. The best thing, I think, that has ever happened with it in terms of introductions was when I was making a long distance telephone call. The line was busy and the operator said sheíd call me back as soon as the line was free. When she called back, I picked up the phone and she said, "Would you please tell Dr. Box Car that his telephone call is ready?" I said, "Could that be Buscaglia?" She said, "Sir, it could be damned near anything."

Today Iím here to talk to you about love and I call this "Love in the Classroom." Youíre really very brave to allow me to come here and talk about love in the classroom. Usually Iím asked to disguise it or at least add something. You know, "Love, comma, As A Behavior Modifier." Then it sounds very scientific and it doesnít frighten anybody. Itís the same way that, when I teach my love class on campus, all the faculty members giggle and poke me as I walk down the campus and say, "Hey, donít you have a lab on Saturday?" I assure them that I donít.

Iíd like to give you a little background about how I got started with this idea of love in the classroom. About five years ago I was interviewed by our Dean at the School of Education. Heís a very official man, sitting behind a great big desk. I had just left the job as Director of Special Education in a large school district in California, having decided that I just wasnít an administrator, I was a teacher and that I wanted to get back to the classroom. I sat down and he said, "Buscaglia, what do you want to be doing in five years?" I immediately, without hesitation, said, "Iíd like to be teaching a class in love." There was a pause, a silence, just like you are doing right now. Then he cleared his throat and said, "And what else?"

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