…in the autobiography of Cyrus Gordon, the great Hittitolgist. He tells on his first day, aged eighteen, at the great Hebrew Center at the University of Pennsylvania. It ends with the Chairman giving out tasks. Gordon is told to report on the Syriac version of the text in question. He says he doesn’t know Syriac. “Where do you think you are? At kindergarten?” roars his teacher and tells him to go home and learn Syriac.
From The Dragons of Expectation by Robert Conquest.