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September 1965

To Tell Or Not to Tell?

What happened when a professor told his biology class about his own experience with alcohol

I DID not plan for the great exposé to occur on that day. It just sort of happened. I teach a course called human biology. There are 100 students in the course this semester, divided into two sections. I was discussing foods and telling what they are: proteins, fats, carbohydrates and--alcohol. I explained that alcohol in very small quantities acts as a food, in larger quantities a stimulant, then a depressant, and finally as an anesthetic. I hesitated and I guess my AA training to date pushed me over the brink. I realized I was telling the truth but not the whole truth and therefore I was being dishonest. So out it came. I told them that alcohol works that way in most people but there is a very sizable group who react quite differently and unpredictably--the alcoholics. I told them that I know because I am one and that I don't dare touch the damned stuff.

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