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Andy Rooney reminisces about Albany Academy days

Rooney said he attended the school during the Great Depression, and that he gives the teachers who taught him at the time a lot of credit, considering "they could have been doing something else."

In describing his love of Albany, Rooney said, "It's a typical town, a good town. It's a very good, normal city."

Rooney told students a few things he learned at the Academy.

"I learned 'Jack and Jill' in Latin," he said, reciting the whole rhyme in Latin.

"But it really has not made much good in my life."

The list of things he learned ranged from his route to school to his locker combination.

"Seventy years after I last used that locker, I still remember the number," he said. "What a waste of brain space."

He also said he remembered the words to many hymns he learned at the Academy.

"I know the words to more hymns than any atheist in America," he said.

Other things he learned were of a more serious nature.

"I learned that honesty is always the best policy," he told the students, with no further explanation.

While administrators at the Albany Academy label Rooney a graduate of the Class of 1938, he told students, "I don't know why they call me a graduate. I never got my diploma."

Rooney's message for the students at the Academy was that they should appreciate their time there because of all the fun that can be had.

Head of Schools Richard Barter said it is good for the students to have role models like Rooney come speak to the students, showing them that they do not need to get the best grades to be successful.

"I suspect that he wasn't the greatest student," said Barter. "[But] everyone has the promise and future."

According to Barter, that is the message administrators really want the students to see when they bring in alumni to lecture to the students.

At the conclusion of his lecture, Rooney left students with smiles and a glimpse of what their school was like 70 years ago. He left the reporters who gathered around the table in the Trustees Room, eager to ask questions, with one piece of advice.

"Get a job," he said.

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