In this article the author describes his professional life and his connection to Ted Sizer's "Horace's Compromise." He describes Sizer as someone who wrote in a new and unique way about schooling, rooted in razor-sharp observations of the lives, hopes, and frustrations of real students and real teachers within their shared environment. The ethnographic accuracy, the understanding of the complicated ecology of the schoolhouse, and crystal-clear explanations of the dilemmas that had to the author seemed troublesome but murky made for a new beginning and a recommitment to abandoning the many aspects of schooling that could at best result in a series of stand-offs and compromises. Above all, Sizer's respect for the dignity of students, teachers, and the learning process came through loud and clear. Sizer's assertion of school re-invention as a moral imperative set the bar too high for the trivialities and disincentives of a mediocre education to be tolerated.