A Chat with Bill and Melinda Gates
updated 10/05/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 10/05/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Small talk at the Gates dinner table
BILL: Everybody gets to talk about what they're thankful for.
MELINDA: We'll bring a discussion topic or they will. Something in the news or a book, such as Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, which just got redone. And we talk about the foundation's work: They have a pretty good understanding of diseases, from HIV/AIDS to malaria and polio.
Date nights—but don't call it that
BILL: Hardly a week goes by that we don't take at least one night that it's just the two of us going to dinner. We go to a lot of movies [Slumdog Millionaire, The Reader].
What about all that money?
BILL: [The kids] understand most of the wealth is not coming to them. Our youngest has not prepared her arguments against it as fully as she might over time [laughs]. We want our kids to grow up in a normal way.
Spending billions on schools
MELINDA: A great education sets a kid on a really fantastic [path]. But the public school system serves only about one-third of kids really well. We know how much we both benefited from an incredible education. That's something every kid ought to have.
Bill—soon, on Twitter!
BILL: A few years ago I had like 20,000 [friend requests] on Facebook, so I gave it up. But I'm going to reappear. I want to share some of my trips and experiences. And I have a new way to do that using Twitter and Facebook.