Thursday, January 30, 2020

Lessons learned

Old school files destined for the recycling continue to be the source of what I believe young people these days call sick burns: "I suspect that this highlights your strengths and weaknesses. Strength is a dogged determination to work your way through an argument which eludes you in places. Weakness is that when you draw a blank with meaning, you retire behind a series of verbal formulae." Plus ca change, eh? It's funny how comments like this still smart 25 years later, and how uncomfortable it is to find yourself on the receiving end of a critic's pen.

Collectively the files are a reminder of how hard I was pushed as a kid, and also how the past is foreign country and life hasn't quite panned out as anticipated, placing me on the outside of academia looking in rather than the inside looking out. Ah well - que sera sera, to use another French phrase.

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