Category Archives: Interpersonal Strategy

Temporary Sanity

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Native Speakers

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I spent ten days working with two different clients, a big architecture-engineering firm and a small college. Hung out with fun people, worked with my pal Jenny as we have every summer for the past seven, and was grateful to get home after about 1500 miles of driving over two… Read more »

Decorum

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I wrote a few posts ago about rejection letters, a genre in which nobody ever says, “That book sounds really awful,” or “You write terribly,” or “You have no possible future in academia, as far as I can tell.” We’ve developed a veneer of civility over the whole thing, an… Read more »

Transcendence

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Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft

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Nope, not a vaudeville duo. Rather, an 1887 division of social-group types by the German proto-sociologist Ferdinand Tönnies. Gemeinschaft (more or less meaning “community”) is a group of people who work to maintain bonds with one another, who know one another well enough that a sense of belonging matters for its… Read more »

A Job I Can’t Imagine Wanting

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I have two good friends who have both recently become college presidents. One visited last weekend. And as part of a long and wide-ranging dinner conversation with her and her family, blessedly little of which was about higher ed, she did happen to mention that she’d discovered how much money her… Read more »

Wait, what?

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One of the joys of being on my small community’s selectboard is that you never know what the next meeting is going to bring. Buy 440 cubic yards of gravel? No problem. The ATV club wants permission to operate four-wheelers on North Street? Sure, we’ll consider that. Property tax rates,… Read more »

Ready to be a dandelion?

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I’ve just been pointed to science fiction writer Cory Doctorow’s blog post in which he claims that the characteristics of intellectual work in the Internet age (ease of duplication and transmission, immediacy of reach, lack of reader focus and followthrough, an immense ocean of choices) means that artists of all… Read more »

Another Burden of Administrative Life

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Sectarian Violence

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The comedian Emo Phillips performed a routine (click that link) that has been voted the greatest religious joke ever written. Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, “Don’t do it!” He said, “Nobody loves me.” I said, “God loves you. Do you believe in God?” He… Read more »