Friday, October 14, 2011


A friend of a friend commented today on Facebook that spending a Friday night studying and paper-writing is "lame."  I initially wanted to reject the premise entirely, and I did speak against it, noting that having scholarship to do "keeps you out of trouble" in one of my more dad-like moments.

Yes, I am practicing.  No, there is not a reason for me to be doing so quite yet.  So relax.  The horror of a little version of me is not yet ready to be released into the world.

The comment did provide me a pushing-off point for consideration, however.  I have spent many Friday evenings as I am spending this one: working on one bit of writing or another, or reading so as to be able to work on a piece of writing.  And I suppose that a great many people would very much think it "lame" that I do so--whatever "lame" means in this context.  Certainly my legs both work, and work well, which is not a luxury in this city of staircases.

Seriously, New York seems like that one Escher piece at times.  Or Jared's castle in Labyrinth, particularly that one room--and there are even Bowie look-alikes!


What is wrong with a person spending time doing what that person enjoys doing?  And while I know that many people do not consider doing homework to be a happy event, those of us who are seeking advanced degrees--or whose jobs rely upon us having them--have little claim to number ourselves among such people.  Also, we ought well to enjoy the work we do--and homework is simply more of that work.

But what else would we be doing?  Right now, my dear and beloved wife is hard at work teaching some of the more academically disadvantaged students among our school's corps of academically disadvantaged students; one alternate enjoyable activity is therefore ruled out for now.  Another would involve me spending time and money at a bar, and while I have both available to me, it is better in the end for me to make different use of both than buying beer for me to drink and keep ahold of around my middle.

I have quite enough beer there already, thank you.  And there is some in the fridge at home, bought much less expensively than would be the case at a bar in midtown Manhattan.

Most of my friends in this part of the country are either hours away by train and car or are themselves academics, and so likely enwrapped in the same kind of thing that I am doing right now.  They no doubt have scholarship to tend to and other writing to get done, and I would not tread upon that.

I will also not wake up with a hangover.  And that is, perhaps, sufficient recompense for being "lame."

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