Tuesday, April 07, 2009

academics are goofy creatures

"I mean, I just don't understand these people who strengthen their self-identification through listing their accomplishments. 2.5 kids, house in the suburbs, who cares? that's not who you really are."

"Oh, I don't know - when you introduced yourself it was with your name, degrees, institutions and latest publication. What's the intellectual difference? You've just offered me a self-definition through a particular sub-set of academic qualifications and accomplishments, and you asked for mine."

What I really should have done was to start competing on the grounds of the extent of our student loan debt. (laughter)


Ron Griggs said...

I remember reading about how a certain class of English society would never, ever inquire about or volunteer what they did to make a living. How rude! They lived by the assumption that gentlemen and ladies were of independent means (or if not, it wasn't polite to discuss it.) The author of the piece concluded that it was an example of English class snobbishness.

However, I thought it was an interesting leveler--a way of making everyone within the class more equal by ignoring income differences. And it makes me wonder if, since people do use information to compete as you so hilariously described, that those Victorians who limited the sorts of topics considered polite were also limiting a kind of rather nasty competition.

itsmecissy said...

When I tell people what I do for a living, someone always says "Oh, it must be nice to get paid to read novels all day."

So I tell them I'm a Mortician, I love the look on their face after that.