A Gentle(wo)man and a Scholar

Streetlamp     “I’m not trying to tell you,” he said, “that only educated and scholarly men are able to contribute something valuable to the world. It’s not so. But I do say that educated and scholarly men, if they’re brilliant and creative to begin with…tend to leave infinitely more valuable records behind them than me do who are merely brilliant and creative. They tend to express themselves more clearly, and they usually have a passion for following their thoughts through to the end. And – most important – nine times out of ten they have more humility than the unscholarly thinker.”

– J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

Woah, it has been months since I last posted. They weren’t kidding about grad school’s impressive ability to keep one busy – who are they you ask? Everyone. Seriously, it’s the first thing someone (un?)helpfully offers when you announce your intentions to go on to grad school: “you know you’re going to have no life right?” or the infinitely more clever, “so I’ll see you in.. two years then?” At any rate, clever or not, you were all right – I’ve been busy as hell.

That being said, I’ve made a pact to insert some fiction reading into my schedule this summer. Periodically I seem to forget that fiction calms, de-stresses, and just generally makes me happy and I’m going to need all the happiness I can muster as I embark on the madness that is an MA Thesis. This may make me slightly even more busy but I don’t consider reading (or writing for that matter) fiction something that takes up time – rather it enhances time, making life’s simple pleasures all the more enjoyable. I can’t tell you how many times a good book with even a single deliciously crafted sentence has opened my mind to possibilities and thoughts I maybe had access to all along but didn’t know how to reach.

You may notice, if you even care to read these ramblings, that I try to start my blog posts with a quote. It doesn’t necessarily have to come out of fiction, as not every brilliant word-smith writes fiction, but it has to be something that jumps out of the page and insists on arresting my attention for whatever reason.

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