I prefer to read. Leave me alone.

By Sean Carroll | March 6, 2007 1:29 pm

A whole life of making minimal demands, of keeping to myself, of doing all my chores promptly and well, of getting superlative grades, of being a star in band, of being a dutiful student of the piano, of having good and well-behaved friends, of working ever since I was old enough to drive — that all meant nothing. Being good hadn’t preserved me from random interrogations, in fact made me more vulnerable — I bought into their standard of judgment and tried to defend myself according to it, once even breaking down in tears, a seventeen-year-old kid, breaking down into incoherence, collapsing into a fetal position, and she just walked away. Even now, if something ever comes up in conversation, she acts like she doesn’t remember, like it was someone else entirely — she apologizes on behalf of this other person, over-eagerly, like she’s apologizing for some weird misunderstanding that she can’t fully assimilate.

Dave Brubeck and Heidegger. Adam Kotsko tells a short cliched-sounding tale — growing up with parents who don’t understand you — that he elevates into a moving memoir. I’m glad to have been quite a bit more fortunate.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Miscellany, Words
  • Brad

    kinda sounds like the tenure process too. I shall have to try that line on my
    department chair…

  • http://kea-monad.blogspot.com Kea

    Sounds like my family. I worked before I was old enough to drive.

  • Elliot

    Frankly I found this self-indulgent. Everybody has “stuff” to deal with. I think the philosophy/music references are a shallow “hey look what an intellectual I am” namedropping exercise.

    But hey to each his/her own.


  • unmoved

    If you ever cull the archives, this post should be the first to go.


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Cosmic Variance

Random samplings from a universe of ideas.

About Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests include theoretical aspects of cosmology, field theory, and gravitation. His most recent book is The Particle at the End of the Universe, about the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the Higgs boson. Here are some of his favorite blog posts, home page, and email: carroll [at] cosmicvariance.com .


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