Miami update

Everywhere you look in Miami you see cranes putting up high-rises. I mean everywhere—it’s hard to look anywhere (other than straight up or down) and see fewer than three cranes. I saw eight in one view.

I gave my paper today, and the respondent—a European and a top scholar in his field—panned it in his comments. He had nothing positive to say. Thankfully, his comments sparked a debate amongst about five members of the audience, which included at least two very big names (who will remain nameless here for reasons of my privacy), about the nature of academic research. So I had my defenders. (Also making me look good was the fact that the respondent, being European, was “on hum” from not wearing deodorant.)

But just two weeks ago I was at a different conference, and there a senior professor from an Ivy Leage university told me “Your dissertation project isn’t going to work” and strongly—very very strongly—advised me to pursue a non-academic career. So it seemed like this was the month for the professional tag-teaming of Curly by tenured professors.

All is well, though. I concluded that the first professor was just mean, and the one from today was exaggerating my paper’s faults (which I admit exist) and overlooking or ignoring the its merits (also real). Besides, if you can’t maintain at least some grace and posture while dealing with meanies, morons, and legitimate critics, you really don’t belong in this line of work. (Come to think of it, that applies to every job except perhaps professional wrestling.)

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