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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Walking and Thinking

I walk in the gym, because it's been cold out. I walk outside, too, if I want to get somewhere.  My goal is the proverbial 10,000 steps a day, and I'm meeting that goal (as of now, for this calendar year). I will often decide to think about something in particular, develop ideas as I walk around and around the track. An hour is a good stretch of time; you can develop some ideas in that amount of time. Today I was thinking about how to assume my new role as someone who actively thinks of himself as a top scholar, rather than a bum, but still not be an asshole or arrogant prick of the kind I hate, especially in myself.

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One rule, for example, is not to be a professor at all out of context, unless very irritated by someone, to the point at which you need to get professorial on their ass.

 Another would be to worry about being a prick. The real pricks don't worry about it, or if you point it out will have some excuse or not even see the problem.  

Another rule would be not to write in a way that is designed to make you seem smart, at the expense of the reader.  You can be smart, if you have a smart point to make, but you can't write just in order to make yourself seem that way. You cannot condescend either, or even practice false modesty.  

You might depend on friends to tell you not do it. And you should listen to them.

You might pick and choose your times for making a point, or showing someone else. A colleague was all excited in the meeting a few days ago for having invited a slam poet to campus. I said nothing, even though slam poetry is inherently crappy. If you pass up opportunities to try to make a point like that, you will find it is easy just to let most things slide.  

You might look at your motivations: competitiveness?  A sensed of being aggrieved, and not getting your due?  Anger?  Frustration?

Let me know if you have rules in order not to be an asshole.

Some people just aren't that way anyway, and don't need rules to keep themselves from assholic behavior.  Sadly, I am not in this category.  

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It is hard to walk 10,000 steps a day (on average) if you don't walk at least that most days, because if you walk 5,000, then you need a day of 15,000 to balance that out, and that is harder to do. It is hard to accumulate 10,000 simply by walking where you need to go.  You have to take a walk of some substantial length, at some point. Otherwise you will be in the 3-7k range. So if you walk at least 10 a day, you will average more like 11.

3 comments:

profacero said...

I have also decided to think of myself as a top scholar as opposed to a bum. This involves brushing off people who accuse me of arrogance -- I'm not.

And yes, I need to get back to those 10K steps, or whatever it is, I never count but I should stop driving places. I have quit the elevator, though.

Jonathan said...

Yes, that old arrogance accusation. Once you set a certain standard for yourself, as you should because you are a top scholar, you are "arrogant."

profacero said...

OK, here's where I am irritating.

1/ Teaching above level, but then not fully owning it. Either I should stop doing it or I should stop feeling I should stop.

2/ Appearing officious. I can get things done (see how I got our LASA and MLA panels put together?) and it drive people nuts. I don't mean to overpower them by being able to think through practicalities so fast, but it DOES in fact bug them. I should be aware of this and only allow my talents in this area to show, or only use them when I am around other efficient people.