Thursday, November 5, 2009

Facing Facts - Update

Prior to my talk at the Ohio Academy of History -- reprinted here as Facing Facts -- a professor sent me an email saying that he looked forward to hearing it. Of course, he didn't know what "it" was, since nothing had been advertised beyond the mere fact that I was going to be the after dinner speaker.

Following the talk, a gratifying number of people came up to thank me for what I had said. This particular professor did not.

A few days ago I ran across his email and decided to ask what he'd thought of the talk. I had a pretty good idea already. Still, I thought I'd give him a chance to prove me wrong.

His response: "I had known about your condition for a long time so I would have preferred more substance on the Civil War."


Barb said...

Mark Grimsley said...

I found it predictable but not funny. Quite obviously I was not merely disclosing that I had bipolar disorder; I was relating how my early encounters with Grant and Lee helped to illuminate how I managed the disorder. What the guy was saying, very thinly veiled, was that I was being inappropriate and should have given a conventional academic talk. Plainly he wasn't impressed in the least by the fact that much of the audience thought differently.

I've grown impatient with this kind of crap. But what particularly irritates me is that he had to be passive aggressive about it. He didn't have the balls to say what he thought directly, or explain why he thought it.

In my talk I said at one point: "You find environments and people that are supportive. And when necessary you divorce yourself, calmly but ruthlessly, from environments and people that are not."

Guess what I've done with this guy.

Barb said...

You know how sometimes it's hard to tell the nuances of what someone says in print (or online -- you know what I mean). That's why I wasn't sure how to take what that guy said.

In fact, that exact quote about divorcing yourself from unsupportive environments has been on my mind -- a lot -- lately, because it's what I had to do and though not easy, is important. I'm glad to hear you followed your advice.

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.