the best instruction
brian schofield is reminded of an episode when his friend kate summerfield won the samuel johnson award for non-fiction. he doesn’t mention this in the entire length of his article, but going by the picture that goes with it, maybe that is what he means. well, whatever.
why i am putting it here is because it has the best piece of instruction i’ve ever seen in a long time.
When I was a university undergraduate, a female friend of mine got an invitation to tea from Professor Miri Rubin, the august early-modern historian (who’s now a regular on Radio 4’s In Our Time).
“I asked you here,” Professor Rubin explained, “to tell you that you are an intelligent woman. And throughout your life, people are going to be discomfited by that fact, and they’ll pressure you to conceal it. But you have to be strong enough to walk into the room and say ‘Hello, I am an intelligent and serious-minded young woman, and if that’s not to your taste, that’s your problem.’ Understand?”
Nodding weakly and gulping her tea, my friend hurried down to the bar, where we all had a good laugh at the Professor’s pronouncement. We hadn’t a clue what she was talking about. Fifteen years of real life later, it makes perfect sense.