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Inside the Ivory Tower


Tuesday was a good day—at least until lunch.

Tuesday was a good day; Wednesday was not and it just got worse through the end of the week..


Academe has been much on my mind this month. As the end of my so-called career rapidly approaches, there was bound to be more than a little reflection on whatever water-bourn flotsam has passed beneath the bridge. And, somehow, set theory seems to fit the general scheme of things. There are, it occurs to me, intellects, scholars and teachers cowering here in the Ivory Tower, and sundry others of varying academic stripe. And, of course, enumerators (which is to say, administrators), who are in actual control. Generally, we’re not a very colorful lot. 

At this point I’m interested in the relationshiup between teachers and scholars, since Tuesday was one of those days when I actually taught–on purpose; with intent and, I might add, mystified satisfaction. Those days come rarely and without warning. There are certainly many here at Beinzahn U for whom such days are legion–just another day. And others (I’m not one of them) who work like Hell to make it happen.

And then there are scholars (among whom I am also not worthy to count myself) from whom peer-reviewed papers and collegially-applauded conference presentations flow with the regularity of Old Faithful. What interests me–when I am able to step aside and observe with a measure of objectivity–is this relationship among intellectuals, teachers and scholars. One might imagine them neatly nested within one another, scholars being the rarest of the lot. But among the latter two–teachers and scholars–I’ve observed colleagues in one category who are not in the other. I am, in fact, a case in point. There may be overlap between those categories, but there is also mutual exclusivity.

The question du jour has been simple: which would I rather be? All things considered, I am content to have been a good teacher on Tuesday morning.

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous says:

    More than, good, R.H.L.M. Ramsay! A great teacher, ever amusing and entertaining!

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