Tuesday, October 23, 2007

my valediction prediction...

just go with it... it rhymes.

i have very intelligent friends... i do. i'm not going to lie. such things usually make me feel good about myself. for some reason, new york has provided me the opportunity to increase the knowledge level of my friend base. why is that you might ask (or you might if you actually cared about what i had to say... so thank you... for those that actually, in fact, you know... care)? i think it's because there's a pretension that goes along with this place. people really seem to care about where you went to college, and what you studied, and the number of degrees you have (because one bachelor degree doesn't really cut the mustard), and all that flim flam. whatever. sit at a table with me and my coworkers on any given day and this will be the round up: yale, yale, stanford, harvard, oxford, brown, yale, university of washington. pretty sure that last one is the dactyl (good call). it amuses me. but at the same time i can't stand verbal showboating. it's a fine line, but in the publishing industry, advanced vocabulary is routine.

i left los angeles because i couldn't stand how plastic the city was... and not just in a surgically cosmetic sense... the people just seemed to have no souls. i lived there for two years and didn't generate one meaningful relationship with a single person there. tres boring. but i find that i dislike new york for the opposite reason. there is meaning, but does soulfullness exist here?

back to my original topic... whenever i find myself puzzling over the meaning of a certain word or concept, i know not to trouble myself too greatly with it. i simply lean my head out my office and ask the general nearbys what the answers are. more likely than not, it is my bff at work R... and in today's case he came through for me. again.

during lunch S posed the following question: i know that the opening of any letter is called a salutation, but what is the closing called? the answer: a valediction. R wins again.

and now you can all consider yourself enlightened...


arija said...

i liked this post a lot. i hope i've told you before, but if not i'll tell you now, i really admire your intelligence; specifically, the way you choose to display said intelligence. you are very comfortable in how smart you are, but you don't feel the need to flaunt it with, as you so aptly say, verbal showboating. you do have a smart vocabulary, and you use it with ease. as an added bonus, you can spell, and you obviously think critically about the things that are important to you.

you're right to say that we east coasters care more about college degrees than most folks. i think there are several reasons for this, but first i need to say that where you went to school often doesn't mean anything. it's taken me a long time to learn this; i used to stay pretty close to my circle of yale friends, largely because i felt a kinship with them that i assumed that no one else would understand. as someone who spent most of high school not really being friends with her friends, it was so refreshing to go to a place where so many people were like me in the exact way that i wanted them to be. but that's the thing about places like yale, harvard, stanford, etc... logically, the only type of person to go there is the type of person to apply there, if that makes sense. i wonder what the student bodies of yale would be like, for example, if yale admissions officers came out to high schools all over the country and actively recruited students in the same way that coaches recruit athletes. if every single smart person all over the country thought she had a chance to get into yale and actually applied, i bet the student body would look markedly different. instead, we get by and large people who were raised either in a culture of achievement or excellence, or who knew that they wanted to be a part of something like the ivy league. i don't mean to color that in a negative way - i myself am a little bit of both (i'm a professor's daughter, for crying out loud. obviously i was going to go to the best possible school i could get into.) but you're right - there are some real douchebags at these kinds of schools, people who aren't necessarily smart or interesting. there are also tons of "book smart" kids who, as you put it, lack soulfulness.

however, i think it's doing us smart and creative people a disservice to draw a dichotomy between smart and soulful... my very favorites are the ones who successfully find the parts of themselves that can play to both sides. so while i may immediately feel drawn to the kind of smart that i know... i think part of the responsibility of being smart is to seek it out in others and let yourself grow and develop in their unique presence.

dactyl said...

well of course it's doing you a disservice darling... i'm generalizing creative people that i love with new yorkers in general.

that's why i cling so tightly to people like you and R... b/c you are that amazing balance between intelligent and soulful!