Twofish's Blog

February 28, 2007

Moments of calm

Filed under: academia, massachusetts institute of technology — twofish @ 8:31 am

I’ve written a number of incendiary articles on the Chronicle of Higher Education forum lately.  Whenever, I post one of those articles, I’m quite nervous for the some reasons that most people are nervous when they say something in public.  The fear of course is the fear of public humiliation, loss of respect, and most curiously for me the fear of being alone.  One of the important things in academic education is to learn how to manage and cope with these fears.  Fear is a good thing sometimes, it keeps you from doing stupid things, but the goal of education is to learn how to manage this, and realize when fear is good and when fear is bad.  That’s something you don’t learn from reading books.  That’s something you just have to do.

Right now, I’m upset, I’m unhappy, I’m bitter, I’m angry, and I’m frightened.  That’s actually not a bad combination because I’m taking all of those very powerful feelings, and actually doing something useful with them, and so I’m not frustrated to any great degree.  Since I can effectively direct all of these things outside of me, things are working relatively well.  If I’m in a situation where I can’t direct these emotions to something constructive, they become destructive, and it is a very, very bad situation.

One mistake that people seem to make is to try to separate  “good feelings” from “bad feelings.”  In reality, the mix is strangely complex.  One thing that I found in writing my situation comedy pilot is that humor comes from pain.  I came up with something that I thought was very funny, but I had to cut open a vein to get the humor.

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