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On Being Seen | Inside Higher Ed


The Girl is home for a few more days before heading back to campus for the spring semester.

A couple of months ago, I agreed to give a virtual presentation to a college in another state. It was on a topic I hadn’t done before, so I accepted the invitation on the theory that a deadline would force me to discover what I think about it. This weekend I was fine-tuning it at the kitchen table when she sat down and asked how it was going.

Me: Pretty well, thanks. You know me, though; I start with something sweeping and theoretical and have to narrow it down.

TG: You like context.

Me: Exactly! Most of what I would offer would seem arbitrary or just strange without context. But too much context and the point gets lost.

TG: People need context and nuance, but they don’t like context and nuance.

Me: Yes! Getting the balance right is hard.

TG: It’s part of your fear of being misunderstood.

(pause)

Reader, it’s a bit unnerving when your 18-year-old daughter encapsulates your personality in a sentence. And does it offhandedly.

She’s taking freshman comp this spring. Her professor is in for a treat.



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