Marking the end of the term, with only one more to go. It's also nearing the end of another year. Here are the things I didn't learn from a textbook.
(Btw, just because I use the word "you" a lot doesn't mean I'm trying to preach. This is just as much a reflection as anything else.)
1. Insomnia is one nasty goblin.
2. What makes a true academic is a free spirit within a certain intellectual discipline. The best student-teacher college relationships are often intellectually contentious, and when different beliefs or perspectives - when well supported on both sides - are a good thing, a productive seed in academia.
3. The best teachers find a way to make the individual you the best you you can be. The worst try to turn you into them. If you're committed to an academic career you have to be able to deal with having both.
4. When you have a problem with someone, the honorable thing to do is to face it with that someone. If that doesn't work out, you can tell whomever you want about it and not feel like you're stabbing someone in the back.
5. But just because you can tell whomever you want doesn't mean that you should.
6. Sometimes you have to play the game and fake a smile. Sometimes, when the fake smile is only a mirror of the fake people it is shown to, and when the game doesn't really matter. Where you draw the line is what matters. Stand up to be counted when it stands to count. All the rest goes to recycling.
7. Some people are fragile, others are just breakable. It's fine. Just don't be both.
8. One has to own his own opinions, even if the people you best respect disagree. The more they disagree, the more you really have to believe in your opinions in order to to keep them. When one reaches the point when you still believe in something but not as much as that of the opposition of those who believe in you, reassess your priorities.
9. The best academics, the best musicians, the best whomever... are still... just... people.
10. One way to deal with stage fright is practicing to the point when you trust your art more than you rely on the opinions of those on the other side of the stage.