July 8, 2014

"And as I sit here with the dogs on July 4th, I think was it really that important to add one more book review to his CV or to do one more tenure letter as a favor for someone he never met?"

"I'm glad his peers all loved him for the reliable genius that he was, and I don't know how he feels wherever he is now, but I am very, very bitter."
[T]he price for all that frenzied output was me, and there's a part of me that will never forgive him for it, because he died right after he promised to slow down and enjoy life itself more.

So think about it, members of the "academy." All that talk about US News rankings and SSRN citations. Do you REALLY think stuff like that is life and death to your loved ones? I think most of them would sacrifice one more line on your resume for one more day of quality time with you. I know I would. But it's a bargain I can't make any more.

13 comments:

SteveR said...

At some point I hope she realizes it was a choice they both made, in one way or another. There are no tomorrows to count on.

Hari said...

So he did exactly what he wanted his entire life, and the assumption is that since was not happy with his choices, he must have lived wrong.

m stone said...

It may have been the choice he may have made and she submitted to, but it is a chilling indictment of anyone who puts ONE thing before everything else in his or her life. A life out of balance.

Biblically, this is a case of idolotry, be it work, or pleasure, or even family---anything to the extreme. It all comes down to pride.

The second lesson in this is simply: pride destroys, us and others connected to us.

RigelDog said...

I knew Taz, back when he worked in the DAs office. I really liked him; I remember how he was one of the few attorneys who would take the time to help a newbie like me. I can imagine him taking on more and more tasks and never losing that calm kindness.

FleetUSA said...

There's an old comment: On your death bed do you wish you had spent an extra day at the office.

David said...

This comes a little late for him to respond.

Anonymous said...

Lots of good things can happen at an office. In my job there are projects that require long hours sometimes. One time a team project was underway. I was not on this team but I was included in a minor way when the team was really busy. I mentioned to my wife that the team would be working on a Saturday to meet a deadline. I had no specific assignment right then but my wife encouraged me to drive the 20 miles to the office and offer my time. She knew the guys at the office and wanted them to be successful. Family and work are not always enemies.

Original Mike said...

That's why I retired. Life is short.

John Lynch said...

You got tenure, why keep working hard?

That's her point, isn't it?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gabriel said...

I hate the "live each day as if it were your last" philosophy because living a life full of beautiful moments and deep meaning implies a great deal of meaningless scut work going on behind the scenes, and whoever ends up having to do it is missing out on their beautiful moments and deep meaning.

On my deathbed will I wish I had spent more time washing the dishes, taking out the trash, or cutting the grass? Perhaps not. Do I then pay someone else to do these things for me? Then isn't that person's family getting deprived of them?

In academia, no one else can do your work for you. Without being as productive as he was, he'd not have his position--instead he'd be some kind of academic staff doing the meaningless scut work of his department, and I speak from experience when I say that academic staff doing the scut work have to put as many hours in as the tenured stars do at the beginning of their career--it's just work that doesn't lead to anything better.

Larry J said...

Family and work are not always enemies.

Very true, but it seems this man's attitude to his family is that they simply weren't important enough for him to take some time off from his work. While he may have been generous to others, he was quite selfish with his family.

George said...

The cemeteries are full of indispensable men.

In a generation, perhaps two, all of his scholarship will be forgotten (or at best one of a string of citations to "early work in the field").

Do not attempt to store up riches on Earth--that is no path to immortality.