Les Petits Contes

About life's little observations, which matter. About hilarious situations, which illuminate. About stories which offer immense possibilities, open endings, different interpretations and perspectives.

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Location: Singapore

A nature lover; sun-worshipper, manic book-collector, dessert-devourer and a magnet for hazards

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Silly Grin


Sometimes you see a person walking around with a silly grin on his face. And you wonder, ‘’maybe he is dreaming of something nice, or is besotted with somebody, or has just heard something funny from the ear piece sticking out of his ears’’.

This morning, I was that person, and was even extra friendly with a student who had asked me a question. But no, I was not in reverie, nor smitten, nor listening to something amusing.

I had merely read a ludicrous email from an Emeritus professor. And remembering my wise brother’s counsel, who once said, ‘’never give morons the satisfaction of making you upset’’, my reaction turned to one of genuine mirth.

Come to think of it, the situation provided me the satisfaction of bitching about people. Ah, I am supposed to be a graceful swan floating elegantly and poised, no matter what insults, abuses and dressing-down they hurl at me at work. But as an intelligent being working for an eminent institution, surely I can reflect and wonder about the various species of professors we have? Professors who miraculously became learned people and who even earned the coveted title of ‘’emeritus’’?

I had sent the link to an article to one emeritus professor:

‘’Please see the article ‘’The New Shanghai Knights’’, from Forbes India, in this link:

http://business.in.com/article/winning-in-china/the-new-shanghai-knights/12492/3

You were quoted in page 2 of the article.’’

The curt reply came: ‘’please send me the direct link’’. To give him the benefit of the doubt (very reluctantly though, because this is a notorious pain in the ass, drama professor full of unreasonable histrionics), I checked my link once again, thinking that it could have been broken or died. No, it functioned perfectly – a comprehensive special report on doing business in China.

So, this professor, as an academic, is not intellectually curious enough to read the entire article, or see the context of his quote, or to see how his peers have been quoted. But is vainglorious enough to just zoom straight to his own quote. And lazy enough not to look for the very page, preferring to send me a command via email.

I am gobsmacked, but refuse to be flummoxed. After all, it made my day. It sent a broad grin to my face, and let me start the day with some humour.

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