Re: Lovers and Fools and Seething Brains

Jeanne H. Simpson (
Tue, 25 Mar 1997 15:22:23 -0600


Oh, my upbringing probably was a lot like yours--mom thumped me upside the
head with Emily Post whenever she thought I needed it--and I agree with
you completely that grimaces and other obvious non-verbal messages about a
presentation, delivered amidst an ostentatious and rudely timed exit is
just...rudeness. And particularly difficult to appreciate in a meeting of

I will even stick my neck out further, having argued that it is hard to
detect why people do things at times, and say that the deteriorating
civility of the academy is a matter of real concern to me. It is the
offspring of a lousy job market and low pay and underappreciation, no
doubt, but there are other causes too, some general and some individual.
I recognize the dreary inevitability of the jerk factor.

Still, perhaps we can try to give events the most charitable
interpretation and hope that the grimace is a stifled coughing fit or an
extreme of bladder urgency or realization that a time zone change has
not been considered.

Jeanne Simpson



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