Personally, I respond to criticism more strongly than I do to praise. Of course, I am a sensitive person and upon receiving the criticism, I decamp until I figure out a way to convince myself that the criticizing person is an idiot and should probably be excecuted. Most of the time this works well, but I do not believe in the dealth penalty. What I usually end up asking myself is “what is s/he, a professor?”
To most effectively force myself to introspect, I would hold a three day weekend conference at a resort in Miami with the 12 people who have advanced degrees in “prolificology”. They would point out what they currently do not like about me, why it would be in my best interest to do something about it, how I would do this. After all 12 went, we would hold a vote on the issues and I would adhere to the prescriptions prescribed for the top three, because these 12 people and I all would know me.
The roommate tries to effect change in me with constant criticism of some aspect of how I behave and think. Essentially, he has nearly completely lost all credibility due to his overuse of the pronoun you followed by a vapid observation. What I now like to say in response to one of these is “you need to observe other things, like your butt.” I have too many layers of manners to explicitly tell him to shut the fuck up, and strangely, he would actually be offended by that. If he were to hold a weekend conference at a resort in Miami on the topic of himself, I would definitely ascribe the majority of his problems in life to being too critical of the people who actually like him. However irritating, we need these overcritical people, they help us to appreciate the nice and soft people who do not say anything if they do not having anything nice to say. The most effective people are those who are 4 parts praise and 1 part criticism. They can mix it up.
Sheepishly asking professors for recommendations is something that I have become good at. With most professors, sheepishness is the way to go. These people have worked hard their entire lives, and they like the fact that you’re quivering and deathly nervous about asking for them to advance your career. If I were a professor I would definitely find some sick satisfaction at the power I’d possess to make or break a student’s career. It is difficult to deny a groveling, snot-nosed, and hungry undergrad who has spent hours upon hours on things that you’ve said, their nuances, and the kitchen sink.
An academic subject in a university is not actually about the subject itself. It’s definitely not about learning. It’s a game between you and the professor. If you lose, you go directly into a life of bitter, never self-actualizing despairdom. If you win, you go directly into a life of bitter, pretending to self-actualize despairdom. But you get a shiny recommendation for winning. And if the professor likes you, that recommendation will be that much better. So guys, smell nice and smile and sit up straight. Girls, wear those subliminally seducing outfits and sit up straight. If you play this game correctly, you won’t have to pay attention to the material.
The New York Times is making a successful attempt at dislodging the Washington Post as my number favorite newspaper. I’m not sure what it is, but the New York Times has a more polite feel, everyone is a Mr. or a Ms. — and of course you can’t argue with the quality of the articles, they’re mini hits of crack. It still can’t really match up to The Economist, my number one engrossing reading material.
I learned the other day that 100 g of powder “blow” cocaine is equivalent to 1 g of rock “crack” cocaine. Maybe not equivalent in effect on your body, but equivalent in terms of how long you will be forced to have sexual intercourse with someone of the same sex in prison. Make sure you measure that cocaine.