Monday, August 27, 2018

Already Educated a Bit


Once upon a time, nearly two decades ago, I proofread and helped edit a book on "women and religion" for a friend who was working hard to make her mark in religious studies. There were a number of minor corrections that I made, as well as some matters of style that I adjusted, all of which she accepted. She had long realized that I was a better writer, and she didn't try to argue against my alterations.

But I then startled her by pointing to an important passage in her book and saying that she could strengthen her argument considerably by reworking the passage in a certain way.

She looked at me in surprise, dumbfounded for a moment, then said, "Well . . . I guess you learned something from my book."

My turn for surprise. I looked at her in silence, though I could have said, and maybe should have said, "Well, if I learned something from your book, then why did your book have to learn it from me?"

But we were still friends at that time, and I didn't want to embarrass her, though I now realize that I shouldn't have let her get away with that thought-theft.

She needed to know that I was already a fairly well-educated fellow before I met her, for she seemed remarkably oblivious to that fact.

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