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Monday, November 7, 2011

Questions From Geekland

As an extrovert, I fit the predictive profile of having a preference for knowing something about lots of subjects (i.e. breadth) vs. the profile of introverts who often prefer to know a great deal about a smaller number of subjects (i.e. depth). I'm usually comfortable with this element of the extroverted part of myself.

That said, when I listen to the scholars featured on the Teaching Company's "Great Courses" series, I am in awe as well as a bit jealous of the depth on display, whether the lecturer is an introvert or not. Most recently, I've been listening to a series called "Classics of  American Literature" with lectures by Dr. Arnold Weinstein from Brown University. When this man rhapsodizes about Herman Melville (for 6 CDs worth!), I am spellbound and amazed. Others who lecture in the "Great Courses" series, on a wide array of topics, are equally astounding; none of these people are household names.

I realize my mild envy of these academics puts me solidly into Geekland. Still, I hope that any of you who have been exposed to scholars like these, through the "Great Courses" or otherwise, could agree that they deserve at least as much attention as those who regularly populate the cover of "Us" magazine. And snarky comment aside, as always, I'm left with questions for all of you. To my fellow extroverts: What experiences or situations have left you with a longing for less breadth and more depth? Introverts: Same question - just reverse the words breadth and depth. For anyone uncomfortable self describing with either word or for those who do not accept the notion of any bi-polar construct, thanks for reading this far; no questions for you today.  

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