Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Service to Alma Mater

It appears my number has come up and it's time to do service to the alma mater.

I've never before been asked to contribute to the files faculty put together when they apply for tenure and promotion, but in the past week I've been asked twice. Are they polling the end of the alphabet this year?

All of a sudden it's time to try and remember back to my freshman year of college and give my opinion of a professor I knew as an angsty 18 year-old, and another that I knew as a self-center but less angsty 22 year-old.

This process has lead me to wonder how much of how we describe the past is what we thought at the time and how much of it is how we understand the world at the present. Time, distance and maturity are great (important) things ... but they're not always easily applied to memory. What is truer -- and here's where these concerns start to apply to memoir writing -- the situation as it was perceived by the individual at the time that she experienced it, or the situation as seen through the lens of time and all that time implies and changes?

Highly Recommended