Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Wednesday Post

Michael5000 Indulges a Quixotic Impulse
Exchange of Email Messages

This time of year, my job involves working with a lot of high school students who are entering a summer internship program.  It involves a lot of hurry-up-and-wait on their end, so the sharp ones tend to check in a lot to make sure that they've dotted all the i's and crossed all the t's.

Student to Michael5000, 6/10/12

Hello, Michael,

Here is my updated resume.

Let me know if there is anything more I should work on.

Thank you.


Michael5000 to Student, 6/11/12

Hi, [Name],

Thanks for sending in your resume. It looks great!

Is there anything more you should work on? There are, of course, always more things to work on. I always recommend reading books that are kind of challenging to you. The Great Gatsby is one of the best novels about American life (although I have smart friends who hate it), and although Charles Dickens’ language can be difficult to get through at first, he is still an amazing storyteller. Since you are interested in Japanese, you might want to try some Haruko Murikami; I’d recommend Kafka on the Shore for instance. If you enjoyed your AP European History class, I really recommend George R.R. Martin’s “Song of Ice and Fire” books (the ones that the TV show is based on); it’s fantasy fiction, but it is deeply rooted in the politics of medieval Europe.

It’s a good idea to develop some kind of regular exercise while you’re young, even for people who don’t see themselves as athletic. I like running, because it’s free and easy to schedule, but there are lots of options there. Also, I think that people who have learned how to appreciate art have more fun in life: an afternoon at the Art Museum would not be wasted. Find a few lists of “Great Movies,” check them out from the library, and see if you can figure out why people think they’re “great.” Also, write a lot – letters, diary, blog that nobody reads, whatever. It’s good practice.

Yes, there are always things to work on.

But in terms of the internship program, you are in good shape. I've got you slated for the position you wanted, and all you really need to do is sit tight and wait for us to call.

: )


Rebel said...

While entertaining, you may have just violated a few of Grice's maxims, namely Quantity and Relevance... possibly Manner.

Guess who just rocked her Linguistics Exam? =P

Libby said...

Did he reply, "Hi Michael, LOL! Sincerely, [name]"?

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

I want you to be my new boss and life coach!!

Michael5000 said...

Reb: I don't know this Grice character you speak of, but it sounds like he'd hate me.

Libster: No reply. Doubtless she hasn't written back because she been too engrossed in Murikami.

Dr. Ken: Done. Here it is: Just keep doing what you're doing, bro.

Michael5000 said...

"The grice was a type of swine found in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and in Ireland...."

Michael5000 said...

Damn, I did it again!

But! "Speakers who deliberately flout the maxims usually intend for their listener to understand their underlying implication. ....Cooperation is still taking place, but no longer on the literal level. Conversationalists can assume that when speakers intentionally flout a maxim, they still do so with the aim of expressing some thought. Thus, the Gricean Maxims serve a purpose both when they are followed and when they are flouted.