Pride in accomplishment

Last night I showed two of my relatives the museum; I was heading down there to work when they stopped by. And I notice I have become a bit more Icelandic in my attitude about work. When I was at the Smithsonian, the thing I was really proud of was the fact that I was part of a complex and intricate group project, and an integral part at that. It was fabulous.

Last night though I found myself pointing out to my relatives all the things I have done in the museum all by myself. Came up with the idea, designed it, implemented it, constructed it.

And I notice something similar with my dissertation. When I was coming up with the idea back at Berkeley, I was thinking very much about how it would fit in with wider debates in the field. I saw it as one part of a more complex scholarly whole. But now I feel rather more Icelandic about it, that my dissertation is my statement, just mine.

It is hard for me to say which sort of accomplishment I take more pride in, that of successfully becoming part of something larger than myself, or that of getting a job done all on my own.

I think it is sort of 50/50. One is more American, and the other more Icelandic.


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