This is the 280th post on this blog. Also, the pdf of our edition has 1437 pages (including those that are not finalized enough to be published yet), the class script I want to transform into a book 182.
I came to count pages a lot lately. Time had come for final accounting, budget- and production-wise: in a few hours, the main raison d’être for this blog will be passé. The junior research group “Berlin intellectuals 1800-1830” will be no more. This afternoon, I reached in the final report.
Having to write the final report of this year-long research project was at first depressing – before it turned, a few days ago, almost exhilarating. I had been told I had not published enough. I had been told I had made no major theoretical contribution. I had been told I don’t know how to edit properly. I had been told this is not how scholarship works. As I wrote my report, I found all of these judgements to be wrong. Not only that, but we had a wonderful time. Because we were a team.
Tonight, I wanted to write about how I hated having only 10 pages to describe the mountain of scholarly work we did. I also wanted to write about concurrence in the Academic system, how selfish it makes you. And I wanted to write about the expression of pity I often get when I describe my new job (the “boy-this-must-be-so-humiliating-for-her” look). I wanted to write about my new tasks and why I am looking forward to them.
I will have time for this later. For tonight, I decided that I just want to write about what I liked being a group leader. A tribute to non-solitary scholarship, if you want.
Learn from the others.
Try out ideas we came up with discussing something completely different.
Be sure that the work will be done on time and properly.
Have 3 sorts of tea, plus coffee, and chocolate biscuits, at the meetings.
Have the feeling that we all work towards a common goal.
Talk about books we loved.
Manage to transcribe the most undecipherable manuscript bits.
Share scholarly joy and that sharing makes it even more beautiful.
Find ways to make things even better for everyone.
Have room for questions and patience for answers.