Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

12 Dec 2006, 13:08 p.m.


Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2006 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

Woke up today grumpy and Leonard cheered me up by making up songs and playing them on the guitar. Then I bought four cans of Herdez Salsa Ranchera and ate the whole thing with bread and chips at work this morning. Perspiring, and feeling much better! On the Irish national standardized test:

The week of those exams, I dreamed I was flying. It marked the height of my sense of competence; the time when I was good at what the whole country seemed to value as the most important thing in life. In secondary school I knew exactly what was expected, and it barely troubled me to deliver it. I had a butter-wouldn't-melt demeanor and the only key to a school costume room, and most days I skipped a few classes there with selected pals. Schoolwork came so easily to me that I expected everything else to, and so when it turned out that I lacked natural talent at the violin, I refused to practice. Because I was uncoordinated, I dossed PE class every chance I could, and barely tapped a volleyball when I did show up. When I came fifth instead of first in a national school fiction contest, I gave up writing short stories.

It took a long time to unlearn this refusal to fail.

And of course, to my disappointment, life has been nothing like school. Only one company -- whose obsession with SAT scores pointed to their eventual implosion -- ever asked for my Leaving Cert results. In the self-inventing industries of the last ten years, there were no set texts.

There's a note at the end about Paul Graham. I want to write a scathing essay on why Paul Graham's notes make my blood boil, but no one would listen and it wouldn't change anything, including the temperature of my blood.

But the salsa has cheered me.


14 Dec 2006, 14:12 p.m.

I'm curious why Paul Graham's notes make your blood boil. I've always felt that his worldview was seriously limited and therefore his prescriptions were no good, but it's just irritating, not infuriating.

14 Dec 2006, 15:41 p.m.

I think I find his writings more frustrating because I'm in more groups he's dissing and dismissing, such as noncoders and women. But I need to explain it with more than just that.