You Academics, She Said

by Ken Smith

I was at a conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico, you know, in a hall filled with round tables, white table cloths with centerpieces, free pens and notepads, and ice water in glass goblets. One of the keynote speakers had driven up from the southernmost part of the state, where she worked in some sort of social program. During her speech, she said, "You academics think you live in the world. You do not live in the world. Visit me where I work, near the Rio Grande, and I will show you around. That part of New Mexico is not the world either, but you can see the world from there."


Ken Smith, over more than twenty years, has written and recorded more than two hundred short essays for broadcast on northern Indiana's NPR affiliate station, WVPE, for the Michiana Chronicles series. He retired recently from teaching writing and book design at the South Bend campus of Indiana University. Like everyone else, in his younger days, after he learned the secret handshake of the Partners in Misery, he saw it everywhere.