Colt McCoy was picked up by my Browns last year. Austin-nites always point this out when I say I’m from Cleveland. They are proud to be connected to his talent, and claim a small piece of his glory.
Matthew McConaughey says so.
Indeed, The University of Texas at Austin has a long and rich history of nurturing talent, and leadership. So I totally get it when people say they are proud of Colt. I rock the same pride when people ask where I got to school. It’s nice to claim something others respect, that others find value in.
This past Sunday a Cleveland friend posted on Facebook that Colt was quote: “Garbage this year.” A cutting reminder that all of our success… his success, my success… is fleeting. Respect is temporary. Accolades tarnish. The bottom line is always performance under every circumstance.
Always this is the first measure.
The prestige, material gains and respect I acquire from a degree at UT is subject to the same measure. And no… I’m not comparing myself to Colt McCoy.
Still, it helps to remember it can be taken from me in an instant. Given back again. Taken. Given.
“It” meaning the job, prestige or accolades. “It” can even mean the legendary status.
In the end, the only part I get to hold is the invisible stuff. The relationship stuff. The knowledge. The habits and routines. In the end, only the spirit of my these UT experiences will weather the test of time.
The people I’ve met since moving to Austin have taught me as much, if not more than my tuition investment. It’s because of this, I’ve chosen to dedicate my small corner of the LC blog to the people who have taught me how to see far beyond APA format and NAEA publications, to see wider, longer and deeper than a pat on the back, a GPA, or thesis chapters.
Each week, I aim to write about an experience extending beyond the cool things I get to do, the music I like, the projects I work on, the research I mull over… to focus on the people that changed my life with or without a PhD. In or out of academia.
Sure it’s hippy… but this is Austin after all. The real spirit of a university, the real joy of the UT experience…
Is the space between people.