phriendly phantom phonecalls

Heh. Kind of a restless night, and this morning around 6:30 I thought I heard my cellphone ring in the other room. I ignored it 'til like 10 minutes later, then went to check.

And it's kind of a good thing I did... even though it hadn't actually rung, it made me realize that my flight was leaving 2 hours earlier than I had been for whatever reason thinking.


Luckily I have time to spare, but still. Sometimes I think a year of business travel has made me a bit too blasé about the whole subject.

Quote and Insight of the Moment
More Upper West Side adults have pointed to Mozart, I'm quite sure, as a justification for sending their kids to excruciating early music programs, than almost any other historical figure.
Malcolm Gladwell
From this piece on the surprising gap between child prodigies and achieving adults.

That was a link from this MeFi post, and I was actually much more haunted by this New York Magazine piece on the danger of being a smart kid. To quote the MetaFilter summary:
Praising a child for being smart only teaches the kid to avoid any effort that might fail.
That, in a nutshell, is My Biggest Problem, and I set up roadblock after roadblock for myself to protect a surprisingly delicate self-image; so over-inflated that any prick of "I tried hard but failed" might cause the whole thing to come crashing to earth, and so I've setup a huge anti-needle, patch-and-glue brigade.

I'm not sure if it's just a result of over-praise, though. Smart kids are better at seeing the possible negative consequences of a given path, and I think a fair number of them are afraid of confronting a situation that might end badly despite all best efforts. Or maybe I'm projecting based on my own experiences, with family tragedies I could do nothing about, which taught me that even the best intentions don't always help.