Saturday, August 07, 2010

On Facing Reality with Humor

After meeting with 83 U.S. Senators Elena Kagan -- now Supreme Court Justice Kagan -- reflected on her ordeal with humor at a White House reception hosted by President Obama.

Both President Obama and Justice Elena Kagan were beaming as the president celebrated her appointment to the nation's highest court.

Said the proud president: "This is a good day." He lauded Kagan for what he described as her formidable intellect and path-breaking career.

Kagan thanked Mr. Obama, his staff, and the Senate Judiciary Committee for supporting her through the nomination.

"I also very much enjoyed meeting with 83 senators. But really, who's counting?" Kagan joked.

Some people could learn a thing or two from Elena Kagan.  On July 28, 2010 I sent an email message to the Central High School Reunion Organizing Committee advising of an error in the Committee's email message about an upcoming reunion.  I received the following testy response:

That's fine, but largely irrelevant, and is not worthy of a correction. Maybe you would also like to look through the list to see how many entered in 10th grade in September 68, or did 9th and 10th in 1 year beginning 9/68 years, for whom the total is then only 42 years. Do you care to look for any other typos also? I have worked very hard on this over the years, and I am continuing to work very hard to track down all the folks who have not been considerate enough to keep their contact data up to date and whose e-mails just rejected, and I actually really do NOT appreciate getting this kind of response for my efforts. Obviously, some people in the class think that this is all magic. At least I was good enough to get a correction out, as at least one person was unable to log into the web site for reasons we could not figure out until I discovered my typo on the url. Fortunately, when I hear from other members of the class they are supportive and appreciative of what is largely now a 1-man effort to keep this together and would never dream of bringing a criticism such as you did. And have offered to help and have participated in our events.

Couldn't the individual have responded simply: "But really, who's counting?"


Gary Freedman said...

My original email message stated:

-----Original Message-----

From: []
Sent: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 1:33 PM

Subject: Re: CHS 230 - Correction

Sorry to be a nitpicker, but actually there's another error. The 230th class started Central in September 1967 -- that's 43 years ago, not 44 years ago as you stated in your email.

Gary Freedman
Washington, DC
202 362 7064

Gary Freedman said...

Before being allowed to leave Nazi-occupied Austria in 1938 Sigmund Freud was forced to sign a statement affirming that he had not been mistreated by the Gestapo.

He signed the document -- and added the written comment, "I can wholeheartedly recommend the hospitality of the Gestapo to everyone!"

I always admired that.