Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch
cbertsch

  • Music:

September 22nd, 1985

Reading Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography in high school had a profound effect on me. As a native Pennsylvanian who was an impressionable youngster during the Bicentennial celebration and took elementary-school field trips to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, I found it easy to elevate him to the status of a teacher I'd actually be willing to heed. Sadly, nobody told me to look for the irony in his self-presentation. For a time, I dutifully sought to copy what I took to be his methods for self-improvement. I was especially impressed with his lists:

To be fair to myself, this particular period in my youth was one in which my list-keeping bore edible fruit. I got more done during the first trimester of my senior year than in the previous five years combined. Of course, I was also popping far too many No-Doz and engaging in self-marginalizing behavior such as letting one sleeve of my jacket hang limp. It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.
Tags: archive, autobiography
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 9 comments