Usually on Thursdays I tell you about a book I have read, or an idea that I have got from a book; and sometimes I also engage in polemics but then I would, wouldn’t I? These past weeks, I have been so frightfully busy and so preoccupied that I have not had the time to look at a book, even less to read one. What am I preoccupied with, you may ask?

A piece of very complex writing! It is a report but it is of very complex nature; I have all the concepts and empirical material but I still don’t have the elegance that a text ought to possess to be read and to enchant. Still working on it and experimenting but have been needing support from me ‘beehive’ and complete focus.

I very seldom allow emotions on my blog; I don’t do emotions very well to begin with; also this is supposed to be a repository of information and a place for reflexion and debate – not a gushing ground. Today though is different!

I have been feeling so tired lately that I haven’t been exactly brimming with positivity. On top of all this a student of mine has been insisting to meet me for several weeks now; he was so un-specific about the reasons for that (remember, I am on sabbatical) that I told him that I’ll let him know when I am in next. And it was today. Guess why he wanted to see me?

My student wanted to see me to give me the statuette you see on the picture. It comes from Greece and is called ‘Female figurine of the “folded arm” type’ and comes from the early Cycladic II period (2800-2300 B.C.). Don’t get excited, it is not an original. It is still beautiful; in fact I am not certain whether the picture I took does it credit but we’ll have to settle for it.

I am looking at the figurine and I am feeling all choked up. Good choked up. I do get small gifts from students from time to time (recently I got a kangaroo skin; apparently a great souvenir from Australia). But this is mostly from my PhD students and it is not surprising: after all I work very closely with them and, being rather old fashioned, I do invite them to my home. This is different! This guy is an undergraduate, one of the group that I was mentoring and teaching theory, and method.

It is a fine gift and I’ll treasure it. What choked me up though was not the statuette; it was what came with it. A small card that said:

“To my father I owe my life; to my teacher, the quality of my life.”

(Alexander the Great about Aristotle)

I have always taken great pleasure in seeing the students’ eyes light up with curiosity and thirst for knowledge; this is what I like doing! It looks like they have been paying attention and it feels so good!

These are little things that make our lives complete!