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What Other People Accomplished By My Age

It’s my birthday.  Here’s some things people accomplished by the time they were my age.  I won’t be coy, I’m 39.

  • By 39, Thomas Jefferson, who studied at my alma mater, had written and signed the Declaration of Independence and become the Governor of Virginia.
  • By 39, G.W.F. Hegel had published his seminal text Phenomenology of Spirit.
  • By 39, Sojourner Truth escaped from slavery, moved to New York and became the first black woman to win a case in court against a white man in the United States.
  • By 39, Elizabeth Cady Stanton had organized and held the Seneca Falls Convention where she, Lucretia Mott and several other women drafted the Declaration of Sentiments proclaiming equality between men and women.
  • By 39, Albert Einstein had published his discoveries of the special and general theories of relativity, which revolutionized modern physics.
  • By 39, Barack Obama had been a community organizer for 12 years and an Illinois Senator for 3.
  • By 39, Hillary Rodham Clinton had served as an advisor on the presidential impeachment inquiry for the Judicial Committee of the House of Representatives during Watergate, had taught at the University of Arkansas School of Law and was the First Lady of Arkansas while working as a partner at the Rose Law Firm.
  •  By 39, Judith Butler had published Gender Trouble and Bodies That Matter revolutionizing the way that we speak about gender and sexuality.
  • By 39, Annie Dillard had published five books including one of my favorites, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.
  • By 39, my mother had five children.

I leave you these facts without comment.

The painting is “Women VI” by Willem de Kooning whose birthday is today.

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. cruth01 #

    Well, it isn’t really a big deal, but I do hope the Mets don’t start getting stuck in some head trip now that they’re losing the occasional game again. I remember they won 11 (I think) in a row in 1990 (I think) and as soon as they lost they sucked for the rest of the year, a journalist at the time said that after they lost the first game after the streak everyone in the clubhouse was dejected, which is insane. But the point is watch out for weird head trips.

    As a positive contrast remember 2007–no, seriously. The Mets had a good season going, 1st place, but seemed to lack a little fire. Then they played four games against the Phillies and lost all four. Immediately afterward they went on a tear for 20 games or so (I think it was), ripping up the competition, and had their first sustained winning streak of the year (5 games I think?). It seemed like the Phillies sweep finally kicked them into gear.

    Of course you all remember what happened next, and here’s where my “positive contrast” ends–after that 20 or so games of righteousness, they played another series with the Phillies–three games this time I think–and were swept again! Nothing but suckitude followed.

    So the moral of the story is that streaks, of either kind, can produce head trips of either kind, and as long as they stay positive and focused it really doesn’t ultimately matter what they do this series (although in the short term it would of course suck to lose either of the next two games!)

    April 24, 2015
  2. cruth01 #

    You should edit them out here. There has to be standards. (Is it there “have” to be standards? I take it to be about “there” rather than about “standards,” but that may be wrong.

    April 25, 2015

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