National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, Spring/Summer 2015, Volume 16, Number 1.


Copyright © 2015 by the National Collegiate Honors Council.


In 1988, I was a graduate student in English in New York City, and I found myself despairing of the field. I had always imagined that I would find a way to “make the world a better place,” to “heal” it in one translation of the Hebrew tikkun ha’olam. Instead, or so it seemed in my darker reflections, I was busy trying to parse what French theorists were saying in essays that seemed to make little sense in either the original or the translation. My college classmates, off to careers in law, medicine and business, seemed poised to make differences I never could.