Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Knowing Your Limitations, theme of the week

Opponents with a nasty, nasty, funny cheer
Been thinking again this week about the running theme of knowing one's limitations.  Why?  Primarily because I participated in the yearly Grandmaster Ultimate tourney here in Montreal this past weekend.  The team, again, was stacked with veterans of national and world competitions.  So, I went from my usual situation of being among the best handlers (think point guard or quarterback) on my team to being one of the weaker players.  I didn't play as well as I would have liked, nor did the team (we finished third).  But I had heaps of fun.  Anyway, I knew where I stood on the team, and didn't mind too much playing less in the most important games or being a decoy on many of the set plays.  I knew my role and was ok with it.  As more great players age and become eligible for this tourney (40 and up), I am expecting to either play on the B team or not at all in the years ahead.  I am ok with it, again because I know that I am good but not great player.

But this would not be the theme of the week if there were not more instances than just one fun ultimate tourney.  I noticed on the political science rumor mill that the Canadian thread had a question of where one should study if interested in civil-military relations, and some folks had responded with the usual Toronto or McGill alternatives, and then a response suggesting me, and then a counter mocking me.  Because I am new to civil-military relations, studying it just these last few years, I pointed out that coming to McGill to do civ-mil when there is only one person who does it and only recently would not be the best idea.  Yes, I am telling potential grad students to go somewhere else.  Is that wrong?  Should I always be shilling for my university?  I have a hard enough time advising students who do work that is more closely related to my strengths (the IR of ethnic conflict/civil war) as they end up studying something that is not that close to my stuff (militias in the middle east, for example). 

Finally, I am way over-committed this week/month, so I may not be blogging as much as usual.  My time management skills seem to limited these days. 

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