Sherry Turkle: The Empathy Diaries

Apr 3, 2021 16:53 · 12913 words · 61 minute read

I’ll do that. Okay, then I’m going to go silent and we’re going to go live in 543.

02:30 - Hello, I’m finally got the video. The video feed on.

02:36 - I would like to welcome everyone to our up to the tonight’s Boston seminar series, we’re going to be talking with Professor Sherry Turkle about her new memoir the empathy diaries.

02:52 - And before we get to that, I would just like to call it colorants attention to, or I’d like to remind everyone that.

03:10 - And you’ve all seen many emails from me by now, I’m sure, and like to remind you that the, the club of Boston has many, many events coming up this in the next month, month and a half.

03:22 - And like to see as many of you there at the future events as we can in just a couple of days on Thursday we have our first affiliate event with the Harvard, the Harvard club of Merrimack Valley. That will be with media lab professors, you know, are all talking about his book The hype machine.

03:43 - On Friday, little different there’ll be a sock a one on one with one of New England’s only sucky brewers, in fact I think he might be the only the only soft a brewery New England.

03:54 - We also there’s, there’ll be mentoring circles for career development, our virtual book club next be meeting on Saturday April 10, and they’ll be reading the discussing the orphan Master’s son.

04:10 - And then the next meeting after that we’ll be talking about the empires of light, Edison Tesla Westinghouse and the race to electrify the world, our neck in.

04:22 - On Wednesday, the 21st of April will be having an event with the Cambridge Science Festival gear on the science of virtual science challenge with Professor Mike short and at Moriarty from the Education Center, and that is for us, that is specifically for middle and high school kid, but probably be entertaining for all ages, so that that Registration is open as well.

04:52 - And our next BSS event will be on April 27, with MIT alumna Associate Justice still Wunderland is the first MIT alum and the first Latina on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court bench.

05:10 - So that would be a really special event. That will be doing that. So, again, look at radar Hartnett when you get our newsletter, take a look at our all of our other events and do come to our website.

05:24 - It is now my pleasure to introduce Rabbi Michelle Fisher and Professor Sherry Turkle.

05:34 - Rabbi Michelle Fisher is the executive director of the MIT Hillel, and she was the first alumna Rabbi of that organization. After doing her undergraduate at Princeton and chemistry she came, she had the good sense to come to MIT and do a master’s in chemistry.

05:52 - Before pivoting to study at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City, and she was ordained in 2002. She’s had to serve congregations in Potomac Maryland Walnut Creek, California, and she describes her return to MIT 12 years ago, as the mothership calling her home.

06:10 - And she is a big fan of Sherry Turkle has often turned to her at her research for advice and perspective as she helps students and her staff, focus on building meaningful relationships in are increasingly and these days almost exclusively virtual world.

06:28 - So if you have questions for Professor Turkle, please put them in the q&a feed.

06:38 - And we will do our best to get to as many as we can.

06:43 - But, we will be ending at at 830. So that I will hand it over to, to Michelle.

06:52 - Thank you, Megan. Sherry Turkle, my friend Sherry Turkle I love having conversations and discussions with been I’ve been looking forward to this evening for quite a while, is the abbey Rockefeller mosaic professor of the social studies of Science and Technology at MIT, and the founding director of the MIT initiative on technology and self.

07:15 - She’s a licensed clinical psychologist. She’s the author of six books including alone together, and the New York Times bestseller reclaiming conversation, as well as the editor of three collections in MS magazine Woman of the Year, a TED talk speaker, I highly recommend you look up her TED talk, and a featured media commentator Turkle is a cherry is a recipient of Guggenheim and Rockefeller humanities fellowships, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, her newest book which will be exploring with her today is the empathy diaries, it hit bookstores.

Earlier this month, Sherry. You’ve written that after devoting a long research career to how technology changes, not just what we do.

08:01 - But who we are. You wanted to reflect on why you ended up feeling so passionately about your work. You want to understand how the person you are, and your intellectual life came together.

08:13 - You sensed a deep connection. And because you were trained in this Gullah analytic tradition, you went back to the beginning, you started your life at the secret identity. Your real last name.

08:27 - Your father’s name from your mother’s first marriage. Couldn’t be said allowed.

08:32 - Your mother, when to hide in early marriage and divorce insisted that you lie about this until you were an adolescent. And then finally adopted by your stepfather.

08:43 - Yet with multiple identities, you still were required to find yourself.

08:48 - You wrote in your book. This secret was a burden.

08:51 - Just by uttering my real name in the wrong place. I could blow apart my mother’s cover.

08:57 - So I learned to pass. But I always felt like a fraud, and I continue to quote from the book. The new the empathy diaries, this is what you said, The Secret also made me an outsider.

09:09 - This was a burden, but looking back I can see that I learned to use this as a kind of superpower.

09:15 - Personally and professionally, standing on the outside I could see things that other people couldn’t, I would learn that the normal suppresses what doesn’t fit.

09:26 - I was trying to see things that didn’t fit because I was a bit.

09:31 - So begin Sherry by asking the empathy diaries. What made you write a memoir, and give it that title.

09:39 - And why this big turn from your all your previous research style work.

09:46 - Well, there’s no thank you all for being here and thank you, Michelle, My dear friend for being part of this evening with me it’s always so wonderful to have a conversation with somebody who really knows you know and it’s just such a privilege.

10:03 - You know that question of why a memoir and why now, you know, in fact the empathy diaries began at a moment at MIT.

10:13 - I just published. The second sale was 1985.

10:17 - And I had been named that book sort of hit, not just because of its virtues, but because there was nothing out there.

10:27 - That was alone in making the point that there was a subjective computer, a computer that changed how we thought about ourselves not just what we did.

10:38 - And so I was at ms magazine Woman of the Year and also.

10:44 - While I was struggling for 10 year my tenure wasn’t decided, but I was like, very kind of famous for 15 minutes. I was also Esquire magazine’s 40 people under 40 who were changing the nation, and I’m the Esquire reporter came to write a story about me.

11:05 - And it was supposed to be like a puff piece, something very sort of a wonderful I was because I was going to be like on the cover of magazine I was like it was supposed to be like a really.

11:16 - She’s wonderful she’s wonderful kind of story.

11:19 - And he says to me to say hello. So Professor Turkle I’m in the acknowledgments to your book you thank your mother you know she’s deceased you think your mother.

11:30 - You thank your all your teachers. You don’t say anything about your father. So tell me a little bit about your father.

11:40 - And of course I had one father, who I hadn’t ever seen, who I wasn’t it was name I wasn’t allowed to speak, because I had honored my mother’s wish and still you know you know when I was almost 30 had not spoken his name to anyone.

11:57 - And then I had the Milton Turco father, who I barely spoke to you by that point because he had wanted me to drop out of college and come home and take care of my step sister and brother mean he and I were, you know, not on good terms.

12:11 - And I say to him. Well, I can’t, i can’t i, you must just write about my, my work, you must just write about my intellectual life I just absolutely can’t, you know, discuss my personal life at all like super diva.

12:30 - And as what he wrote in the article was, you know, Sherry Turkle has a brand, where Thought and Feeling are one. That was my brand. That was my, what I was pushing is that I was selling.

12:44 - And for somebody with that brand you can ask her personal question.

12:50 - And as he was leaving, I said to myself. It’s over.

12:56 - It’s over. I have to make peace with my story.

13:01 - My story is why I’m here doing the kind of work that I’m doing.

13:06 - I have to make this connection for myself. And over time, I’m going to tell this story.

13:13 - And so it’s been something that has been a.

13:17 - I’ve understood my work better I’ve understood my life better it’s been.

13:23 - But that was the turning point and I picked up the phone and I called my step sister and brother. And I told him the truth that I was there. Step. You know I did have another father.

13:33 - I picked up the phone and I called Milton Turkle and I said I’m coming out with the truth. You know I have my phones.

13:40 - And it’s taken a while for me to be at peace with everything but I finally told us to you, previous books in writing had some personal vignettes, I mean you talk about texting exchanges with your daughter. But this book. As you just pointed out in your first answer is not all personal.

14:03 - In what ways was this easier and what ways was is harder to write.

14:08 - I’m in some ways, it was a lot harder, because I had to make sure that I wasn’t hurting anybody and the stories I told everything was checked and double check, everybody I discussed it with anybody who has mentioned and I really did was, I was ready to to write this book because I didn’t have any axe to grind in this book I’m not, it’s not a it’s not a revenge it’s not a story of getting back it’s really just my truth.

14:41 - And I wanted to write a story. I want to try to book that I had always wanted to read, which is a book where somebody explains how their personal life, influenced their professional passion, because I know that in my case, they’re inextricably linked.

15:05 - Because it was my outsider status as a child, the fact that I couldn’t speak my name the fact that I knew that there was another truth.

15:16 - Other than the truth that everybody was being told, made me always think in any situation. There’s another truth. There’s always another truth.

15:28 - And I became kind of the Nancy Drew of my own life.

15:32 - And I became used to be seeing myself as a kind of girl detective.

15:40 - And that became how I approached my career.

15:47 - But it was very difficult to tell some of the stories for example there’s a story I tell in the book that I, I wasn’t sure if it put my grandparents into a poor light.

16:00 - But it was so true and I think it was such a classic immigrant story of a Jewish family that had been traumatized by the Holocaust.

16:11 - That I I lifted in after really agonizing over as your question was, was it difficult, and it’s the story of how I was the designated adult in my family, and not just because of my brains, but because of my family’s anxieties.

16:27 - So when a when a repairman men would come to the house for example, my grandmother would get all dressed up and my grandfather would get all dressed up in a suit my grandmother would wear a dress and carry a little handbag.

16:43 - But I would be the one who would be sent to the door to let him in.

16:49 - to. to watch him do his work to pay him tip him get the receipt.

16:55 - And it was something about the way they stiffly set that had an echo of.

17:07 - Not that rationally they were being expected they expected to be taken away.

17:13 - But that until there was no stranger in the house.

17:17 - They would be dressed and on guard. And they would send their more American League competent grandchild to deal with the stranger.

17:32 - And I’ve gotten so many, so much mail about that scene and but I I wasn’t sure I wanted to put it in it made them seem, you know, they weren’t immigrants they spoke English, but it was such a true scene.

17:47 - And yet it was very hard to include the scene but I did include the scene and I think it has resonant for for families who grew up with that kind of fear.

17:59 - So I did include the same. That’s an example of what for me was personal bravery in writing the book.

18:08 - You talked about being and just described yourself again as the designated adult.

18:13 - If you want, you know you can expand on that but I also wonder you talk about this theme throughout your childhood of being an outsider. And this outsider status that you had.

18:23 - How did that make you feel. Well, it was it was not a good feeling. I was an outsider because I’m one of the things to maintain the story when my mother remarried, you may remarried Milton Turkle and as you said in your introduction.

18:42 - I had to pretend that my name was Sherry Turkle for long time before he finally adopted me when I was a late adolescence.

18:51 - So which school I was Sherry Zimmerman, which was my legal name, but no one could hear the name Zimmerman certainly not my step sister and brother, who had to think we were one family.

19:04 - So I would go to school with one name, and as far away from my home as possible, and then come home, hide my books, none of my homework could be done at home or it had to be done late at night from midnight to three o’clock in the morning, hide my books that had my name on them.

19:26 - Um, and really be a kind of, I was always like an outsider to this turtle clan, even as I was pretending to be in it.

19:40 - And it gave me the experience that I would later meet when I was, you know the the concept that I would later meet officially when I was threatening to be an anthropologist, of what anthropologist called de pays mo D control.

19:57 - Being a stranger to your own situation. And the things you can see, if you’re a stranger to your own situation, says the anthropologist, you can see that it’s odd, because you’re not caught up in the game.

20:14 - So my mother was completely caught up in the game that God was a Turkel and there was no problem and, you know, every little girl has her homework under lock and key.

20:28 - Every little girl does her homework at three o’clock in the morning so nobody will see her name on the homework I mean, she was completely into this game that was so important to her to maintain this fiction.

20:42 - I was not into this game I sent my sanity depended on not being into this game.

20:47 - And so I saw my whole situation with this decontrol fine with this sense of distance.

20:55 - And I feel very strongly that and maybe we’ll get back to this we talked about the pandemic and what I think our possibilities are now when we come as what coming out of the pandemic and looking at our country and what needs to happen next.

21:09 - I feel very strongly that this ability to step back and decanter fi and look at a situation with fresh eyes was my heritage as an outsider.

21:25 - But really was a gift to me. And maybe it’s our country’s salvation. Now that we’ve been able to step back. And now look at our country fresh, because it really, if you can do that.

21:43 - You can see things that you don’t see when you’re in the game.

21:49 - So it was a. It’ll it allowed me to, you know, to see things for example when I went to Harvard.

21:56 - I saw the everybody else tell things were normal and I saw the tremendous discrimination against women, women, everybody else thought it was normal that there were no women as professors, as tenured professors there because they’re never had been there never would be there never should be. And I was like I was like decanter I was used to seeing things from an outsider’s point of view like Why are there no women you know and and so forth.

22:23 - I mean, I think it was actually, it turned out to be a gift.

22:29 - You talk about a gift and you say that you know ultimately you were able to see the positives of it, but that outsider identity, truly in the book did not always work to your advantage.

22:39 - Talk a little bit more about Harvard and Radcliffe and what was it like as an undergraduate there.

22:45 - Well I was definitely an outsider. I mean, I remember my mom, taking me to the first day of school. And we looked in the rooms and all the other girls.

22:57 - I come up with trunks and they were like taking throw pillows, out of the trunks. And, you know, Oriental rugs and personal stationery and quilts and I remember my mother looked so humiliated.

23:19 - And I tried to comfort her. But, you know, for her This is was like this is what it must be like she sends your daughter to school. If you have extra things in your house, like an extra throw pillow or an extra oriental rug or.

23:42 - We didn’t have extra oriental rugs or throw pillows or I was dressed all wrong. You know I.

23:49 - We were wearing blue wearing our best clothes, which was the clothes we use to stand on the steps of the Beach Haven Jewish center on High Holidays was everybody else was in kind of chinos and linen and Talbots dresses I mean everything.

24:05 - And, um, for me Radcliffe was a place of of always feeling that I didn’t belong.

24:18 - And you had, and until I sort of made a decision that while I was there.

24:25 - Clearly I was chosen because of my brains. So I would kind of go with that. You know I wasn’t there because I belong there socially.

24:36 - I was there because they wanted somebody. I’ve been certified as brainy.

24:44 - And once I sort of, remember I was, I went to LCS and I was eating a roast beef sandwich and I was thinking, I think I’ll just go with that.

24:54 - And I won’t find it. And I’ll just allow myself to just to do that and get more comfortable with this identity of of that that is who I am.

25:10 - And so maybe that’s been part of my life story is that once I accepted that kind of burden lifted, for me.

25:27 - And I began to really enjoy Harvard and make friends and it was like okay to be the brand new one because it was after all who I was and.

25:39 - And also, um, I, in terms of empathy I developed, I would say, kind of self compassion.

25:51 - That being so much on the outside was very tough. And I learned to say, you know, this is tough.

26:03 - Be a little nicer to yourself. And I think that that’s something that as I observed college students and teachers MIT and and work with students.

26:13 - I tried to save I tried to teach that. In addition to teaching my subject matter I tried to teach you know the first thing you have to learn it miss college is to really, you know, listen to how critical you’re being yourself and be nicer to yourself have empathy first for yourself.

26:36 - You say you know I wish I had you as a teacher when you know you know at MIT as a student.

26:44 - When I see it MIT a lot now is how many first generation college attendees we have in fact MIT prides itself, pride ourselves on being a first generation college opportunity.

26:57 - And many of these students also say that they come and they feel like outsiders as you did it. Radcliffe in what times in places have you shared this aspect of your story with your students, and what role does the sharing of personal story play in being a mentor or role model in the university setting, um, how do you maintain it being the professor will also sharing your insecurities.

27:24 - Well I feel that I, I have no difficulty in feeling that I maintain my authority, even as even as I share my personal story.

27:38 - And that better be the case because in this book, like, I leave everything on the field. So, I’m so I’m really betting. I’m really betting hard that I maintain my authority.

27:53 - But I, it’s always been my belief that if you speak your, your truth.

28:00 - And you’re not ashamed of your truth and your reason for speaking your truth is not a is not to show off or is not to, You know, it was really to make a point that showing students who you are, does not diminish you.

28:21 - So I teach two courses where I share quite a bit about myself one is about evocative objects which is a book, which is a subject I’ve written about where I used the technique of having students read about and write about, and reflect on the objects of their lives, the objects of science and people who’ve written about objects and the meaning of objects as a way of getting at, personal stories but also quite complex philosophical issues.

28:58 - So for example in the empathy diaries, one of the evocative objects are the are the good dishes that my grandmother’s mother and grandmother bought her when she was a bride on the Lower East Side of Manhattan dishes that I still have that I inherited from my aunt her daughter and my grandmother would say these are the only objects that I own that will outlive me. And that you Sherry will own and that your daughter will use, and she had this sense that it was in these dishes that she would live on.

29:37 - And that meant so much to me for the key word feel that way, and indeed the dishes have had a journey, their own and my daughter My magnificent child Well, you know, she will inherit these dishes and it’s almost Passover and we will use these dishes on Passover and I’m just tearing up just thinking about them. Well, writing about those objects I use them as an example to my students of what it means to take an object and have it bring you without getting fancy I’m going to write my memoir, now you should write your memoir, writing about those dishes brings me into layers and layers of experience and meaning and relationships and attachments.

30:23 - You know, I’m like, I’m, I’m in tears and I was.

30:27 - I didn’t even show you a dish. The second the second course that I teach where I was very easy for me to get into talking about myself as I’ve taught for many years I’ve taught a course on science technology and memory, where we read memoirs and on autobiographies of great scientists, and one of the class favorites is Oliver Sacks his memoir uncle tungsten, where he talks about almost having a psychotic break after World War Two.

30:59 - He’s Jewish he sent to the country he is his brother commits suicide, and he really is losing it.

31:07 - And he visits the museum where there’s a periodic table and order and structure at the periodic table.

31:17 - We kind of rivets him and helps organize him He seems meaning and structure in that object.

31:25 - And so again, It’s an opportunity for students to talk about what science does for them.

31:32 - And it’s a way for me to talk about objects that has organized me.

31:38 - As you know in my life without feeling as though you know I’m sharing anything Korean door to show off for. So I think it’s everything is in, when you talk about yourself.

31:52 - And this is a very deep belief, because I’m going on a little bit too long now everything is in the spirit of how you do it. Because I’ve heard you give seminars and what you speak about your experience.

32:06 - And you, you keep your total rabbinical authority when you do that, because you’re doing it to make a point.

32:14 - So, everything in my book, I think, is to make a point that’s part of the larger book, there’s nothing in that book where I’m just kind of throwing into detail because I, I want to, you know, say something about myself or show off or, you know, anything like that.

32:33 - I want to interject a question that was asked from our audience here.

32:39 - Karen Aronson asks when you were at Radcliffe, didn’t you meet other students there at Harvard who were also outsiders, or did you wind up just making friends with, you know, people like you from your social and economic class.

32:56 - I’m actually there in the empathy diaries there’s a chapter about this topic because people like me were put in a dorm special dorm.

33:13 - So the scholarship students. The students who hadn’t gone to private schools. We were put in a, in a particular dorm.

33:23 - And, and then all of the scholarship students had a party, where we got to meet each other.

33:31 - And our 25th reunion. a group of women came up to me and said, we really wanted to talk to you about that party.

33:41 - Why do you think all the scholarship students, all of whom were in, you know, this dorm, which wasn’t one of the beautiful dorms, it didn’t have fireplaces, you know it was really like what industrial dorm.

33:54 - What do you think they felt it was important that the scholarship students know who we were, that we knew who we were.

34:03 - Um, so I would say truthfully. When I was at Radcliffe.

34:10 - I’m always I was most friendly with other young women.

34:17 - I was gonna say girls not because it was correct, because that’s how I thought of myself and that’s how we refer to ourselves so I got immediately into that let’s try other young women who were from the boroughs of New York City, not in Manhattan, who had gone to public schools.

34:45 - And who were there on scholarships for minorities are Jewish.

34:56 - I wasn’t I never went into a final club. I never went to a party with a preppy.

35:03 - It was an extremely segregated I had an extremely set great shouldn’t say other people might have had a different experience. I had an extremely segregated experience.

35:15 - Yet, share you talk about that this whole outsider status ended up being your life gift.

35:20 - So, you take something you know about how that unusual upbringing perspective as a scholar.

35:28 - Well, because I’m able to, you know, one of the, this, this quality of hypervigilance this quality of being on the outside and seeing small differences is really anthropology one on one.

35:45 - So you put me in a. You put me in a native tribe. And I’m like, you know, you put me in a flea market, you put me in a any market a fish market and then you. I’m immediately fascinated.

36:04 - And I’m a, I’m a terrible person to travel with, if you want to get it moving. I mean, I remember going with my daughter to a plantation in the south.

36:15 - And she was furious at me, because I was like looking at the different yarns the slaves used.

36:24 - I’m like really guy. I can be intolerable I mean I’m like, I’m like looking for I mean I’m.

36:32 - I’m very good good after just. Good afternoon. Oh, it’s just so it was it I know I had a kind of sense of, of, of, of seeing differences of seeing a. Why were there no women, for example, in the experiments.

36:55 - When I would ask to be in an experiment where there were signs up, I needed to earn money. I wanted to be in an experiment.

37:04 - Psychological experiment. No, you can’t be or a woman and the only men can be in those experiments, because they were done, originally on soldiers.

37:19 - So all the baseline. Gave it is men.

37:25 - So you either say oh yeah absolutely yes that sounds reasonable that sounds perfect. Are you say, well, that’s right. If you’re part of the way of thinking where that sounds right.

37:37 - But if you put yourself out of that way of thinking like Carol Gilligan did, and say, well, that means that you have no data on any women in your whole theory of psychology.

37:49 - That’s the kind of thing that I was primed to do, and probably made you unpopular what really made me popular.

38:00 - So that’s how it helped my work, and the way it helped my personal life, your question was about my work really yeah but the academic especially at MIT, what are some of the questions that you were primed to ask, well at MIT.

38:11 - So that’s what happened at Harvard, but that that example of women can be in experiments because they were, they were the baseline was men have to say Well actually, if the, if the baseline is men and you never include women that means you know nothing about female psychology right.

38:30 - If you’re in the game, you never get to that later question. And then at MIT. Um, I was trying to ask questions about the nature of engineering for engineers just took for granted, like for example.

38:46 - Engineers wanted to create technical systems that will friction free, that’s great for technical system, but when it came time to make a system that people would interface with, they want to do systems to be friction free to.

38:58 - They wanted those systems to be friction free too. But, you know, if you’re a psychologist you know that will actually the most interesting things that happen in relationships are when there’s a little friction.

39:13 - We hate them, but it’s actually when we get to know people and when we get to know about our truth and their truths and things can go south, but we learn what we need to learn, and an engineer who’s trying to remove all friction from a system, says No no no, there should be no friction. Friction free, and it actually took courage to say no I think if you’re designing a system that’s for people.

39:44 - You have to leave in that human that space for human friction. This was a fight I had. Oh, many times should I tell my Bambi story. Sure, please.

39:55 - So, Marvin Minsky is a great example of the kinds of things that you don’t see if you’re an engineer and things you see if you’re a psychologist so I became friendly with Marvin Minsky, who’s a great AI scientist.

40:12 - We went to the premiere of the movie Tron. And after the movie was little cold but we’re upside he’s giving speeches to all of his students we’re all standing around about movie is great because the movie is just like his Society of mind theory, where the mind is made up of programs and programs intersect and interact and their intelligence is emergent and on and on.

40:40 - And he turns to me and he says children should see movies like this. They should never be allowed to see Bambi.

40:48 - So I would like young and I, I took the bait.

40:52 - And I said why not Bambi. Every kid sees Bambi. What’s wrong with Bambi.

40:58 - I was young, I should not have taken the bait.

41:01 - And he says, Because in the end, when the month, you know, Bambi shows that you have attachments to your mother, and it shows you the debt is bad, and in the future when there are the robots.

41:16 - They’ll be, we will just bond with our chips in our and our and our artificial intelligences they’ll be no death and besides the home mother thing is not going to be there.

41:27 - We’re just going to be taken care by robots and I can see all of Sherry’s future lined up for that one conversation.

41:40 - And I remember later in life when I was buying movies for my daughter when she was little I remember I was buying all the Disney movies and like when it came to Bambi.

41:49 - I’d like bought three copies, you know, that would always like be a Bambi on hand, but it’s like always it’s always stayed with me.

41:59 - And all the people around him were like loving it. They were just thinking this was brilliant and he was brilliant. But it’s such a good example of the kind of the kind of conversations that was in or people would always be saying the computer is just a tool. Why are you bothering to do your work computer is just a tool.

42:20 - And I was like having people talk about their intimate involvement with the computer, and they would just keep saying the computer is just a tool it’s just a tool, don’t study it you’ll never get 10 years just a tool.

42:32 - And, you know, it was that kind of it was that kind of conflict. That’s a long answer to your question.

42:42 - You’ve mentioned 10 years I’m going to go in that direction.

42:45 - It wasn’t actually your research per se, that wound up being the center of your, you know 10 year conversation as the case may be, let’s quit it’s a battle and a better you know choice of word, you actually had a hard 110 year battle with MIT, first they fired you before rehiring you.

43:07 - But that seemed to be more not because of what you were studying, but because of being a woman in a male environment, again, part of that outsider pieces, well, how did you navigate all of that.

43:21 - Well my 10 year case, you know I think was complicated when I look back on it.

43:26 - Um, it’s very hard to say, you know, you know, there’s this concept and, in, certainly in sociology and social sciences of things being over determined.

43:38 - So, I was woman there were no other women in my department at the time I’m not sure how many were in the school I mean, there were women in the environment in which I was navigating.

43:54 - Um, so there wasn’t like a group of women yet who were sort of in solidarity there to make sure you know to kind of working to make your to help women who were having difficulty with tenure battles.

44:13 - Um, it wasn’t yet a time when MIT was actively looking as much as I could tell to hire keep women. So there was no like oh she’s a woman let’s really, you know, let’s see, that would be good to have a woman, so that was not yet.

44:32 - I mean, that wasn’t part of the picture yet although it came, I think, relatively soon after.

44:38 - I’m not no not that soon after, but it may came, that was not that was not operating.

44:45 - Um, so there was no organized what women’s movement there was no sort of push to have women.

44:51 - And then, by that point, I was starting to say not critical things but I was an outsider looking at the MIT culture. And I wasn’t in particularly critical things but like from MIT’s point of view.

45:07 - Who needs an in house critic, or who needs somebody who looks as though maturity she’s going to grow into an in house critic who looks like she’s warming up to become an in house critic.

45:22 - So I think there’s kind of a natural. You know natural reaction to kind of close circles, you know, to kind of close the circle.

45:32 - So I think that was the context of my tenure case and.

45:38 - And also I was in department that at the time.

45:43 - Uh, I’m not sure my team knew they thought they necessarily wanted to have this department. So they made a rule that anybody in my department had to be in two departments.

45:55 - But sts where I am, and some other department.

46:00 - They make this rule, like, two weeks before my 10 year case.

46:06 - So I’d never heard of this role until my tenure case came up, and of course there’s no people Psychology at MIT and there’s no, you know, sociology department at MIT.

46:17 - And so I didn’t have a second department, and so although I’ve been granted tenure and you know my department and I think at the school council when it went higher up.

46:28 - They said No, she’s not in two departments. She’s, she’s gone.

46:33 - And I got a letter saying I was, I had to leave because they had deferred my case, my case had been rejected the first time around. They want to see my book, but my book came out and it was a best seller, it was the second cell phone.

46:45 - And Ms magazine Woman of the Year or one of these Esquire magazine people under 40 who are changing the nation.

46:52 - So anyway I was fired because I didn’t have to these two appointments.

46:57 - And I got this letter. And I was very upset because I’ve written two books and a zillion articles and.

47:05 - And I really had was very invested in MIT i mean i thought that not only.

47:13 - You know, not only did I feel that I was really contributing something and had done something very unusual but I thought that I had something to contribute back, you know, contribute to the place.

47:31 - I basically was interviewed for to give me context again and remind me what years this happening in 1980 1984.

47:40 - Okay, keep going. ranking for and I said, Look, you know, there’s my work, which is, You know, you know really strong and dairy favorably reviewed all over you hired me as a qualitative social scientist.

48:09 - And that’s what I’ve done, I’ve written to had written a book about French psychoanalysis was very well reviewed and very Don’t be five I’d written two books.

48:20 - These books are really excellent. I started a whole new field of study that now is being recognized in other places.

48:33 - But let’s not talk about that. Let’s talk about why need to be in two departments, because I don’t think it’s okay to change rule and make me be in two departments like on the eve of my 10 year case shouldn’t have told me about that like earlier.

48:56 - And he thought about it. And then I said, Look, I don’t think I’m going to sue because I go someplace else and you know suing MIT is.

49:05 - I think that’s going to be like a lot of time and aggravation. But I’m going to call the New York Times and have them do an investigation of why, how, why this woman couldn’t get tenure at MIT, and one would have taken for me to get tenure at MIT, when they’ll ask you what did, what did you do, what would you know there’ll be some question as to why this case was faulty and why this woman who you know my book was reviewed on the front page of the New York Times and what are you know what, why wouldn’t want this woman here.

I said I didn’t and then I’ll leave but I think you will get some attention to and you’ll have to answer the question of why wouldn’t you want someone with this profile here.

49:53 - And I had a letter the next day that I had been 10 years.

49:57 - So that’s my 10 year k story. And I really think that there’s lessons I drew from it.

50:05 - Well, I mean, I do many lessons from it but I think the main lesson that I drew from it is that of course when you’re fighting a battle you should fight, not on the deep substantive grounds, but um the thing that’s easy is to the institution to say, yeah, that wasn’t cool, we can’t make we can change the rules on her you know 15 minutes before she’s coming up for tenure there. Plus, there was a man coming up with me, who they put into departments who got tenure, so it was like it was terrible.

50:34 - But, you know, I think that the issue of choosing your battle, you know not getting into I’m a woman and you’re discriminating against me. I mean, I didn’t go there.

50:44 - I just went to this to this to department thing where there was easy for them to say you know you’re right, you’re right.

50:51 - accepted their apology and I stated in my tea.

50:56 - But so I think there’s that there’s that general strategy of trying to figure out how you can ally with the person you’re trying to work with.

51:09 - Because I wanted to stay. I thought that I would have a wonderful career if I stayed at MIT and have.

51:15 - But there was something else that I took from it that I tried to teach my mentees now and I’ve spoken about before, which is that because of my own background, the father who had never come to see me being abandoned by this versus enrollment Father, you know, all his father denial.

51:38 - Um. When instead of feeling, I got it. I’m a star, I’m fantastic.

51:48 - I felt so humiliated, that I’d had to fight for the tenure, that I just wanted to hide. I felt so ashamed that I had needed to fight.

52:01 - And so I think that in the end, I, I, I poured myself into my courses I you know I just consecrated myself to being the best teacher possible I did everything I possibly could do to be a you know a really wonderful teacher.

52:23 - But I really didn’t join you know I didn’t fight to join the MIT community, which didn’t particularly want.

52:30 - Um, which didn’t particularly want me. Actually, but, you know, I could have. I really didn’t step up and say look now I want to be on a lot of committees I want to do this I want to do that, I you know I I sort of I don’t want to say I i snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory but I I hid.

52:49 - And I wrote my books I did my work I you know I, but I was shamed.

52:55 - And my mentor people now that when you get a have a bump in your career, don’t do what I did, you know, don’t, don’t be ashamed that you’ve had to fight for your for your rights.

53:13 - And I think that because I couldn’t compartment. This is the story I tell in the empathy diaries and I think this is what self knowledge does for you, too, because I couldn’t compartmentalize my life.

53:27 - I felt a shame that I had had to fight for my tenure, and I think that, again, and the reaction to the book I think that a lot of people particularly women who’ve had to fight for things that really they should have been given has been felt ashamed that they’ve had to fight.

53:45 - Instead of saying, Well, that was a fight, but I want.

53:50 - And now I’m going to have to fight some more but hey that’s the nature of what’s going on here, you know, and now you’re fighting from the inside. And what are the things that to me is amazing about this story is, to me, you’re the ultimate MIT insider because I think of you as what MIT can shouldn’t be you talking about and doing.

54:09 - And then one of the questions that was asked by someone who’s here tonight, asked like so, what’s your course number where do they where did he and I started laughing because I’m thinking about this because you’re still an outsider because you don’t have don’t have a course number really right they didn’t put me. So, actually. So actually it was because of me, my department that the that the rule that you had to be in two departments, they, they didn’t put me in another course number they let me just be an STS.

Yeah, so you get the letters and not numbers that MIT, which is also inside or outside or type of thing.

54:49 - Right now, so that was. So, I mean, but there’s really a lot in this story that I think is so this was very painful to write because actually I’m, you know I had it had to wait to write this to make sure that I you know I wasn’t mad at MIT because actually, I, I think that because of my own. I don’t say my failings but because of my past.

55:18 - I wasn’t able to step up and not feel ashamed that I’ve had to fight for my tenure and grow in a certain way I don’t think I’ve given him it as much as I could.

55:38 - I mean I’ve given it I’ve poured myself into my work and as my work is associated with MIT and my students and years of students. But, but I think we both kind of lost MIT last add a little bit too high and mighty last out and I lost out.

55:52 - Yeah. So I have a different line of questioning that I want to you know move towards a little bit, given everything that you write about empathy everything that you write about technology everything you write about communication and relationships.

56:07 - We’ve been through a searing period that has ruptured a lot of this.

56:13 - How do you see us coming out of it. Well, and I don’t just want to say also from the technological point of view but from a societal point of view.

56:25 - Well, let me go back to my definition of empathy, which is a little bit different than other people’s.

56:33 - For me, empathy, you know, everybody’s talking about empathy Joe Biden is the empathy president, you know, he’s a wonderful because he’s empathic, people are starting to throw this word around as well.

56:44 - It means like Kumbaya, you know it’s like you just, I love you know I love you I feel you.

56:51 - To me, I mean by empathy I mean something very specific, you, you, you put yourself not just in somebody else’s place.

57:00 - But in somebody else’s problem to the extent that you make a commitment.

57:06 - Well, you’re not saying, I hear you I understand you.

57:11 - But on the other, but the opposite, which I’m sure you are familiar with from pastoral counseling.

57:18 - I don’t know how you feel. I don’t know how you feel. Tell me how you feel.

57:24 - It begins with humility. It begins with vulnerability and humility that I feel safe enough and who I am.

57:35 - And in my identity. And in my capacity for solitude, that I can just know who I am and listen to you, and admit that I don’t know who you are.

57:49 - Tell me. And I’m not going to say, oh, divorced, I’ve been divorced, let me tell you.

57:56 - But, oh, divorce. What was that like for you. Oh, you didn’t get tenure, well, what what what do you thinking how are you not oh here’s how I thought that you know, what are your thoughts, what are your, you know, really, that it’s, it’s, hum is humble.

58:19 - It’s listening. It’s engaged, but it’s committed, because it’s, and I’m going to stick with you, and the implications of what you tell me, as opposed to Oh at the end will hug the mobile feel good about sharing a moment.

58:44 - So, politically. I think that the reason that people are thinking a lot about empathy now is that they are, they sense that as we go back to work as we go back to school as we try to heal our country.

59:03 - People have had an experience during this pandemic that has broken, some people who has really into everyone is broken in some way. Everyone has been traumatized in some way some people show up differently.

59:20 - But, but this has been an amazingly difficult, it’s not natural to be what we’ve gone through is very hard.

59:29 - We have to really learn how to listen to each other.

59:33 - So I think that that you know that that’s just one thing I wanted to say sort of just kind of as a baseline, there’s something about learning solitude, learning to be comfortable with yourself and then learning how to listen, actively and in humility to somebody else, which is where our next step begins.

59:55 - And then a second point is that this next step has to take into account that we have been voyagers in a strange land during this year of the pandemic. We have seen America with fresh eyes.

60:16 - We have had this experience of day pays more, because we have watched things that we didn’t want to see about America, we have seen racism and white nationalism, and the me to movement and Black Lives Matter.

60:34 - And I remember today when I was why I turned on a TV and I saw this stadium with with cars beautiful cars expensive cars and lines and I, it wasn’t yet the vaccine What are they waiting in line for and it was these people who had never been in a food line before in Texas, filling up a stadium to get their first bundle of food from a food in a food line.

61:03 - I mean, we have seen the inequality in our country.

61:06 - And we have seen how easy it is to steal an election, because it almost happened.

61:17 - You know, it’s like there but for you know very little, our democracy could have been broken.

61:25 - And we’re seeing over suppression and we’re seeing things that have always been there but we were able to not see.

61:34 - And I think that this other that we have all been others.

61:40 - We have all been others. As we look at our country now.

61:46 - And so I think that the story that I tell in the empathy diaries about this other ring or this day pays small being a gift.

61:59 - I think all Americans are going through it now, that’s really my answer. you know that that that if we do it right. It can help us heal.

62:05 - That did, if we do it right. It can help us heal. Yeah, he said do it right, you quoted in one of your earlier books, one of my favorite Jewish philosophers Levin Nos. and where he, where he talks about when you look another in the face.

62:22 - You wind up having ultimate responsibility for that other person.

62:28 - And what I hear you saying that, hopefully this past year has done in the empathy realm for us is mean we’ve had to look in the face of other Americans.

62:39 - And so now can we take the next step as well.

62:48 - And it’s so ironic that that is a philosophy that depends on looking at the face.

62:56 - Whereas now we’d have to do that having only looked at these simulacra of the other spaces.

63:05 - I think that’s a moronic but somehow so apt. Yeah.

63:09 - Well, yeah, talking about the fact that like we’ve moved to this two dimensional you know world.

63:20 - You know some, and partly of what happens in the two dimension without having the actual face and the three dimensions and the person in front of us that we’re looking directly in their eyes and not through a camera at their eyes.

63:32 - You right in your, in this book and other books in your earlier books, your entire theme of your you know career has been aloneness solitude, social media, the limitation of screens, the need for this face to face connection.

63:48 - All of that came up in the past year independent.

63:51 - And you finish the book. However, before the pandemic.

63:55 - So coming out, hopefully coming out on the other side. Now, I mean I’m feeling like there might be a light as and more and more of my friends are getting you know vaccinated and my parents are getting vaccinated.

64:06 - What are the lessons that you’ve learned and how should the pandemic inform how all of us confront the future.

64:17 - Well you know two things that happened at the same time people are very complicated.

64:24 - One thing that’s happened is that people have missed the full embrace of human that we see each other terribly.

64:34 - You know that, you know, talking about the screens and zooms I always use the example that in order to when I teach I don’t I’m not doing it now because it’s so it gives me, it gives me a migraine and so I only do it, I’m only, I’m only willing to do it for my students when I teach but in order to give my students the illusion that I’m looking them in their eyes, which I’m not, it does give me a migraine so I’m not doing it for you.

65:01 - So, but to give them the illusion. I stare at the green light.

65:09 - You feel it I’m looking in your eyes Michelle.

65:21 - You stare at this green light, and you sort of make Google eyes at it.

65:26 - And, of course, you see nothing at all. You can you can take in nothing of the other person.

65:31 - Nothing of their body language nothing of anything.

65:37 - So, you create the illusion of eye contact.

65:42 - By looking at nothing. No, the perfect.

65:48 - The pert you know we so dependent on eye contact.

65:52 - And yet the illusion of eye contact, which makes people feel as though you’re so connected with them, means that you’re looking at.

66:03 - Nothing. And when I teach. And I do that, of course, people respond to that because someone be so desperate for someone look at us in this horrible life of screens. And I feel so disconnected from everybody.

66:22 - I mean, here I am alone and now I’m just looking at a green light for two hours and it’s like, like, like I’m in, I’m in some psychotic TV studio, you know at the end of the world staring at a green light I mean, this has not been good.

66:38 - So we miss you know and then you add to that people saying goodbye to their dying people, parents by screens and you know all the horrific experiences we’ve had, we really want to be with each other.

66:52 - That’s on the one side, on the other side, I get these calls from, you know, the New York Times and news organizations of all sorts that everybody wants to robot companion.

67:07 - You know that that is like the best analogy is this best selling book about a robot companion and everybody wants to read.

67:13 - So, um, we also have gotten tuned two screens.

67:23 - And so we’re coming out of this. I think I mean to save two minds is not doesn’t quite capture it. We’re coming out of this was to sensibilities.

67:36 - That really are at war with each other. And the end the place and I think we I think this battle is going to go on for some time and it’s going to be resolved quickly, but where I am optimist.

67:50 - Is that a few things that happened during the pandemic that I think have educated the American people in ways that I’ve been trying to educate them for three or four decades and not get that far.

68:04 - Number one, the next time somebody tells you that Facebook is really benign and they’re just selling you ads and what’s the big deal.

68:15 - People finally understand which is basically what Mark Zuckerberg said and his, his first congressional testimony is just they’re selling ads so they make a buck.

68:25 - And the senators were like, you know somehow the, it ended.

68:30 - That is, I think people have finally gotten that whether it was the 2016 election.

68:38 - You know the 2020 election, you know, we’re talking about surveillance capitalism my work, other people’s work, people finally gotten that they are using you as data.

68:49 - And it’s not just that you’re getting great ads about the ballet slipper flats that you know you like it and Taylor that are you know that you just keep singing your feet and isn’t that great.

68:59 - People have finally gotten some understanding of what’s going on with your online. That’s number one.

69:06 - Number two, so privacy. Number two, the next time, some software company I would say Microsoft but let’s just sending something like that, or you know, any software companies that you know we have a product.

69:24 - It’s on your kids screen it personalizes their education it’s every book in the library, you know, it measures every keystroke it personalizes completely what they’re learning when they’re learning what the pace they’re learning what they should learn it personalizes the curriculum.

69:43 - completely understands their cognitive style.

69:48 - I think parents being given that option right now will say, you know what, if my child, a person.

69:58 - Why would you please give my child a person.

70:03 - You know, my child needs a mentor, a child needs a person.

70:08 - I don’t think I think Finally, the idea that what education was about was not like the best program and screen has come across. Too many people, and role is mentoring the role of being there I think people have finally gotten that.

70:29 - So that’s number two. So the, the notion of social media, and its discontents that that education is more than what we can just put on screens, and also work.

70:46 - I think that, of course, there’s going to be more remote worked in there was before.

70:51 - But I also think we’ve come to value. What colleagues gave us.

70:58 - And we’re going to really try to fight for some kind of balance with more information about what we missed.

71:13 - So that’s what I’m thinking about coming back that I think people are coming back with a lot more information about life in a digital, you know, life in a digital world, and are not going to be, you know, companies and big institutions are going to try to push things. And I think people are going to say, hold on a second.

71:35 - Totally remote. No, no, no, I think there are some things on my team where I need to see the people I’m working with a totally remote we’re going to remote from my, you know, a totally remote life for my more technology from my seven year old, not so much.

71:59 - In your book he spent a lot of time talking about your time in France and, you know, the 1960s and you talked about liminal periods.

72:07 - And I’m clear that we’re in some or hoping we’re in some liminal period now. And do you see promising signs, either from what you were just saying or, you know, in new areas that this game changing year may in some way.

72:25 - generate degenerative or healthy for the community.

72:30 - Yes, yes I do. In some ways I was trying to point towards that. My last answer liminal times or times, I studied with return at the University of Chicago and one of the things he wrote about was limited time to call them betwixt in between times and when old rules and fallen away and new rules haven’t come up yet and I lived in France, right after the May days and 68, and there to, you know, old rules and phone way the new rules hadn’t started up yet.

73:02 - And what happens during those times is people feel.

73:08 - who am I, What kind of identity. Who am I, who can I be, what kind of identity, can I have and.

73:19 - And I think that, uh, I see, I see us in that kind of time now, where I see possibilities for social change, for example, where I think more people have the way I’m putting it has stepped out the Fourth of July parade and see this country with very cool lives.

73:46 - I’m a very patriotic American. I was raised to think that this country had, you know, had been the salvation of the Jewish people, you know with all the bumps and not taking you know with all the bumps and not taking in Jews and abandoning the lines to concentrate them and they were flaws and the argument and anguish and. But basically, that, that we were lucky to be here, my grandmother took me down to the mailboxes and showed me how, in this country, you know, the mail was sacred and we were safe and and we could pray I mean, I’m a very patriotic American, but I feel that people are realizing that you can that now to be a patriotic American.

74:32 - You have to be disabused of notions about not looking coldly.

74:40 - At the racism that permeates our country’s laws and ways of doing things. And that is, you know and and the voter suppression and the and the police departments and the and the gun control me you know what I think people are really in this pandemic where it’s not just that we’ve been in front of our screens and have watched it played out.

75:11 - But I think that the kind of twist in between nature of the time, have given people permission to think and say things that they didn’t have before.

75:26 - And I think that, from my point of view, this is a very healthy thing, because even younger people.

75:33 - You know, it didn’t even matter what generation you were in had had adopted conventional tropes about America.

75:41 - Because there was a, I did a lot of interviewing during the Obama years which, which in some ways were such, it was such an interesting period, because so many young people and I wrote about this and reclaiming conversation, said, I’m so glad that Obama’s president and there’s nothing to worry about. And there’s nothing to, you know, being demonstrations about or write about or struggle for because if I wanted to. There’s no private place to do it. And I couldn’t get a job, it would have to be on the internet so I’m so glad everything’s okay well everything wasn’t okay i mean that’s the point is that people have this sense of nothing to look at here.

76:27 - You know, because on some level, they could not look you know and and and so sometimes a period that seems Pacific.

76:38 - And it sort of makes people feel comforted with a kind of superficial reality, with a superficial sense that things are okay things are getting better. It’s okay, it’s okay.

76:52 - Can, can keep people from facing more difficult and deeper truths.

77:00 - And I so I really believe that the difficulties that we face now in this liminal time.

77:09 - If we, you know, if we do if we, if we stay active and alert and empathic and engaged and patriotic and on it could potentially be the salvation of this country.

77:24 - Well, I’m take your questions throughout the book, you write beautifully about the teachers and the thinkers who influenced you were Harvard professors professors your French psychoanalysts whom you studied with in the 70s, and you say benefit from the experience of wanting to think like my professors, which in itself seems like an act of imaginative empathy.

77:52 - Is this what learning is at its best enabling empathy and is that what we need. I’m going to add it in there, is that what we need, then you’re suggesting for us today to imagine ourselves as the others that we might not have seen or experienced, you know, and interact with before.

78:10 - Well, let me just say something about my, you know, professor and his wonderful question you ask.

78:16 - I had a, and also this is a. Something I meant to say earlier I had a professor at when I was a freshman at Harvard and Ben and eric erickson who at the time was very famous psychoanalyst he taught a lot of freshmen at Harvard. And I use his theories and several of my books and one of the theories, many of his theories are outdated outmoded but there’s one theory that I think I try to teach all of my students I try to pick out a snippet of theory a friend introduced them to it, which is that you know Freud was wrong, when he talks about a linear progression anything that involved a linear progression of stages of development.

That’s not right. That’s not. That is not the way to think about stages of development that rather you issues that you need to face that you keep coming back to, and the phrase he uses is, you come back to them with new materials that you have at hand.

79:29 - Later periods of your life. And hopefully, you know what, later periods of your life you have Richard materials that you can use to come back to these issues. So for example, He’s very famous for talking about the identity crisis.

79:47 - And you’re supposed to have it now the lessons and then you go on to other things. But actually, he argues that I’m having an identity crisis now, you know, but I’m coming back to issues of identity with new materials that I have no.

80:09 - more resources maybe more maturity, maybe, and I resolving it for myself in a different way a better way I’m getting to rework it again. And it worked in that in the book I talk about morning my mother and his terms.

80:24 - The because when I had to mourn her when I was 19, I had like no resources I was poor my father, my stepfather through man of the house I, I had like none.

80:36 - I had very few materials. So idealize her I really didn’t deal with anything at all.

80:43 - But later I had better materials, and I was better able to come back and get to it.

80:49 - Um, so to get to your question which had to do with, with mentoring.

80:54 - Um, that’s an idea that I try, you know, talk about what makes for good TV, and what makes for a good mentor.

81:04 - I get that idea of. I’m your teacher now.

81:11 - I want to get this idea and I want you to do this reading I want you to understand this thing about never being afraid. You get one shot at anything.

81:22 - I want to get that I want them I’m like, I’m going to get this idea across, because I think it’s one of the most important ideas and mentoring that I can give you.

81:31 - It’s my gift to you as a mentor, and other people might say, well, that’s an odd little.

81:41 - And I just think that the fact that I learned that when I was 18.

81:49 - I’m a lot older than 18 now. And I’m telling you.

81:55 - If people walk away if honestly if people walk away from this evening and they don’t remember the empty diaries, they don’t buy it they don’t remember anything I said, and they remember this thing about coming back to the same thing you don’t get one shot at a problem you just, I will feel as though the evening was well worth it to me.

82:17 - And the mentors that I had and the things that that they taught me when much more about their relationship with me and and things like that, that they had learned through a lifetime of scholarship and living.

82:32 - It was never like, oh, here’s what he wants, he said about. But here’s what God, you know, you know, it was much more philosophy of of scholarship or philosophy of changing and I’ll just end because I think our time is kind of laid out I’ll just end with, like, with Barrington more said to me, when I said you know I don’t know I’m a woman, can I make a living as a scholar and, and he said look, you just you’re very good at this, you just try to study the thing that is closest to your interest.

83:12 - Because and major in the thing that’s closest to your interest.

83:17 - Because when bumps come and they surely will you will have loved the journey.

83:26 - And that’s really what I just tried to communicate to my students that it’s the journey.

83:35 - Well, share you taking us on an unbelievable journey this evening from your childhood through, you know this past year. I’m talking about how you grew and learn from your experiences and encouraging all of us to reflect on our experiences and how we can continue to grow and knowing that we can continue to, you know, not be stuck in any one place, but keep moving forward, that it’s a circle that’s a cycle that keeps moving.

84:07 - And so I just want to thank you for making sure this evening we were together, we weren’t alone, we were you know our solitude from this past year was broken for a little while with, you know, being able to interact.

84:22 - And even if my, you know, our eyes weren’t exactly with each other because we looked at each other on the screen and not at the little green light.

84:31 - We shared and we shared with the people’s faces we couldn’t see this evening, who joined us.

84:37 - So thank you for giving us wisdom thank you for pushing us to have the courage to act with intention and with empathy as we move forward. This was a complete pleasure.

84:49 - So thank you very much. And before I hand the you know screen over to Megan and to Kim I want to say thank you to them for being the backside of all of this, and making all of the technology happens so that we could have this moment of connection with everybody. Megan thank you and, again, Thank you, Sherry.

85:12 - Thank you. Thank you. Thank you both for joining us.

85:18 - Thank you Michelle for doing a great job with all the questions.

85:22 - And looking at the green light can you tell.

85:25 - Yeah, that that actually yet. I’ve heard that yeah look at the light Tech Tip before and I gotta say it just always makes me think of Gatsby’s you know staring endlessly at the screen like I’m thinking of people far away.

85:39 - We got a lot of great questions from the audience, sorry we didn’t we did not have time to to get to all of them and encourage people.

85:51 - Again, the book is available and I did post the link in the chat, earlier I will resend it to anyone who might have missed it.

85:59 - It is also still on our on the MIT clubs website, and a recording of this will be posted to the, to the club’s YouTube channel in a couple of days, when we get to it, or when we, when we get it edited.

86:16 - Yeah, thank you. this is, this is fascinating and very refreshing and it was.

86:25 - If I can just add my little comment is great to hear that MIT students are not the only ones who sometimes have a complicated relationship with with the Institute. .