I was pleasantly surprised yesterday to learn that I have been awarded a three-year graduate fellowship by the University of Toledo. Only two are awarded by UT each year, so I suppose that I am in select company.
It is an odd sensation, though, for a guy who grew up on the west side of Detroit in a blue-collar, UAW neighborhood to think of himself as a "university fellow." Rare enough were the people in my neghborhood who actually went to college; most of the people I knew hoped to hit the employment lottery by getting one of the dwindling number of jobs in the auto factories.
And - given the fact that I have occasionally taken rhetorical aim at UT in editorials - I must admit that I thought my acerbic punditry might make me a bit of a longshot.
I can only surmise that my receipt of this prestigious award is due in large part to the letters of recommendation that my professors wrote, so I would like to publicly thank Dr. Carol Bresnahan, Dr. Michael Jakobson, and Dr. William O'Neal for what must have been some persuasive missives on my behalf.
The schizophrenic blatherings on this site must have been unavailable to the fellowship award committee, or I would have received a polite rejection letter, along with a recommendation to seek a prescription for lithium carbonate.