Sunday, February 6, 2011

Progress, Progress, Progress

I was on a barge on the Danube River just east of Belgrade late one afternoon when a high-school friend of my friend Zarko Radakovic motored up to the barge on his boat and climbed up the ladder to join us. He was a filmmaker, it turned out, and he had just made a film for M. Markovic, Slobodan Milosevic's wife, a film for her political campaign. Progress, Progress, Progress -- I lit up the film with those words, he said. It was a brilliant film.

Today I've been thinking about what, of all possibilities, would be the most important thing to keep in mind as we work on our theses and books.

Progress is what I came up with.

What progress have I made today? What progress this week.

Progress, of course, comes from work. Hard, concentrated work.

Have I worked on the thesis today. This week? Has the work been hard?

If it has, I've made progress.

And if I make progress, I'll have a good thesis or book.

And with luck, I'm not trying, with my progress, to get a nationalist elected to the Serbian parliament.

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