December 24, 2019:

He seems not to understand that when one's mouth is open one's ears are closed.

His mouth is always open. There's nothing in the world more important to him than filling a room with the sound of his voice.

We're thrown together through dereliction. Our Philosophy professor, who should help me, doesn't. He should be my primary resource, but I'm not female, and I read slowly, and I have no ambition to be socially acceptable. That's three strikes, and I'm out. He's useful to a certain narrow clique of sophisticated East Coast off-campus types of whom he somehow approves. And to the co-eds he'd like to fuck. So that in this resource's practical absence I'm forced to accept those that are available.

He's sensitive. He means well, he's easily wounded. He's arrogant, his narcissism is boundless, he can't write or doesn't, and, years later when I've caught up through sheer toil, I come to realize that I know the material better than he, far better, and I know how to apply it to the world. While he always and forever has one more book to read.

Eventually he makes the classic mistake. Tries to tell me what to do. Tries to tell me my girlfriend is wrong for me. But I'm a loyal elephant, I defend my mate. Besides, I'm like my mother: patronize her just once, you're history. I'm patient with his patronizing far too long, until the day I realize I'm vastly more knowledgeable than he, and more skilled, and more useful to the world. And that he disses my girl. Those are all the strikes that are necessary, all together in just one definitive day of change.