Tuesday, January 29, 2008

In praise of youth ...

... well, not really. In praise, rather, of a particular young person.

All this month I have been graced with the help of Jennifer Berger, a junior at Germantown Friends School. For whatever reason, Jen wanted to spend her junior project month working alongside a newspaper book editor. (My stepdaughter Gwen, who also went to GFS, built a clavichord during hers.) Jen's options were limited, so I lucked out, and have had her helping me for the past 28 days.
And help me she has. The book room is in order because of Jen. I have a list of reviews that I have in hand, complete with the email addresses of the reviewers - because of Jen (and trust me, this is very important). Jen will have a review in Sunday's Inquirer, and it is quite a good review.
I do not exaggerate when I say that, given a few more weeks, Jen could easily take over for me.
Most of all I have had the pleasure of her company. To say that she is extraordinarily bright is really to say nothing. (Did I mention that she plays the cello and is fluent in German?) Anyway, intelligence isn't necessarily accompanied by personality, and Jen's personality sparkles. Our talks have been genuine conversations, and I have easily learned as much from her as she has from me. In fact, I probably got the better of the bargain. Tomorrow is her last day.
I will miss her.


  1. Anonymous10:04 AM

    Ah, I met the young lady and I concur! A high school junior, she struck me as more mature than many a college graduate.

  2. Frank, I think we all will miss her ..... I have only e-met Jen, and briefly at that ..... but I have enjoyed her contribution to Books, Inq. and I look forward to reading her review .....

    On a related note, Frank ..... thank YOU and the Inquirer for providing her a wonderful opportunity. If more of us were disciples of our craft - rather than HIGH priests - we might find more acolytes filling the temple.

  3. Anonymous1:54 PM

    What a lovely post, Frank. She sounds a great person, and how lucky for her, also, to find a mentor like you.

    I endorse Jeff's comment, of course!


  4. Awwwww. I think Jen was just as lucky to get to hang out with YOU, Frank.