Susan D. Blum


On her book “I Love Learning; I Hate School”: An Anthropology of College

Cover Interview of September 03, 2017

A close-up

I have to confess that I like this book. I poured my heart and soul into each page. I lived with the ideas and the sentences and the chunks for years. But some of my children are more beloved than others. (And yes, like all writers, I’ve learned to “kill my darlings.” There is a lot that has been excised.) But if you want to poke around, here are a few places to amble:

The Introduction, especially pages 1-6, 15-16.

The strangeness of higher education, pages 86-88 and 113.

Chapter 5 on grades, which is something I’ve become entirely obsessed about.

Pages 181-189 on the nature of the human animal.

About riding a bicycle, pages 209-210, because I remember writing this passage in one burst.

Chapter 9 on motivation, especially Table 9.1 on page 222.

The Conclusion, especially pages 270-274.

I tried to tell the story of my journey: I had been one kind of person and teacher, had a crisis of understanding, did research, changed my mind, and became a different kind of person and teacher. If you flip through those pages, you’ll get the gist of the story.