Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I describe myself as a scholaholic, and that is what I am, and, if it is an ailment, I suffer it willingly and contentedly. 

Scolari in Italian refer to school children, pupils.  Older pupils are studenti. Grown-ups who study to learn and learn to study whatever subject professionally are called studiosi in Italian. 

The word “scholar” in English is, indeed, double-edged; it may designate a student or a recipient of a scholarship on the one hand, and a learned person, on the other, who exhibit eminent scholarship in the tradition of medieval scholastics,.  So, as a child I was a scholarly scholar, earned scholarship as well as scholarships in higher education, and made a career more or less as a scholarly scholar.  In fact, being a scholar requires an insistent pursuit of a particular subject with an indomitable curiosity that is not uncommon in a child. 

In the course of my life I thus became addicted to scholarship and found myself an incurable scholaholic.  Whatever the subject, if I am interested, I cannot help digging in deep to excavate and investigate. It started in my childhood and never ceased to this day.  It is a lifelong habit. 

I became keenly aware of this fact in the decade since my retirement.  Once a scholar, always a scholar, as is said of priesthood.  Being a scholaholic is a habit, not too different, really, from the kind worn by nuns and monks.  It is a child’s habit, essentially childish, and I realized that even at an old age I love dressing like a school girl, as I habitually do: a frilly blouse, a short pleated skirt, leggings, and Mary Janes.

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