Here are some snippets of actual conversations I had this week with colleagues. The first was with a colleague in the English Department.
English professor waiting for an elevator (ominously): Irfan, we have to talk.
Irfan: About what?
English professor: About [pause]…Ayn Rand.
He disappears wordlessly into the elevator.
The second was with a colleague in the Psychology Department, a professor in the counseling psychology program in which I’m getting a degree. I’m a student in his PSYC 590 class, Research and Evaluation Methods. Before this comment, I thought we were talking about quantitative and qualitative research methods in psychology. But then, suddenly….
Psychology professor: And that brings me to a topic that I’d like to bring up with Irfan. Sorry to put you on the spot, Irfan, but if Ayn Rand is an empiricist, how can she be a Nietzschean?
Cue musical interlude.