". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Delicious Irony

It just dawned on me that the piece I wrote for The Federalist has a rather wonderful ironic twist to it. In my article I took issue with the position held by Ezekiel Emanuel  that it is best for a person to die before he starts to experience a steep decline in health, mental acuity, and usefulness. As part of his argument, Emanuel cites research suggesting that most people peak in their forties:

. . . by 75, creativity, originality, and productivity are pretty much gone for the vast, vast majority of us. . . . Dean Keith Simonton, at the University of California at Davis, a luminary among researchers on age and creativity, synthesized numerous studies to demonstrate a typical age-creativity curve: creativity rises rapidly as a career commences, peaks about 20 years into the career, at about age 40 or 45, and then enters a slow, age-related decline. There are some, but not huge, variations among disciplines. Currently, the average age at which Nobel Prize–winning physicists make their discovery—not get the prize—is 48. . . . Simonton’s own study of classical composers shows that the typical composer writes his first major work at age 26, peaks at about age 40 with both his best work and maximum output, and then declines, writing his last significant musical composition at 52. 

For the record, the year your humble blogger turned 50 is the same year she sold her first article to a national magazine. Take that, Emanuel.

De quoi écrire
Hermann Fenner-Behmer (1866-1913)


Susan said...

So, maybe he's right. Your real career, your main career peaked around age 45, and now you're in something of a decline, as your school's enrollment has decreased by 67%. So now you're just beginning to rev up for a second career. (Wait -- music is your second career. Okay, okay, so you're toying with a start to Career#3. Poor Mr Emanuel -- planning to wind down after only one?)

Cheryl said...


Actually, since I was an English teacher before I was a mom, it could be argued that I'm on my fourth career. Not bad for 50 years, huh?

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your publication! What a great way to launch your next half century . . . as a published writer. Given the sheer number of wannabe writers this is an incredible accomplishment.