The Schmooze

Author Blog: No Middle Range

Earlier, Harry Brod wrote about speaking backwards a couple of sayings with which he disagrees and why he always has a valid passport. His blog posts are featured on The Arty Semite courtesy of the Jewish Book Council and My Jewish Learning’s Author Blog Series. For more information on the series, please visit:


“Jews don’t have a middle range,” I said to my friend and colleague.

He was telling me about his experience teaching a new course at our university. Faculty from very different fields had come together to develop a common core of readings and topics for a course designed to introduce first year students to college life. Each professor would teach their own section but the students would receive a common experience. The format meant that every instructor would be out of their area of expertise and comfort zone for at least part of the course, most likely for most of it.

“So there I was,” he told me, “standing in front of these new students as an experienced teacher, not just nervous but terrified.”

“Yeah,” I said, “Jews don’t have a middle range. We go right from a little bit scared to absolutely terrified.”

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Author Blog: No Middle Range

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