Jacques Dubochet won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry this week. He is apparently a charming, amusing man, and I'm sure he's quite good at Chemistry.
But one thing caught my eye:
On his CV, which is featured on Quartz, he gives an entry for his conception by his "optimistic parents."
And he also writes:
First official dyslexic in the canton of Vaud – this permitted being bad at everything … and to understand those with difficulties.
So. He was "bad at everything."
Somehow in his family, in his school, with his own grit and determination--or possibly as a result of his sense that he had nothing to lose, that risks were fine, because he was ALREADY bad--he became a creative chemist. And he lived long enough to see his creativity come into fruition, and be recognized.
I applaud him.
But I ache for all those students, the dyslexics and the "bad students," who are less fortunate, and are sent spiraling down to the depths, rather than liberated, by their own difference from others.
Being different has its perils, usually. And occasionally its rewards.
(H/T Mark Goodale at Lausanne for alerting me to this.)