French, but educated in the US, he was occasionally flummoxed by Canadian students who were used to getting polite kid glove treatment and gold stars just for showing up.
(I sometimes think that politeness has given Canadians an edge that allows them to be at the forefront of the self-esteem movement, …to the general detriment of social progress. Chronic politeness and an aversion for putting noses out of joint can result in stultification, mediocrity, and overall intellectual retardation. On Fantasy Island, where everyone is “special” by virtue of living here, the condition can become rampant.)
Anyway, toward the end of one particularly tense seminar, facing a student who was about to shatter into a 1000 pieces, the professor became very exasperated and burst out, “You have to learn to take criticism!”
I don’t know but that I don’t feel a similar exasperation these days.