Thank You

Thanks to everyone who made this a day of songs, good wishes, gifts, help, cheer, and love! I will catch up with the messages in Messenger soon (maybe not tonight), but wanted to report that this has been a happy day indeed. Three of my classes surprised me by singing to me–and they really surprised me, since each class did it in a different way. (True, the last class looked a bit mischievous at the start of the lesson, but that didn’t seem unusual until they burst into song.) A colleague gave me chocolate; another wished me happy birthday in the hallway. Gifts and messages streamed in from family and friends. And then, to top it all off (so to speak), my colleague Nándi helped me get to a dentist quickly. A crown fell off my tooth yesterday, and I dreaded some grievous labyrinthine procedure. But I called the dentist Nándi had recommended (his aunt), made an appointment for this evening, and learned from her that the tooth and crown were both fine and just needed to be reglued together, which she did on the spot. The tooth feels even better than before the mishap; the crown is better situated, like a stable duchy. I would be feeling royal, except for a slight cold and too much to do before tomorrow.

I took the photo in the village of Pácin (I think), during my bike trip. I didn’t realize until afterward that there was a dove flying overhead. It looks like some sort of Photoshop trick, but it isn’t; the bird was there, flying above the ice cream sign, though I didn’t know it at the time.

That is all for tonight. Thank you for the wonderful birthday.

Update: My birthday celebration continued at Szim Salom on Shabbat; I received good wishes, flowers, chocolate, and a delightful (and well-metered) character poem written by János Csonka. Thanks to everyone for the honor and cheer.


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  • “To know that you can do better next time, unrecognizably better, and that there is no next time, and that it is a blessing there is not, there is a thought to be going on with.”

    —Samuel Beckett, Malone Dies

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  • Pilinszky Event (3/20/2022)



    Diana Senechal is the author of Republic of Noise: The Loss of Solitude in Schools and Culture and the 2011 winner of the Hiett Prize in the Humanities, awarded by the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. Her second book, Mind over Memes: Passive Listening, Toxic Talk, and Other Modern Language Follies, was published by Rowman & Littlefield in October 2018. In February 2022, Deep Vellum will publish her translation of Gyula Jenei's 2018 poetry collection Mindig Más.

    Since November 2017, she has been teaching English, American civilization, and British civilization at the Varga Katalin Gimnázium in Szolnok, Hungary. From 2011 to 2016, she helped shape and teach the philosophy program at Columbia Secondary School for Math, Science & Engineering in New York City. In 2014, she and her students founded the philosophy journal CONTRARIWISE, which now has international participation and readership. In 2020, at the Varga Katalin Gimnázium, she and her students released the first issue of the online literary journal Folyosó.


    On April 26, 2016, Diana Senechal delivered her talk "Take Away the Takeaway (Including This One)" at TEDx Upper West Side.

    Here is a video from the Dallas Institute's 2015 Education Forum.  Also see the video "Hiett Prize Winners Discuss the Future of the Humanities." 

    On April 19–21, 2014, Diana Senechal took part in a discussion of solitude on BBC World Service's programme The Forum.  

    On February 22, 2013, Diana Senechal was interviewed by Leah Wescott, editor-in-chief of The Cronk of Higher Education. Here is the podcast.


    All blog contents are copyright © Diana Senechal. Anything on this blog may be quoted with proper attribution. Comments are welcome.

    On this blog, Take Away the Takeaway, I discuss literature, music, education, and other things. Some of the pieces are satirical and assigned (for clarity) to the satire category.

    When I revise a piece substantially after posting it, I note this at the end. Minor corrections (e.g., of punctuation and spelling) may go unannounced.

    Speaking of imperfection, my other blog, Megfogalmazások, abounds with imperfect Hungarian.

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