I feel fortunate that on the whole, I really enjoy what I do. That’s not to say it doesn’t take some effort to haul my ass out of bed on cold winter mornings, or that I often loathe being cooped up all day, or that I question the way certain things are done. But I believe in the larger mission of my company, which I understand as providing high-quality (both in content and form) book products to the educated general reader. Since I work specifically with books on philosophy and cultural, Asian, and literary studies, and the myriad crossroads where they meet, it’s a good thing I also believe in the preservation of the humanities, even as I see my own interests slanting toward the social sciences. I believe in my authors, who for the most part are ambitious, thoughtful, well-intentioned people, if a bit untimely with their manuscripts, inaccurate with their word counts, or naive about permissions. Even if I don’t always have the time or brainpower to grasp the ins and outs of their arguments, I believe they have something important to say and that my job is to help them be heard. Which sounds nice, but I’m not idealizing my job. There are moments–ideas, discussions, sentences–that leave me elated. But there is no denying that day to day, it’s gritty work.
The end of a particularly gritty work week demands comfort food, and in a fortuitous convergence of interests, my roommate EK was fancying a hearty Southern meal. He was all over this 7 cheese mac and cheese after being inspired by one too many episodes of “Throwdown with Bobby Flay”.