For our final week of discussion, in the Conclusion, the authors reflect on their own collaboration in writing the book, which they describe as putting Slow principles into practice, as well as the various merits of "thinking together." Fundamentally, inspired discussion and supportive collaboration builds and is built on trust.
Since the co-authors had known each other for a long time, "we were more patient with each other and more compassionate when life events or work pressure intervened in a deadline. Recognizing that the understanding and care that we extended to each other brought out the best in us has made us more compassionate towards our students" (88). They sandwich in that sentence the idea that this support, rather than some kind of organizational cure-all or fire-rimmed deadlines, brings out the best in themselves and each other. (Something in me instinctively bristles at this, as if "the best in us" is made by more exacting standards rather than loving support -- and I'm not sure I like what I'm discovering about myself.)
This is the conclusion, after all, and so there's only time for one more definitional clarification: "Slow philosophy overall should not be interpreted, Petrini reminds us, as "the contrast . . . between slowness and speed -- slow versus fast -- but rather between attention and distraction; slowness, in fact, is not so much a question of duration as of an ability to distinguish and evaluate, with the propensity to cultivate pleasure, knowledge, and quality" . . . Slow professors act with purpose, cultivating emotional and intellectual resilience to the effects of the corporatization of higher education" (89-90).
So in the face of the fast currents coming at him or her, the Slow Professor aims to not get caught up in it and instead think deeply and purposefully.
This is our last week and so is a great time for summing up. What have you gotten out of this reading and discussion? Can you imagine going about your professorial life differently -- with a more conscious consideration of Slow principles? How can you make time for timeless time? What ideas do you have for teaching more Slow-ly? How can a consideration of Slow principles help to nurture your research and scholarship? How can you engage in building the kind of trust in your department or academic circle that will nurture your intellect and emotions? How can you work to champion work-life balance for you and your colleagues?