Last night I had the privilege of attending a Distinguished Speaker lecture at he University at Buffalo. The guest was Khaled Hosseini, the author of the Kite Runner. He is a powerful speaker and had a lot of insights into the situation in Afghanistan. The Alumni Arena is a large venue and it was about two-thirds full. Dr. Hosseini mentioned that he had never spoken to such a large group. The University had handed out 5,000 copies of the Kite Runner to the student body, so a good number of students attended.
My biggest surprise of the evening was when the author told us that the book took a year to write, most of it composed in the early morning as Dr. Hosseini was a practicing physician at the time. After he completed the manuscript he needed an agent. He sent it to thirty agents. It was rejected by twenty-nine.
As an aside, at one point during the lecture, I looked over to the rows of spectators below me which were, for the most part high school and university students. About three-quarters of these young people were busy texting through the whole lecture. They all had those elaborate phones with the keyboards. The screens were bright enough to be a distraction in the darkened arena. I don't even know what to think. Speaking to people in my age cohort, we have come to the realization that this behavior is not considered to be rude. I'm not sure I will be able to adjust to this.