Mr. Hamilton has an amazing way with words. They can be like the Zen master smacking you upside the head, knocking you free of your ‘self’ for a moment of clarity.
I don’t think Greg is really being flippant. Talking with him outside of class impressed me with not only how much he thinks about what he teaches, but that he thinks a lot about communication, about how he teaches. He’s very deliberate.
I’m not privy to his internal reasoning, but I can make some observations. “Make the most of it” carries the same vital information of a more somber “scan and assess”. Its tone matches the adrenaline-charged situation that it is describing. It suggests an active, optimistic defensive mind-set. The first time you hear it, it’s so provocative that you think about it more. It’s also sufficiently cool that you want to remember it. Remembering it takes you to other things you learned in that class. It’s a rhetorical and cognitive hook in addition to its primary payload.
That said, like you, I try to watch what I say. A line I spring on friends with irritating frequency is, “That will come up at your trial.”
December 20, 2005
[On the general issue of this quote by Greg Hamilton.–Joe]