At my last job, a colleague and I paired up to work out a thorny technical problem. A few weeks into the project, after a long day of locking ourselves in a room to hash out a solution—any solution!—I found myself exhausted, but happily exhausted, and had to ask myself: when’s the last time I felt this way? The answer was: in college, working side by side with someone exactly as motivated as I was.
Larger-group work has many virtues. The nuances of listening, contributing, and synthesizing many people’s inputs constitute one of the great academic and practical fascinations in my life. However. For sheer satisfaction, the precise parity of a dedicated duo remains hard to beat.
Thank you for sharing these thoughts while they were still fresh, and for prompting me to reflect!