One day, in secondary school, in our German class, we practiced writing summaries of stories we had read. These summaries had to be short, yet they had to capture the essence of the stories. Our teacher praised of my fellow-students’ summary and said he himself couldn’t have done it better. When I, with respect, said that I wrote a shorter and more to the point summary, he was first slightly offended but then conceded when I read out loud what I had written that this was truly excellent.


What I had done was to cut out the ‘noise’ and focus on what was at the core of the story.

Sadly, for me, it was a once-off. I never again did as well as I did that day in my German class.