"We're deathly afraid of that stabbing word 'pretentious,' the word that students use to curse each other's ambition. It's a young person's word, a shortcut-to-thinking word. I'm a big fan of pretension. It means 'an aspiration or intention that may or may not reach fulfillment.' It doesn't mean failing upward. It means trying to exceed your grasp. Which is how things grow."