These days, "complementarity" is a word everyone loves to hate (or loves to love, in some cases). I won't enter into the debate here, but I will say that my husband and I seem to have some academic complementarity. My husband is awesome at doing footnotes. He loves footnotes- everything about them. He loves writing tangential comments, putting in passages in their original languages, and, of course citing texts. He has Turabian completely memorized, and can engage in quick comparison of other citation styles as well.
Last week, I was at the park with the toddler while the husband was checking my footnotes for my paper due that week. I thought I had been pretty footnote-conscious on this paper, so I assumed it would be an easy job for him. When I got the chance to check my cellphone (stored in the jogging stroller), I had more than a few missed calls from him. The message he left was pretty calm. He had a "few questions" about some of my footnotes. When I called him, however, he was a little frazzled. "Fairweather, 245. Do you think people will read your mind? You didn't even give a first name, much less a title! How am I supposed to find the other bibliographical information without even knowing the text?" I answered him, "Scholastic Miscellany: Anselm to Ockham," and threw in some appreciative and thankful comments for good measure.
Next he said, "What about your ibid. situation? You have an ibid. for Cavanaugh when the text is from Kelly Johnson's book! It looks like you reorganized the text without even looking at the footnotes!" "Yes," I told him, "that's exactly what I did, and I am so sorry for the inconvenience. Thank you so much for looking through my footnotes and catching that mistake." Then he said, "Well, when I read through the text, I thought, this is a good paper, but when I got to the footnotes, I couldn't help but start to get upset."
To which I responded, "That's exactly how I felt when I was editing your dissertation. All those long nights trying to re-place your misplaced modifiers...trying to make sense out of your page-long sentences..." etc., "It's almost as though I lose my footnotes concentrating on my text, and you lose your text concentrating on your footnotes."
Ahem. Academic complementarity? I think we make a good team. We not only help each other, but we inspire each other to work on our academic weaknesses.