A few feet above the desk is a board hastily affixed to the wall, a convenient spot to hold someone's pride. The shelf is loaded down with trophies, ribbons and other honors. The owner has a range of academic skills - the awards are for everything from mathematics and science to robotics and journalism.
Most of the trophies show signs of age, and the dates on them go back many years. There aren't any recent ones - maybe the owner is taking a break until he can mount another shelf.
Did you ever find a note in an old book? Sometimes a person has to write something down really quickly in order to remember it.