This morning, I survived Professor S.M.’s chilling expose of my classmates’ failed dreams. We were assigned to write up a brief description of what we’d wanted to be when we were young and what we wanted to be now, and my, what a graveyard of ballerinas and firemen it was, dreams crushed like glasses under a chuppah. To be fair, there was one guy who wanted to be an investment banker from grade 0, which reminded me somehow of the creepy Addams family baby born with a mustache, which reminded me in turn of how glad I am that Movember is over, which reminded me not to be a hater just because my beard is more mange than Rick Ross.
Then I remembered how Rick Ross, per iTunes, is all “about stacking and protecting chips.” And as my classmates told all, I wandered and wondered what I would be doing presently to stack my chips. See, when I was young, I wanted to be, I think, an action movie star. Or maybe the real thing. As M remarked recently to Daniel Craig, however, 007s have a notoriously short lifespan. And I’m pretty sure all those gadgets have to go back to the quartermaster. No chips. Not even the Brioni suit.
This Professor, this “S.M.” (as you know, the blog requires me to identify all personal names in a charming epistolary manner), is a devious man. He lures you in with oodles of life wisdom, gives you a nice touchy-feely homework, and then, when you’re squarely in the kill zone of emotional vulnerability, he reminds you that you’ll never be a race car driver, a policeman, a professional Snickers eater. Frankly, you shouldn’t even be eating cotton candy anymore.
Later, post-class, I met with an acquaintance from high school who I haven’t seen in ten years. Same boyish, tousled hair; same full-cheeked smile. We both have a few crows feet. We both missed our high school reunion. I thought to myself how, a mere five or six years ago, we judged our merit as human beings by our prowess at beer pong and how, all too soon, I’ll pride myself instead on proper baby burping technique and IKEA stuff-assembling dexterity (I’m halfway there already; you guess which half).
Verklempft. This was all too much for me. I meandered over to the library to find some relief. I looked up Raymond Kurzweil’s The Singularity is Near and read about the coming digitization of the human brain and the transfer of our race from biological to informational existence. I found this to be a relief. I am a mere thirteen months from thirty and I have begun to hear intimations from certain corners that a grandchild would be nice. I’m not saying, but I’m saying, that somebody seems to want a granddaughter. And all I can say in return is that there was another guy who wanted his “grandchildren” to show him their love, who had these grandchildren wait for him with flowers on the flight tarmac whenever he alighted, and that man’s name was Qaddafi. Fortunately, according to Mr. (Dr.?) Kurzweil’s take on things, all this progeny nonsense is nearing its end and I’ll shortly be able to hand up a kid named H.A.L. instead. So not all is lost; maybe, just maybe, my shoulders will remain Gerbers-free.
As you can see, MBAs face a lot of stress. What job will I have? Will it make me happy? And though it’s not especially the purview of this blog to comment on such things, how does this whole MBA thing eject me with finality from the world of young man into the world of professional with incoming crumb-gobblers on the schedule?
Well, true to nerdy form, I researched past blog answers to these essential problems of life and found something along these lines: “In every life we have some trouble/when you worry you make it double/don’t worry/be happy.” This lack of sincerity deeply upset me. I’m here to tell you the truth. If you don’t go to informational interviews, you are not going to get an interview. If you do not get an interview, you will never get a job. You will hit the craps tables in the back alley between McCombs and that building with pillars and you’ll lose all your money and become a homeless bum.
And live in a trailer down by the river. And if not a trailer, one of those wood-barrels with leather suspenders the poor people in old cartoons seem to fancy. But remember, Diogenes also lived in a barrel, and he seemed to be a pretty happy guy.
You may disagree and that’s fine. Save your jibber-jabber, Jabberjaw, because what I have to tell you is that, if you come here, you’ll quickly learn of the wiles of Steve Magee (Unmasked! Take that, authority!), and not only of his microeconomic nuggets, mind you, but about life itself.
So yeah, this is what is colloquially known as “props.” Big ups to Professor Steve Magee, that parrier of Castro, that Ali to Joe Jamail’s Foreman, and the teacher with enough wisdom to dispense for a mangy-bearded whelp like me to sprout a few white hairs. I liked that assignment, the what do you want to do with your life assignment. As it so happens, this was my neurosis long before I was asked to put it before a class today. Another iteration never hurt though. Plus, quoting Polonius, the professor insisted that I prune my bushes from paragraphs to fifteen word capsules. This was a sharper blow than many a Zen master’s bamboo stick has dealt, but all for the better.
Anyway, I didn’t expect this assignment. Two thumbs up.