Archive for the 'happy endings' Category
A colleague of mine recently gave a talk at my undergraduate college. While we caught up over a cup of coffee, he asked about my experiences there, as he’s interested in sending his daughter to a college or university like that. As I told him stories about the safety and liberty I felt there–and have felt nowhere else before Freshman convocation or since graduation–it occured to me that a surprising number of my fondest memories involved semi-public nudity. Most of the naked memories were streaking up and down Senior Row or skinny-dipping in a fountain after dark when few people were around to witness us, and it was always a group endeavor–sometimes all-women, sometimes a coed group.
Is it just me, or do some of you have similar stories and memories? What do you think is behind the compulsion of students to experience a college campus in Eve’s Livery? Continue Reading »
Scram already, willya?
Student government elections are upon us on my campus, so for the last week this warm, early spring several of the student candidates and their friends have been electioneering on the main plaza outside of the student center. In walking to and fro for cups of coffee, various meetings, and trips to the library, I have been stopped by a student who’s asked me if I “plan on voting in the election this year,” not once but twice. When I finally understood they were talking about a Baa Ram U. student election and not local or national politics, I said in complete disbelief, “No, I’m a professor.”
We have a large number of returning students, but most of them are in their mid- to late 20s or early 30s. Nevertheless, back when I was 28, I would have been put out by being mistaken for a student. Continue Reading »
Everyone is talking about Greg Smith’s buh-bye to his former employer, Goldman Sachs, which was published in the New York Times on Wednesday. Here’s a little flava, for those of you who have been in the wilderness this week without internet or cable teevee:
It might sound surprising to a skeptical public, but culture was always a vital part of Goldman Sachs’s success. It revolved around teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by our clients. The culture was the secret sauce that made this place great and allowed us to earn our clients’ trust for 143 years. It wasn’t just about making money; this alone will not sustain a firm for so long. It had something to do with pride and belief in the organization. I am sad to say that I look around today and see virtually no trace of the culture that made me love working for this firm for many years. I no longer have the pride, or the belief.
But this was not always the case. For more than a decade I recruited and mentored candidates through our grueling interview process. I was selected as one of 10 people (out of a firm of more than 30,000) to appear on our recruiting video, which is played on every college campus we visit around the world. In 2006 I managed the summer intern program in sales and trading in New York for the 80 college students who made the cut, out of the thousands who applied.
I knew it was time to leave when I realized I could no longer look students in the eye and tell them what a great place this was to work.
Of course, some people are calling him naive, self-serving, and grandiose–the usual attack-the-messenger allegations of character flaws that are unfurled when people don’t like his message. Maybe he is naive, self-serving, and grandiose–who cares, if he’s telling the truth?
Have any of you ever engaged in a public resignation of this kind? Have you ever written a F.U. letter to a former employer, or given a speech on your way out the door? I did it once– Continue Reading »
In place of paid advertisers, public service announcements now fill some of the time between Rush Limbaugh’s monologues on radio stations, a consequence of an ad boycott against the conservative talk show host that is now nearly two weeks old.
It is, analysts say, the most serious rebellion against “The Rush Limbaugh Show” in the more than 20 years that the show has been broadcast. This week, new evidence emerged that the ad boycott was costing Premiere Radio Networks — the show’s syndicator — money, though the total amounts are unclear. Continue Reading »
No, I haven’t renounced my longstanding ressentiment and mistrust of football at any level of play, from Pop Warner through the NFL. It’s an appalling waste of money that pretty much sums up nearly everything that’s wrong with our culture, in universities and in the nation at large: profligacy, the wage gap, male supremacy, obsession with inconsequential trivia, anti-intellectualism, and the abuse of women. But, I’ve go no problem whatsoever with Tim Tebow. I don’t care about his public religiosity (although it’s not really my style). I’m impressed that a nice-looking, successful, and wealthy young man has taken a vow of chastity before marriage, not because I value chastity in particular, but because this is also effectively a vow not to abuse women sexually and not to rape them.
Even by comparison to most other professional or college athletes, football players have particularly poor records of abusing women, raping them, or even as we learned last year about Tebow’s teammate Perrish Cox, raping an unconscious woman, and denying it even after a DNA test of her fetus indicated that he was its father. Continue Reading »
Book weight, that is, not body weight. Our recent discussion of clutter, inspired by the super-detailed and super-creepy installation “Barbie Trashes her Dream House“, has inspired me to donate the shelves full of books I no longer read or use. I’ve just removed four boxes and large bags of books off of my shelves, and I’m just getting started. Whichever organization calls me first to ask if I have any good, re-useable household goods, books, or clothing, and offers to pick my donation up from my front door, will be the beneficiary.
I’ve lived in this house for ten years–by far, the longest place I’ve ever lived in my adult life. And I’ve bought or been given a lot of books over the past thirty years. I was wondering, aside from the household clutter angle, why now? Why get rid of the excess books now, instead of sometime during the 1990s, when I moved ten times in as many years and was always packing and moving and unpacking those damn boxes of books. It’s perverse, no?
(From White Christmas (1954), with Rosemary Clooney, Vera-Ellen, Danny Kaye, and Bing Crosby.)
Actually, there’s no snow on the ground here in our New England holiday enclave, but that’s OK–in northern Colorado we’ve had snow on the ground since the week before Halloween, so it’s a nice respite. Those of you who are traveling, travel safely. Those of you who are staying put, enjoy!