February 05, 2006 O #
I expected to meet a few interesting people while interviewing at MIT on Friday, but I didn't expect it to be as much fun as it was. There were a lot of very interesting people, every one of them was sharp, articulate, and cool. I hadn't even walked through the door when the first guy I saw says "I know you. Bryan, right?" Dave and I had at least one class together at BYU, and just happened to be out here interviewing. One of the guys moved out here from France a few years ago to set up manufacturing for Bausch and Laumb cataract surgery equipment, and we got to talking about this new technology he would like to work on that entirely replaces the lens when it starts to harden.
(Beacon Hill... I'd like to live here... we'll see)
The LFM students were also very open and diverse. Some were first year LFM's, and others had recently returned from their six month internships. Amy had worked at Harley Davidson, had a blast, and got to meet with the company's vice president every single tuesday just to talk about running the company, his experiences through his career, etc, whether it related to her internship or not. How many people get that opportunity? Before LFM, she continually traveled working on demolition of sites, particularly with hazardous materials, and came for the degree to make a career change that would let her live in the same place longer than one year. I was also impressed with how much the program is student-run. It seems like everything happening there is generated by the students themselves taking the initiative. They're given a lot of latitude, and they use it well.
(Pillars at Harvard Yard)
I guess they changed the interviewing format from previous years. They brought 40 of us in at once, and Monday they will host another 40. They also interview anybody in remote regions who could not make it. I debated interviewing in LA, but now I'm entirely convinced that visiting the school with this format is the way to go. After interviews and things arranged on campus were finished, we hit happy hour at Aasgards, split into groups for dinner, and continued elsewhere from there. By the end of the day, I felt like I was already friends with everyone there. None of this " I'm going to be friendly because you're interviewing and I have to show you a good time" thing, but relaxed, candid, friendship.
(Reflection on the T)
I love walking around Boston. I ran into my friend Joe attending Harvard just walking onto the subway Saturday evening. It turns out when he interviewed for MIT's B-School (Sloan), he interviewed with the same guy I interviewed with. Joe applied (and was accepted) to several schools, and said his interview with this guy was the most intimidating of all the schools. I was impressed with how thorough they are. I saw him shuffle through my whole application, 7 essays, a cover letter, and my resume, each with notes scratched in the margins. I even got the question "So, tell me about Differential Equations?" That class killed me, and the C- on my transcript showed it. To tell the truth, I prefer an interview where I'm not given any slack, and any question they carry is addressed. I also appreciate the rigor going into the process. This program is a tremendous opportunity, and I would hate to see chance play any factor in determining who is admitted. Having seen the quality of the candidates invited to interview, and the scrutiny they apply to the candidates, I am fully confident in their process.
The only scary result from things going this well is I know what I'm missing if I don't make it in. I even got to talk with a professor who could be perfect as an advisor for the thesis I want to work on. So... I've done everything I can, and now I have to wait. If anyone out there is inclined to sacrifice a chicken to the gods on my behalf, so that my probability of admission will be increased, it will be greatly appreciated.
February 08, 2006 W #
I got a letter from my little bro Brandon down in Mexico today:
... a lady paid the police $1000 pesos ($100 dollars) to beat her son and throw him in jail, on account that he had stolen something from her. He had previously returned what he borrowed, but she wanted him in jail anyway. So now her son is in jail, and she has to pay $5000 pesos to get him out.
Could people get any stupider?
My first response is to laugh. And then it's disheartening to realize that those are two real people living with that kind of spite, day after day. But Brandon is down there doing what he can to teach them to get along a little better. They have energy and resourcefulness, they just need to apply it constructively. Then we can all laugh together at how stupid they were, instead of regret how stupid they are.
February 10, 2006 F #
I didn't know the Olympics games were starting today, but my roommate came home and turned it on. I'm stoked. I love watching the Olympics.
And on a totally unintentional side thought, but coincidentally related, I was rambling to sort out my thoughts... because I have to do that sometimes. But this last paragraph turned out to be something that might be worth posting. I haven't done any editing... anyway. Here it is.
... I started into that last paragraph on the intent of addressing second hand motivation, or desires. The people who want to be "the great man". They want to be the CEO, or something they perceive as a mark of a great person. They're looking for a state of being of greatness, or glory... good things to want... natural things to want. I think they often misunderstand where the feeling, or the state of being wherein they will feel greatness or glory... they don't understand where that glorious state of being comes from. They associate that glorious feeling with the position they seek, without understanding that it is not the position which brings the glorious state of being. Some people learn that the glorious CEO doesn't feel all that glorious, so they try to glorify the "simple things" of life. They see the disappointment that comes to those who fight and struggle for the position of glory, but don't reach it, or never attain the glorious state of being which they started out seeking. They see the disappointment, or the damage done along the way trying to attain that glory, so they fight against the icon of glory. They fight against "the big guy", or fight against religion, against the rock star, or whatever the glorious icon may be. This is most often manifest in "poor mans pride". They build up the glorious "little guy". They seek to instill glory in the icon which is the opposite of the icon they are fighting. These people fighting the icon are still missing the source of glory or disappointment, just as those chasing the icon are likewise missing the source. The source comes in... the source of a glorious existence comes in fulfilling the nature of our individuality. There is glory in the simple things. There is glory in being a small time tinkering engineer, in contently whistling a tune, in earning just enough money to raise a family in a small house. It's the glorious feeling of sunshine and the breeze blowing through the trees around a field of grass. There is glory in the immensely complex and powerful. There is glory in leading a large and strong organization of the most talented individuals in the world, in coordinating the minds of thousands to create an instrument of greater precision and power than has ever been created, and focused and dedicated work undeviating from a lofty objective. It's the feeling of the power in the sun, the orbit of the planets, and the organized interaction of atoms. There is glory in being a general, as well as being a soldier. There is glory in being a rock star, as well as being a poet. The glorious state of being comes in fulfilling the natural desire of the consciousness which you are. Not in the misled desire, but in the natural state of existence. The glorious state of being comes when an individual is in equilibrium with the world... when the forces of consciousness within an individual are in equilibrium with the world in which the individual is living. An individual who is full of dynamic desire and energy will experience their glorious state of being in activity wherein their desire and energy is able to explode upon the earth like lightning from the sky. An individual full of steady desire and energy will experience their glory in activity wherein their desire and energy can steadily flow into the world like the steady energy of the sun. (Although, at the surface of the sun, that energy source is far more violent than any lightning storm this world has ever seen... but that's beside the point of the analogy). An individual who is steady and more inclined to enable the energy of others will find their glory in activity wherein they are part of a larger organization, as one of the peaceful trees in a forest. Living a glorious existence, living a glorious state of being, is the fulfillment of consciousness... it is the fulfillment of conscious existence... it is the fulfillment of the combination of desire and ... I need a word to encompass our ability for sensing existence, and influencing existence, both to the breadth and precision that our sensing and power (influence) extend. As a conscious existence... the seed of consciousness is desire, and it is our capacity for sensing, thinking, and power, that enable the desire to flow. We experience our glorious existence in the flow of desire through our ability for sensing, thinking, and power... the flow of desire from within us, through our bodies, and into the world in which we exist. The glory we experience is in this flow. The nature of the glory we can experience is determined by the nature of our source desire, our body (ability, talent, etc), and our world. We each find the fullness of our own glory inasmuch as we fulfill the proper capacity of flow through our individual desire, body, and world.
And they just did the coolest ski jumper thing I've ever seen (Opening Ceremonies) with all these people marching into the different skier forms, even with snow sliding by!!! If I had a video, I would post it!
February 23, 2006 R #
You've been locked out. Have you ever been locked in?
Ryan and I took off to play soccer tonight. He got out of the car while I was tying my shoes. I hear the doors lock. No big deal, right?
Thirty minutes pass.
"What are you doing? "
"I'm locked in."
"You're what? Pull the handle."
Thirty minutes unexpectedly locked in a BMW is great for pondering the mysteries of the universe. Not as much fun as soccer, but not as bad as it sounds.
The moral: If the buttons in your BMW go on the skitz, especially the single unlock button in the whole car... get it fixed. It might be worth it.
February 26, 2006 S #
Pioneers of the Sport
I don't quite remember if it was a German or Austrian (or maybe someone else) who took the gold in the freestyle competition (or whatever the official name is for the super high twisting and flipping on your skis event). However, I do remember watching Jeret Peterson throw that fifth twist into his three flips, landing a jump nobody else at the Olympics even attempted. The other skiers played the game, gave the judges what they wanted, and took home their reward. Jeret wanted to be the toughest goat on the slopes. He threw the trick he wanted, and even though he didn't get the medal he wanted, he pushed the competition to a new level. That's the way to live.
Gold Medal through playing it safe = Not inspiring
Hurricane = Inspiring
The Olympians and the Media
And we have the trumped up superstar Bode Miller with a disappointing performance. The guy is a skier, he allowed his sponsors to make him into a pop star, and now he's dealing with the results.The sponsors sell their products based on the inspiration and motivation. They placed their bets on this champion to take home a collection of medals... and inspire a rising generation of customers in the process.
"It takes more than inspiration and motivation to win a race."
Well said Bode.
"I'm living the life I want to live, and I'm living it right now. It's not all about the medals."
Again, well stated (especially spoken impromptu in front of a tv guy). The publicized wash-out that Bode has experienced is the risk every athlete takes when they compete. Every competitor puts in roughly the same work and dedication, but only one walks away as the champion. If the medals, credentials, or rankings are why you're doing any activity, you're setting yourself up for inevitable disappointment. If you're in it because you love the sport (or in other applications, the technology, the interaction, the competition, etc), then whether you're first, fifth, or twentyfifth, you will enjoy the life your are living... and that is the real purpose of the Olympic games.
The Media loves a Winner. A Champion loves life. A Winner's purpose is lost when they don't make it to the podium. A Champion's purpose remains fulfilled throught the competition. I see Bode Miller as a Champion. I was initially turned off by his attitude portrayed through the media, but I admire the substance that has shined through in his wash-out. I hope this substance spreads to others in this country... the substance of a Champion, not just a Winner.