When Section I met for the first time, our Section Chair Kent Bowen asked us to introduce ourselves to our section mates. The task was simple enough. But before long, it also proved incredibly boring. Not because those who call Aldrich 109 home are themselves boring. Relatively old, yes. And disproportionately married, sure. But boring? Not a chance.
Rather, it was because the introductions amounted to live action versions of our classcards. (For the January cohort of 2002, this was especially lamentable because those who are interested in a particular classcard can defy common decency by surfing on over to it right there in class. But that’s the subject of another article.) But Daisy Wademan wouldn’t have it. Daisy, who would later raise her hand during a Kim Clark visit to ask, “Underneath the deanship and all the fancy degrees, who is the REAL Kim Clark?” instructed her sectionmates to dig beneath our superficial classcard identities. Daisy, our own private Barbara Walters, wanted to know the real us.
It is in that spirit that I begin this occasional series on the people of Section I entitled “Who Am I?”
I asked a subset of the section to answer some basic questions to help you get to know them. I chose questions that I thought would make Daisy proud. My questions were these:
(1) Define happiness.
(2) When were you the happiest?
(3) What were you in your last life? What might people mistake you for in this life? What will you come back as in your next life?
(4) What is your favorite place on earth?
(5) If you were not at HBS, where would you be right now?
(6) What inspires you?
(7) What discourages you?
(8) What do you admire most in others? What do you deplore most in others?
Zahid Ahmed, Section Historian and friend to royalty, replied:
1. Blissful Ignorance
2. BT (Before TOM)
3a. Investment Banker
3b. Investment Banker
3c. Investment Banker?
4. Sky Deck
5. Harvard Square
6. The triangle of relationships from LEAD class
What about Zahid’s fellow elected officials? Well, they’re very busy, as evidenced by the low response rate to my oh-so-simple questions. But happily, some of them took time out to open up. Our Career Rep Tiberius Vadan took a hiatus from running for every elected position the HBS community has to offer to let us know that he was a smiling sailor in a previous life. Zack Kramer, our Athletic Co-Rep, looked up from the list of potential sectionmate brides that his mother produced for him when she visited our section last week to inform us that he’s a former garbage man and future drill sergeant who is happiest when drunk.
Finally, Zack’s fellow Athletic Co-Rep Henry Jones and Senator Kevin Mohr both claim to be former seagulls. This was a most exciting discovery. Now, they’d have us believe that they were speaking metaphorically. But a quick look at the photograph at
www.billadler.com will convince you that while they purport to have been an easy-going Australian lawyer and a mild-mannered Coast Guard lieutenant before arriving here, they were in fact Paul Reynolds and Frank Maudsley of the early 80’s new wave super-group from Liverpool, A Flock of Seagulls. Paul and Frank are the ones on the right in the photograph. You’ll know their true identities when you see them.