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Shades of Gray

It’s the end of my RC year.

I’ve met people. Lots of people. Impressive, intriguing, bootstrapping, silver spoon, experienced, fresh-eyed, tall, short, quiet, and loud. As promised at the start of the year, I’ve met people whose future businesses I’m ready to invest in and whose daughters I’ll consider giving a job someday. People I respect. I’ve also met people whose weddings I probably won’t be invited to and whose businesses I’ll stay out of. People I didn’t connect with, and that’s okay. Most importantly, I’ve met people that I look forward to seeing every day, and I look forward to having long and cherished friendships with them, even if it never involves investment or jobs.

I’ve learned new ways of thinking about business, and with it acronyms, frameworks, and factoids galore. More WIP means longer MLT, and good cranberries bounce. There are seven S’s out there that matter to a future CEO, and I’ll never remember them without my LEAD notes. Always say yes to a positive NPV, never run out of cash, and 7.2 is more than just a random number. Juan Valdez was never real, a $4 bottle of wine is premium, and the Wizard of Oz is monetary allegory.

I’ve discovered that a hundred and eighty eyeballs are tough to speak in front of, but I can do it. I often still get nervous when my hand pops over my head and the professor aims his next call on me, but when I open my mouth normal words come out. People seem to understand me, at least well enough to disagree or “build on.” I can voice my thoughts to a large audience without crippling my confidence or social stature.

I’ve explored Boston and I love it. I’ve discovered wonderful places with cute New England names, like Davis Square and Coolidge Corner. I’ve found a drive-in forty minutes outside the city, and nothing is better than outdoor movies on a New England summer night. I’ve “swam” in the river on a Duck Tour, played with my two-year-old nephew at the Children’s Museum, and watched the fish at the Aquarium. I’ve survived a long, cold winter, with the help of a good pair of mittens and a hat.

I’ve nurtured the “life” part of my work/life balance. It’s been a wonderful year for introspection and exploration. I’ve been to the gym on a regular basis. I’ve had significant time to write, and I’ve found kindred writer-spirits. I’ve become engaged and begun to think about my life in terms beyond my own dreams.

It’s been a good year. I wish the EC’s good luck as they move on into the real world. I’m sad. I’m already halfway back.

June 2, 2003
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