One Western Ave 451[Or: How I Met Your Biological Father / The Big Buyout Theory]
This column will follow the weekly triumphs and tribulations of Spencer, Andrew and Felicity, three housemates in One Western 451, as they navigate the coming academic year at Harvard Business School.
Andrew, an EC, worked for Deloitte in Phoenix, AZ, is home town. You’d be hard-pressed to find this out, because he talks about his two-month stint at yetanotherecommercesite.com in San Francisco an awful lot. The West Coast also taught him about thick-rimmed glasses, three-day beards, and ‘disrupting’, his favorite word, as in ‘disrupting the cotton bud market’ (his FIELD 3 idea).
Spencer, another EC, grew up LoMiNoWeSi (the Lower Mid Upper Non-Western Side), which is really the Upper East Side but sounds a touch edgier. Just a touch of edginess is what Spencer is going for: Harvard undergrad, the right finals club, banking at Lazard, impeccable pastel corduroys. His life is ‘basically a dream – but you know, I’m open-minded and I don’t do the trustafarian scene’.
Felicity (‘Flick’) hails from the UK and just moved over to start her RC year. The social frenzy is all a bit overwhelming still, and why do Americans have to bear hug like that all the time?
The RC Garden Party
Flick walks in to OW451, wearing white but covered in mud.
Spencer: Flick, you look like Mr. Clean’s disheveled little sister.
Flick: I was at the RC garden party on Spangler lawn. White-themed.
Spencer: Like Wimbledon, but with Bud Light and no strawberries
Flick: Anyway, two highly-strung girls, vying for early social empress status, had each set up the ‘official’ Class of 2015 Facebook group during the summer and were resorting to increasingly desperate forms of attention-seeking to drum up membership
Spencer: Like US vs. North Korea cyber warfare, but with stilettos. I remember the social energy being overwhelming at this do last year – RCs falling over each other to make new friends
Andrew: Last year everyone kept reciting the triptych ‘where are you from? where did you go to school? where did you work before’, so I disrupted proceedings by writing everyone’s three answers on a cocktail napkin and handing them out. That way people could move on to more meaningful ice breakers like ‘what are you planning to do for Field 3’ and ‘when did you arrive in Boston’ and ‘sorry, I just need to walk over here now.’
Spencer: My napkin read ‘Upper West Side / Harvard College / Lazard’, but I just shortened it to read ‘Pedigree’.
Andrew: There was another guy, Ramon, who’d just written ‘President of Guatemala, 2025’.
Flick: Anyway, one of the two social empresses, seeing she was falling behind in the Facebook race, jumped onto a nearby table and shouted ‘Who wants to go to Iceland for Thanksgiving?’, and I got trampled by the resulting herd of thundering RCs, eager not to fall behind on the hamster wheel of the HBS social calendar.
To be continued…