An eleven year-old beta model of my current form once walked into a Barnes & Noble on a mission. The chameleon currently known as Diddy (I think) had just released his “No Way Out” CD and I was absolutely going to have it. For the week since its release I had developed this quixotic vision of myself walking into my suburban swim club with swagger on a trillion. I would pull up right next to the 6th grade girls with their newly minted braces and high pitched screams. With confidence and poise, I’d pop that bad boy into my no-skip Sony Discman and elevate my game from “guy whose only other CD is Meredith Brooks” to “can I have your AIM handle?” Away Message: BOSS.
A few case facts:
The FCC frowns on selling foul language and Biggie Smalls dirge tracks to minors.
My parents might as well have worked for the FCC.
So here you go, fellow classmates. I give to you a microcosm of what we’re all coming up against, wrapped nicely in a format that we are quickly becoming versed in. What does Elliott do to rise to the occasion? It’s a comedy that reflects a scenario that we will find ourselves in quite a bit over the next two years at Fisher. As we begin to consider summer internship opportunities, we’re stomaching the self-help books, empowerment seminars, and hole-punching resume one-on-ones in order to compose the most compelling pictures of ourselves. It’s a rough process and, much like a baby-faced Elliott in pursuit of a CD eulogizing hard knocks, we too face some serious challenges. So let’s get to work.
Step one – Identify the target.
At the time there appeared to be two types of B&N employees, the ex-librarians and the college kids. You’d think I’d have scoped the college kid, but not that time. That trip called for knitted-cat-sweater lady.
Step two – Stack the deck.
For those of you who remember, that particular Diddy CD was famous for the “I’ll Be Missing You” track featuring Sting. (I could devote an entire blog on how this man refuses to age) It just so happens that Sting collections were widely available and devoid of any inappropriate labeling. I grabbed two random Sting CDs in addition to my Diddy purchase.
Step three – Sell it like it’s on fire.
I approached the counter with the two Sting CDs sandwiching Diddy. I then starting talking my pre-pubescent head off about how much my mom loved Sting and how she could not wait for me to bring home these collections. When the associate saw the Diddy CD, she paused and I that’s when I laid on the charm. “Track 16 is the latest collaboration with Sting. You’ve probably heard it on the radio? My mom loves it. I’m not sure why it’s labeled this way as it’s an acappella group. Not like anybody singing with Sting would be terrible, right?”
Step four – Reflect.
Of course this lady does not sell me a CD called “Puff Daddy and the Family – No Way Out”. You’d be taking a Zamboni machine to all nine circles of Dante’s Hell before Denim Dress McGee sells songs titled “Young G’s” and “All About the Benjamins” to an 11 year-old.
The point is this, my friends: Fisher will not be easy. Even the best laid plans will fail at times. We are all going to get chewed up because we are wheat: full of potential, well matured, and raw. Hopefully we’ll look back and consider our previous ignorance with a higher perspective. I would also submit that if we don’t get our collective egos rocked a few times by this program, then we might as well get our money back and spend it on late fees at the public library. Fisher is a top-tier program because they do what others can’t. They make successful people more successful. I look forward to the process, and the late nights, and the morass of classes, interviews, failures, and victories. I expect Fisher to give me the tools to evolve into something greater than the sum of my parts. I also expect to pick up a few bad habits along the way. Most of all I look forward to working with each of you.
I’ll end my first post in the fashion which I will end every post; with a request.
Be kind to somebody today. It makes a difference.