<editorsnote> Nerds, meet my buddy Christina. She’s a SUPER RAD chica that I actually met on Facebook through a chickadee that I went to high school with. (How awesome is this world we live in!!) The chickadee from high school was all, omg you totes need to meet Christina – you guys are so much alike. I said rad! Where she be? And just like that, an email was sent, and now I have a new bestie! YAY LIFE! She lives and plays in the bay area (working for a super fab online company), but is going to be discussing with you each week her life and love of all things nerd. I only have one more thing left to say – HIT IT CHRISTINA!! </editorsnote>
once-upon-a-time i was born in central, MA. way-later-upon-a-time in high school, i voluntarily enrolled myself in a nerdy boarding school in Bluebloodville, MA for the summer in order to surround myself with overachievers from all over the world who also wanted to put an extra sparkle on their college application. this program was 6 weeks long. with a rigorous curriculum. during the summer. of high school. and i mentioned it was voluntary? ohhhh don’t u go judgey on me. i loved it. so much so that it deserves its own blog entry. but hold onto your smartphones, i’ll write about that another day. where was i? ah yes, sparkle on my college application. perfect. cue reese witherspoon does elle woods at harvard. that summer was the first time i stepped onto harvard’s wicked historic and pristine campus and i thought …“wahhhh, i’ll never get in here.” so i settled for a few hours at the mother load of schools – mother effing harvard university. i was a sponge-christina-squarepants soooo hardcore, i tried to absorb every droplet of nerd around me. my eyes could not have been any larger from excitement. in fact, i’m pretty sure i was crying – either because i wasn’t blinking, because dreams were coming true all around me, or because iphones didnt exist yet… i can’t remember…but i DO remember i checked out every ivy-league cutie with their big noggins and wondering if my off-the-shoulder tank would help me persuade them to sneak me into their classes just for a week in a the fall and let me submit their homework just to see what grade i might get…maybe? but goddamnit, our leader kept serious tabs on me after i got caught climbing out of another dorm’s window (i told you that summer deserved its own entry…) so my dreams of attending harvard classes, if only for a short time, were squashed like the mosquitoes on a hot massachussetts summer night. squashed like those cute boys playing the harvard varsity sport on squash courts. squashed like your momma’s homemade vegetable sidedish. squashed like these awful puns should be.
okkk, you’re still with me? even after that tangent? gee, thanks. so this is where we get out our futuristic remote control and fast forward my life 11 years to last week. wait, pause! summer of ‘04. can we watch this for a minute? no? ok, another blog then. keep going. there, stop! so here’s when i became a california girl in ’08. i meet this guy who we shall call john. oh, shit, but.. his name IS john (soooo not so stealth, christina jeez.) on the real, john is completely and totally awesome. the awesomest. it’s as if california grew him from a movie about amazing california boys – shaggy blonde hair, total stoner voice, crazy athletic, charming, super genuinely sweet, and smart. like, harvard smart. so after i paid john a large amount of money to become a great friend of mine, he decides to go all MBA and get accepted to harvard. eye roll. could you be any cooler, john? so annyoing. as per our contract, we remained friends despite his move back east this fall. when i was home in MA visiting for “how much food can i eat in one sitting and where are my stretchy pants day”, aka thanksgiving, john and i slung back a cocktail or 9 together. after a late night on the town we decided i would go to harvard for the day on monday before my flight. despite a noteworthy series of events that night, THIS was the highlight of my evening. ok, maybe year (rewind button…i had another serious case of ivy-league-learning blue balls over the last year. i had spent an intense amount of time working on a long-distance relationship with this dude who was finishing a masters at UPenn. despite my zillions of days with him being on or around campus, i never- not once!- got to attend a class there with him or anyone. teaseee!) so only after soberly confirming with john that this was in fact a completely real possibility for me, and only after an email introducing me to the professors that i would be sitting in class with for the day, only THEN did i let myself go cray cray. it was like christmas morning and instead of hanging holly i was hanging ivy! ivy leaaaaguuuue suckaaas. take that, st. nick!
the weather was specially crafted for a fall first-day-of-school-in-new-england. a dream. it was insanely beeauutiful. when i saw john walking towards me on the windy path in front of a building where real-life learning was going on, i literally skipped to him. lit-er-ally. skipped. anddd i was wearing a backpack. howww he didn’t turn around down the path and pretend he didnt’ know me is beyond my comprehension. i almost peed from excitement. well, actually, i did pee. i had a LOT of water that morning and the Harvard Business School ladies bathroom was my first interaction with the program. uninspiring. moving on.
so appaaaarently HBS classrooms look like a model UN summit circa high school. 29 flags adorned the oak paneled walls, representing the students from all over the world. john has class in the same room with the same 90 or so students, everyday. there are laaaarge print name tags at each chair. i think i read “prince of jordan” and “oil tycoon’s daughter” and “my life is better than yours” on some of them. and then oh, the chalk boards were like the fanciest effing things. mannnn oh man i wanted to get my fingers chalky and go all “good will hunting” up there. but i was warned by john of the strict rules. no cell phones out. once you’re in class, you can’t leave. and absolutely NO participation. (screeeech. sayy whaaat?! i’m supposed to listen to brilliant discussions and totally stimulating lectures and keep my hand down and lips sealed?! fuck my life i’m going to get fired from harvard in 5 minutes and john will never speak to me again. i have never. in. my. liiife been present for a group discussion and not raised my hand and spoken. toooorture).
i nestle in at the end of the row and attention is called to me as a guest of the class. i don’t think cheeks get any rosier than when john introduced me to everyone . (ummm do i stand and wave? japanese bow?). then i’m catapulted into a discussion about a case study on one of my favorite silicon valley companies. and there in the room i was a part of figuring out the pros and cons of a real-life policy affecting our very own economy. and by “part of”, i mean a completely silent participator. but if head nods and bushy tails could speak, they would say “HOLY SHIT IM LEARNING SO MUCH!!! AAHHH MY BRAIN FEELS SOOO GOOD!!! I WANT MOOORE. MOOOORE. DONT STOP!!! RIGHT THERE!!! MMM!!! THATS IT!! ALLMOST…THERE!!” john ended the class with a totally smooth and brilliant comment and i resisted high fiving him.
fast foward button through lunch and meeting some cool people. and volleyball. wait, pause on volleyball. so this is extracurricular. but jesus christo these kids take EVERYTHING so seriously and operate on another level. i so get it. i so loved it. i so felt bad for the captain who i watched sprain her ankle as a result. i bet people will sign her cast “well, good thing we won! love, i’m going to be in forbes magazine one day”
alright…the second and final (wahhhhh!) class. more serious brain orgasms. we (does “we” count if i had nothing to do with anything? can i say we? please?) went over the marketing strategy of Huge Company and dissected how Awesome Brand would best be able to position itself in the marketplace. john even sliced off a piece of notebook paper and wrote me a note and passed it down the row at one point. did i mention i love him? hilarious. so the ripping apart of a marketing campaign was all done in front of the surprise guest – the ACTUAL vp of marketing for Awesome Brand. and he just casuallyyy took everyone’s feedback and nonchallaaantly answered questions. not mine. humpf. in fact, my lips were so chapped from keeping them forcefully tightened shut, i had to whip out my burt’s bees and apply its tinglyness to my lips. more lip biting. more re-application. the neeext application, though, is going to have my name at the top and will be addressed “to whom it may concern at Harvard Business School….”
love and getting schooled,