Archive | July, 2010

Ten reasons I’m not going to business school

31 Jul

1. Utilize
2. Strategize
3. Granular
4. High-level
6. Circling back
7. Low-hanging fruit
8. Ideation
9. Tactical
10. Skip level

Inspired by this post.

Bloody Sexy Paragraphs

14 Jul

On Sunday the back of my head was blown off by Joyce Carol Oates’ “On Boxing.” The book jacket doesn’t do it justice when it says, “‘On Boxing’ examines the allure and fascination of boxing to its millions of fans around the world.” In only 116 pages, Oates managed to typify every single reason why a human being such as myself enjoys reading.

As Curtis Sittenfeld noted when discussing Nell Freudenberger, “… the point of reading fiction [is] — so someone else can say in a way you never would have something you recognize immediately.” I’d extend this sentiment to literary nonfiction of Oates’ caliber, wherein passages like this one left me breathless:

“Men and women with no personal or class reason for feeling anger are inclined to dismiss the emotion, if not piously condemn it, in others. Why such discontent? why such unrest? why so strident? Yet this world is conceived in anger — and in hatred, and in hunger — no less than it is conceived in love: that is one of the things that boxing is about. It is so simple a thing it might be overlooked.”

Above and beyond Oates’ sexy prose (I want to make sweet slow love to the above paragraph, for example), this book helped me to understand my seemingly-incongruous love of boxing on a level so profound I didn’t even know it existed.

I say “incongruous” love of boxing because every time I reveal to an acquaintance, or even longtime friend, that I love the sweet science of bruising, they recoil in horror. “YOU?!? Meek, sometime-vegetarian, mild-mannered and above all FEMALE you? How could you legitimately enjoy such a thing?”

This reaction is on par with one I got the other weekend, when I told a friend I had harbored a longtime desire to become an ace archer: “But… why?” he asked. Would he have reacted the same way had I confessed my secret desire to bake souffles or was knee-deep in a scrapbooking project?

In another, arguably more sinister way, the kneejerk boxing reaction mimics the one I got when I told a friend I was taking piano lessons, or informed an a*hole ex I was applying to Ivy League* grad schools: “But isn’t that … hard?” followed by a quickly qualified, “I just don’t want to see you disappointed when your dreams are crushed.”

My love of boxing, to some, makes me appealing girlfriend material in the same way that a “low-maintenance” woman’s love of beer and chicken wings (so long as these tastes cohabit a perpetually thin body with inexplicably perfect hair and makeup) ups the fuckability ante. To others, it provides a shadowy clue into my inferiority — since boxing is a “primitive” sport fought by people primarily from the lower classes, I am clearly an easily dismissible bloodsport-loving philistine.

I may not be able to shake the world’s preconceived notions of me, but at least I don’t feel so freakishly alone. To paraphrase Oates:

“Some women like boxing.”

* I got into Columbia, so there! Ya jerk.

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