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Finding my Lost Voice

December 3, 2012

“I’m a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love letter to the world.”

– Mother Theresa.

I lost my voice months ago when I suddenly stopped writing about the EMBA experience. I was useless as a writer. I could no longer distill my experiences into a cohesive story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. After the summer’s crash, I wandered off for awhile. The details – this assignment, that project, this final, that simulation – had cluttered up my mental purpose… gummed up the works, leaving my original intent in joining the program an unrecognizable memory.

I live on a farm and will often wander in the woods alone with my thoughts. Perhaps that’s all I’ve ever done throughout the entirety of my life… wander through the woods as I repair the illusion of purpose that strings together sets of life events that are more likely random, disconnected, and quantum. Can I not simply do a thing without needing to feel God’s presence in the act? God does not play dice with the Universe. Stop telling God what to do, Albert.

The oppressive, intolerable heat of the summer term’s workload broke with the first rains of autumn. As I walked along in the Cambridge rain, I could no longer remember the physical sensation of heat, only vague impressions of how it once made me feel. The fall term’s workload was easily half of the summer term’s. I began to think less about MIT and much more about my company. But, not thinking about MIT is a Zen-like trap that simply brings MIT back to mind…

Publilius Syrus, best known for his observation that a rolling stone gathers no moss, suggests, “You should make a woman angry if you wish her to love.” Publilius doesn’t really translate well into modern sexual politics, but neither do I and however impolitic it is to say, I think he’s right. As a corollary, if you’re a woman and I’ve just angered you with my writing, you are in love with me.

Publilius knew something about MIT.

Wandering about in the woods, far away from MIT, the irritations clear away. One forgets what sleep deprivation feels like and just remembers how one felt about being sleep deprived. Forgiveness creeps in, followed stealthily by rationalization. MIT meant well, of course. MIT was simply trying to provide me with an elite graduate management education. Edward HAD to be cruel when he left Bella so that she would be angry enough to forget him… especially after that incident with Jasper. That was the second time she almost died! And as Nick Lowe teaches, you’ve got to be cruel to be kind in the right measure.

My love for MIT has once again blossomed. The roots were deep and weathered the heat of that imperfect summer term. And now, I think, my voice is beginning to return.



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