Thursday, October 23, 2003

Carnivales in High Places

Is it just me, or does every MBA applicant go through this phase ? Of late, my life seems to be framed by a 1000-word essay. I am starting to see everything as essay subject matter !

Last night was a case in point. I got home after an exhausting day at work and was catching up on missed TV shows (as an aside, TiVo is SO addictive :). Was watching The West Wing and as President Bartlett was wrestling with the ethics of turning away a North Korean pianist who wants to defect (a potentially illegal act) because it would affect secret nuclear negotiations, I realized that I had suddenly gotten an idea for a missing piece on my Stanford 'what matters most' essay !! I actually paused the show, and went for a walk to think it over. How screwed up is that. It was supposed to be some down-time for myself and here I was writing up another essay in my head. Well, I got back and saw the rest of the show. Turns out the potential defector was asked to make a choice given the severity of the negotiations, he decided to sacrifice his chance of personal freedom now for a potential for a better tommorow for his people. And then the Koreans stalled the negotiations because they did not like the sizes of the flags on the negotiation tables. It's TV after all, but some serious lessons to be learned (for an essay writer at least ;-)

Then, on to K Street. This show is fantastic. It's about DC power brokers and how they play their games. Makes one wonder - will I be the guy on screen 10 years from now lobbying congress for my company or industry. Or better still - how will I make a difference, do things better, be more ethical when placed in situations like that. This is getting more absurd, but you get the draft.

Finished my night of watching TV with Carnivale - this is absolutely rivetting television. If you watch the opening credits, it's a collage of seemingly random clips - an olympic race, a baseball player, military action, circus acts etc - but as the show progresses, they seem to start making sense. My app-obsessed brain got thinking that this looks exactly like my applications ! I have a bunch of experiences from various phases of my life laid out in front of me, and I'm trying to piece together a story that has a central focus and meaning but also incorporates all these seemingly disparate experiences.

wow, this is serious shit ! Will I ever go back to watching TV for TVs sake ... i desperately hope so.
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1 Comments:

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