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Journals

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Victory, Squash, Banking, and Paraplegic Rugby

October 17, 2006   Last week was a good week. Everyone will be happy to hear that I recaptured my masculinity and defeated my squash opponent in two consecutive matches. Granted, I gave it my all and accepted victory with the sportsmanship of, say, a gloating little-leaguer (there was lots of mincing about the court, some singing of “We are the Champions,” and, I think, a few gestures that should not be described herein). Call me immature, but at least I didn’t lose to a girl…again.

Even better than that sweet, sweeeeeet taste of victory was the inaugural ceremony of our new Little Squash Center. The event began with an exhibition match between two internationally ranked players, both of whom engaged the crowd with witty remarks on “showing ‘love’” in between sets. Then, in true Hamilton fashion, everyone retired to the field house and availed themselves of the hors d'oeuvres and two open-bars. We really should open more centers.

Sadly, there is more to life than cocktail parties and squash centers— or so I was led to believe at the investment-banking workshop this evening. I have no interest in becoming an investment banker and only attended because I heard that the speaker majored in comparative literature. I also went because the speaker’s name was Greg and it’s nice that I can still base my decisions on trivial facts like that. Anyway, I guess I wanted to see the bridge that links comparative literature to investment-banking. Apparently it’s made of nepotism.

I suppose the Career Center asks that its speakers adhere to a certain dress code, preferably something that conveys a certain level of accomplishment. Greg certainly looked successful: nice suit, fancy watch, a winning smile that stretched against the over-shaved backdrop of his plump, pink face. As he spoke of fiduciary blah blahs and quarterly yah yahs, I couldn’t help notice the apparent care with which Greg had organized his speech. He spoke with passion and interest, the pages from which he read were scrupulously detailed; verbal cues were underlined, passages were highlighted—he seemed genuinely interested in teaching us how to succeed in the business world. I’m probably bringing my own bias to this conclusion, but I think Greg missed his calling. He would have made a great professor.

But one has to make money; one has to make donations—otherwise there wouldn’t be squash centers and hors d’oeuvres.

Anyway, I finished the fun part of the evening at the pub where Mark Zupan was nice enough to make an appearance. For those of you who don’t know of Mark Zupan or haven’t seen Murderball, do your homework. I’m fairly shy around people I admire, and fairly awkward around the disabled, so I didn’t say anything to Zupan except a muffled “Thanks for coming.” He was incredibly gracious and even bought everyone at his table a drink. It was a nice way to end the evening.

But the evening’s far from over. I’m off to finish this Fulbright proposal. Thanks for reading.