Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Well Said



It is one o'clock in the morning. I have at least two more hours of studying to do, and I am struggling to stay alert by gulping coffee that was cold at midnight.

My friend Steven warned me before I came here that most of my classmates would be former engineers, consultants, and financial analysts, people who knew who to work with numbers. "Then there'll be a few students with flaky backgrounds like yours," he said. "Poets. You know, people who've never done anything real for a living."

Today this poet sat through all three of his classes feeling utterly lost, then went to the library and studied "utility maximization" models for two hours but still couldn't do the problem. Finally, I gave up and went to the campus bookstore. When I picked up a book I recognized, the Divine Comedy, I flipped to the canto in which Dante finds himself standing at the gates of the inferno, looking up at the inscription:

ABANDON ALL HOPE, YE WHO ENTER HERE.

That's me all right, I thought. A poet in hell.

- From Snapshots From Hell: The Making of an MBA by Peter Robinson

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