READ ME ... yeah, right. Right?

I'm sick of everyone else having on-line diaries. I want one too.

What is this all about? Maybe you should read the READ ME READ ME.

february 7, 1999:
three steps forward
two steps back

With love to my father on his 62nd Birthday.

And to Elizabeth:
May her legacy of courage continue to live on and inspire.

At 3 in the morning, February 7, 1990, nine years ago today, I was sitting in the Stanford computer lab (called AIRport, I believe). It was winter quarter of senior year, and I was working on a PowerPoint slide presentation for Public Speaking for Engineers, a class that taught future managers and VPs how to prepare and execute persuasive presentations on behalf of boards of directors, venture capitalists and other potential investors. Which meant then, as it does today, a lot of Powerpoint presentations.

Powerpoint demands a deceivingly serious time commitment, and that particular set of slides, designed perhaps to demonstrate the merits of school desegregation, describe the Tarot or disprove the Hot Hand Phenomenon, was keeping me in the AIRport for hours on end. Having checked into my Mac workstation in early afternoon, 12 hours later I barely had moved, tweaking icons and centering font-appropriate text headers.

Although my computer had been the only one available when I first checked into the lab, the afternoon crowd eventually thinned, leaving the room's 100 workstations in the hands of the truly hard core. In addition to myself, those ranks included a fellow senior named Howard Finklestein, who was rumored to have recently landed a much-coveted job offer from investment bank Goldman Sachs.

During all of the hours I had been holed up at the lab, Howard had been dutifully typing at the Mac to my left. Then, at 3 am he paused. Turning to me, he asked, "Becky, weren't you already accepted by Harvard Law School? Why are you here?"

I copy/pasted a graphic, hit command-S and smiled, "Don't you have an offer from Goldman Sachs?"

He nodded. I shrugged. And we got back to work.

The vignette, while entirely true, perhaps makes little sense, and even today I lack a satisfying explanation. Beyond acceptance letters and job offers, we were driven by something else - - something bigger, something more potent, something from inside.

And thinking back to that night, it is that very thing - - that undefinable inexplicable internal entity - - to which I turn at times when real progress feels remote, and successes seem dwarfed by the efforts exerted on their behalf.

Theories be damned, it seems, carrots and sticks come in all shapes and sizes, and ultimately, being in the show rather than watching it can be a reward in itself.

It is an odd, uneven road that sets you back two steps for each three steps forward.

But if you are going to go somewhere, you might as well go there with gusto - -
without hesitation, without fear, and ultimately without regret.


At the Ritz with big shot tech investors
Linux Users Gang Up Against Microsoft
what Intel problem?
Networker Inner-View
Silicon Spin.
join rebecalist
read more.

thanks, COMOFLOW





or, if you must, back to Rebecca's Revenge

Copyright 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 Rebecca Lynn Eisenberg All rights Reserved.