Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Writing Here and There

My second article at CollegeSwimming.com is up. It covers what coaches are looking for in a recruit they are thinking about inviting on an official visit. And then, what are their expectations for that visit when it happens?

I have been occasionally posting at my IR From Afar blog. Today, I have written about American intervention in the Syrian Civil War. I have mostly linked to several key articles, which critique arguments for and against a broader American role in the country. Have a look if you're interested. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Writing on CollegeSwimming

Just a shameless plug for an article I wrote for CollegeSwimming.com. It's a first in a series designed for recruits and their parents. For the recruit, the process of selecting the right college can be extremely intimidating and complicated. For the school, they would not like to gamble on a potential athlete, so they are looking for specific things right from the start. Read about it here.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Mastermind? What a joke.

I used to spend my college summers listening to 93.3 and painting houses with a guy I called Dirty Dean. Now I never paint houses and I rarely listen to 93.3, but I tuned in during a short drive today and I heard a song by Lazyboy called Underwear Goes Inside the Pants. I had never heard it, but I identified with a lot of the spoken lyrics in the song even though I don't smoke marijuana, I am not obese, and I don't go to strip clubs. The spoken lyrics are apparently from a comedian, Greg Giraldo, who is piercingly honest in his critique of American culture. I especially enjoyed his witty remarks on marijuana, the absurd labeling of a terrorist as a "mastermind", and the obesity epidemic as a foolishly named consequence of the spoiled American lifestyle. I found the video on YouTube. It's NSFW (that's not-safe-for-work for the uninitiated). 

Full song and video below...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Pursue Happiness, But Kindness Most of All

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon spoke at my commencement ceremony. It was fun to see such a high profile figure, who is intensely involved in global affairs, give a talk to the many graduates of the international studies program I was in, but I would have much preferred to hear a different address, one from George Saunders. He gave it at Syracuse this year. It is a remarkable take on the typical staid commencement address. Here is an excerpt, but you can read the rest at the link below:
Do all the other things, the ambitious things – travel, get rich, get famous, innovate, lead, fall in love, make and lose fortunes, swim naked in wild jungle rivers (after first having it tested for monkey poop) – but as you do, to the extent that you can, err in the direction of kindness.  Do those things that incline you toward the big questions, and avoid the things that would reduce you and make you trivial.  That luminous part of you that exists beyond personality – your soul, if you will – is as bright and shining as any that has ever been.  Bright as Shakespeare’s, bright as Gandhi’s, bright as Mother Teresa’s.  Clear away everything that keeps you separate from this secret luminous place.  Believe it exists, come to know it better, nurture it, share its fruits tirelessly.
The rest of the speech. Hat tip to my mom, who sent this my way today.