In April I spoke by invitation at NYU-Stern, MIT, Columbia Business School, and Princeton, I’m proud to say.
As best I can remember it was my first time visiting MIT, though I may have visited my senior year in college. I remember competing against their ultimate team in college as well as competing with some of their players, including at Mardi Gras one year. In MIT fashion, the board behind me happened to have a physics equation. I don’t know why it was there, but naturally I kept it.
On another note, Princeton once saved my ass. In my first year of college I tried riding my bike to my dad’s house in Philadelphia from Columbia. It’s about a hundred miles driving, but bikes can’t go on the turnpike. I figured by state roads it would be maybe twenty-five percent farther. I had ridden around that distance in a day before, but this time I didn’t have a map or plan a route. I just got on my bike and started riding.
I got lost in the industrial roads of north Jersey not long after crossing the George Washington Bridge, itself in the opposite direction from Philadelphia. I remember carrying my bike through some swamp land when I couldn’t cross a bridge on my bike and couldn’t turn back either.
I don’t know how in those days before cell phones, but I got in touch with a friend at Princeton, about halfway, and he let me stay with him overnight. I guess I called him from a pay phone.
I also remember playing ultimate at Princeton too. At a tournament they hosted we beat them in a shutout, one of only two games I played where a team didn’t score a point. In college ultimate back then teams would cheer each other after the game, usually rhyming. A teammate and I came up with such a funny cheer that our whole team laughed when we suggested it. It seemed mean, but when the Princeton team saw us laughing they were good sports and said, “Bring it on. We earned it.” It also referenced that as tournament hosts, they were supposed to provide food but ran out.
The cheer was
You ran out of food
But we won’t finagle
‘Cause you gave us
The extra bagel!
The circular bagel implying a zero, which was their score.
They were great sports about it after hearing it and appreciated the cheer.
This time I was there to speak at an entrepreneurship business plan competition. Wow, what a beautiful campus! And what inspiring business plans. I look forward to visiting again.
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