RIP, Professor Evel Knievel

One thing you miss when you go to business school on weekends and work sixty hours a week is, well, everything. I can often go the entire week running between meetings, reading assignments while brushing my teeth, eating all meals while in full motion, and not read a lick of news. Friday evening has become an exercise in catch-up: I read five Wall Street Journals, a several-week-old New Yorker, and some online news.

As is my nature, I’m exaggerating a little bit here. I catch the big stuff on NPR each day on the way to work and my job requires me to stay on top of market and Internet goings-on. So it was not news to me that Facebook’s decision to broadcast every action and purchase its users make across 40 partner web sites was a terrible idea. Boyfriends discovered their girlfriends had bought them lame Christmas presents; girlfriends discovered boyfriends bought pairs of tickets to movies to which they’d not been invited. Young men and women everywhere rediscovered the incalculable value of privacy.

However, until my Friday review session, it was news to me that my boyhood hero, Evel Knievel, passed away earlier in the day. I’ll never forget the time Evel, an inveterate alcoholic and womanizer, thought it would be a good idea to build his own rocket and try to fly it across the massive Snake River canyon in Idaho. Needless to say, he didn’t make it, but I learned a valuable lesson: Drunks shouldn’t build rockets, but it is absolutely imperative to dream big.

That lesson has always served me well and is now fueling the content of my personal leadership profile, a little 10-page ditty I need to crank out for Leadership class before our final session next week. Tonight as I work on my paper, I’ll pour out a little black coffee for a true American hero.

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