Ask the Harbuster

Nov-20-2012 by

Life at HBS, like Gary Busey in 1991, can be difficult, volatile and totally uninsurable. But, unlike Gary Busey in 1991, life at HBS is something we at The Harbus can help you with.

Are you anxious about academics, confused about campus, skeptical about socializing, or adamant about alliteration? Our resident Harbuster, Daniel Selikowitz (NC), knows absolutely nothing about any of these things – but that won’t stop him from answering your questions.

Pick me! Pick me!

Dear Harbuster,

I really want to get a 1 in all my classes, but I’m having a tough time getting the professors to call on me. It’s like I’m adrift in a sea of hands. What would you suggest?

Baker-To-Be (ND)

Dear Baker-To-Be,

Academic excellence is one of the noblest aims to which any HBS student can aspire – right up there with weekday vegetarianism, weekend alcoholism, and good dental hygiene. Indeed, whether your life goal is to run a hedge fund, to own a hedge trimmer, or simply to fondle a hedgehog, strong academic credentials are a must-have.

But, as with all things worth doing (and many things not worth doing), getting good grades can be tough. No matter how eager you look, how over-extended your arm, how maniacal the gleam in your eye, sometimes the prof just doesn’t seem to even notice you.

But don’t despair! Here are some foolproof tips to get yourself heard:

  1. Dress to impress. Look around your classroom – notice the HBS uniform? $10 says it’s wall-to-wall Lauren, Laurent and Longchamp. If you want to stand out academically, you’ll need to stand out aesthetically. Why not try a novelty necktie and a top hat? Or how about a Swiss cuckoo clock necklace, an inside-out gold lamé unitard and 15lb of wrought iron bracelets? Remember, at HBS, you’re only limited by your own creativity.
  2. Reach for the stars. Sure, you have to remain in the same seating position throughout the semester – but no one said anything about remaining seated. The next time you think of a way to merge the 4 Ps with the 5 Cs, jump to your feet, climb up on the desk, and stick both hands up in the air while making a high-pitched yelping noise.
  3. Just shout out the answer the second it pops into your head, stupid.

In the unlikely event that these never-fail tips fail and you end up scraping 2’s, don’t get too down on yourself. Just think of the great employee discounts you’ll get when you’re working at The Gap.

Aspera ad astra,

Harbuster

Winds of change, or just hot air?

Dear Harbuster,

I’ve noticed two wind turbines sitting on top of the SFP parking garage. Do they actually generate any power, or are they there for purely decorative purposes?

Fan of Fans (NJ)

Dear Fan of Fans,

First and foremost, good work on spotting those turbines! For my first six weeks at HBS, I was too distracted by the heinous juxtaposition of OWA’s IKEArchitecture and SFP’s lead-brick brutalism to even notice the turbines.

Now then, according to a trustworthy-looking factsheet I found on the interwebs, the turbines atop the SFP garage generate 20,000kWh (kittens With hats) of power per year. Apparently, this amounts to 5-10% of the total annual energy needs of the garage. If that doesn’t sound like much, it’s because it isn’t. Or maybe it is. What do I look like, Al Gore? All I know for sure is that the garage is lit up brighter than an Audi showroom – which is appropriate, I guess, because it has more Audis than an Audi showroom.

But setting the turbines’ utilitarian utility to one side, it’s important not to underestimate their profound decorative and figurative significance. As they gaze out over our humble campus like a pair of gyroscopic gurus, the turbines bear mute testimony to our hopes, our dreams, our successes and our failures.

Indeed, watching them spin, slowly and majestically, like two steel daffodils buffeted by the winds of time, we are inevitably reminded of our own mortality and the fleetingness of human existence. They call to mind deep, existential questions – questions like “Will I live to see another autumn?”, “What is my purpose on this earth?” ,and “Why do I keep ordering the same thing from the omelet bar at Spangler?”

Fortunately, we have plenty of time to ponder these questions when we’re woken at 3am by that goddam whooshing noise.

Run like the wind,

Harbuster

Got a question for the Harbuster? Send it to eic@harbus.org, and you just might get an answer.

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