Running off the path into programming ... a gag-inducing excerpt from one of my B-school essays.

I was in the middle of a 5-mile loser’s run, as my captain called it. I had just lost a deciding three-set tennis match to our rival, Williams College. The loss ended our NCAA run and continued our abysmal 12-match losing streak versus Williams, hence my captain’s decision to send me running.

The paths behind the tennis courts were particularly dry this afternoon and I remember the crispy sound and smell of crushed basalt, blown in from the nearby Har-Tru clay courts. My legs were caked in the green basalt and my own sweat salt. I arrived at a fork in the path, but it was a fork only in name; my choice was too predictable. I would always just turn onto route 101 where joggers, bikers, cars, and all others in transit funneled back to the main campus. But I was tired that day. I was tired of losing, tired of following my captain’s juvenile policy of punishment runs, and tired of myself for lacking the curiosity to explore my beautiful campus and the surrounding forests. And so I ran off the path and after several miles of Berkshire forest, I entered the clearing of my college’s best kept secret: our very own wildlife and bird sanctuary. I spent the rest of my afternoon discovering.

Years later, I would again find myself in a state of predictability. I worked as a trader for four years for the comfortable pay and routine until I no longer could stand being comfortable. The boredom awoke in me my hunger for new challenges, impactful work, and a new skill, one that I could add to my lifelong projects of tennis, poker, piano, and Mandarin. Eventually, I found my courage and took the path less traveled. I quit Wall St., began learning how to program in C and Ruby, found the languages equally syntactically complex and satisfying to my creative self as Chinese, and I eventually enrolled in the Turing School of Software Design. I feel like I took the right path, and I soon hope to apply these skills in the education technology world and contribute to its promise of change…

Written on January 10, 2015