Everything you need to know about DC

A friend’s former professor writes:

Washington, D.C. is a great place for people who really loved high school — the Post is the school paper; the Washingtonian the yearbook; Congress is the SGA by any other name; the White House is for anyone who got elected to something in high school and never got over it; the bureaucracies are the nerds’ revenge . . . maybe they weren’t cool enough to get elected to the homecoming court in high school or invited to join a fraternity in college, but they are smart enough to extract their revenge on the cool kids; and the Supreme Court? That is for National Honor Society members, the kind of kids who aced every class in high school, but couldn’t make through a sleepover or summer camp without coming home early. I have lived in Washington almost eighteen years. People still ask me why I don’t get involved in politics or try to latch on to someone’s candidacy so that I can “use my skills.” Leaving aside for the moment that I don’t have any skills that could possibly benefit anyone in politics, the question for me is not why I am not involved, but why would anybody want to do this?

I am smug to say I figured all of that out by my sophomore year of undergrad.  Of course, I figured it all out while hopped up on caffeine pills and sitting in the freezing rain trying to feel something, ANYTHING!

..but, uh, that is another story.

Post-graduation plans

“So, how do I get to Afghanistan?” my classmate, S, asked out of the blue.  S is wicked smart, really knows his stuff when it comes to the analysis side of political science, and, as far as I can tell, isn’t the mild academic type, so I knew he wasn’t joking with me. He was serious.

Still, I must have looked taken aback, because S chuckled and explained that my boss (who is also a university professor) had told him to see me for a one-way post-graduation ticket to Kabul.

“I’m no expert, but I have some ideas,” I told S, as we hurried to class.

Later on, I sent him a message on facebook: “Let’s talk Afghanistan.”