Wharts and All: Blogging the Full-Time MBA Program at the Wharton School

Monday, December 20, 2004

The Armful

For every parcel I stoop down to seize
I lose some other off my arms and knees,
And the whole pile is slipping, bottles, buns --
Extremes too hard to comprehend at once,
Yet nothing I should care to leave behind.
With all I have to hold with hand and mind
And heart, if need be, I will do my best
To keep their building balanced at my breast.
I crouch down to prevent them as they fall;
Then sit down in the middle of them all.
I had to drop the armful in the road
And try to stack them in a better load.

-- Robert Frost

I stumbled across this poem over the weekend. It's a great metaphor for life (as are any Frost poems that take place on a "road"). This poem captures many essences of the MBA experience: the juggling of all of the different applications and processes; the frustration of rejection that makes you feel like all of your carefully constructed applications have tumbled from your arms into a mess on the road; the frustration that overwhelms us, causing us to park our asses in the middle of a thoroughfare and try to take stock of it all; the way winners eventually manage to pick up all of the pieces and continue on; the overload of a first-year MBA student; the drive to improve and to manage the burden that is so close to the heart.

Good stuff dedicated to all Wharton applicants who, like me, are waiting to hear whether we've managed to walk another mile with our awkward armfuls. That our fates have already been keyed into the Wharton application system and merely wait for some electronic curtain to be lifted at 9 tomorrow morning sets the air ajangle with both promise and dread. I'll either walk or crawl into my 9 am meeting tomorrow morning.


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