Kristin left this morning for a three day team-building retreat with the rest of her MBA classmates. She called me earlier today to tell me how every minute of the three days from 8am till 9pm is completely mapped out for her. Today's big highlight was the trust-building exercises they had to do. Things like putting on a blindfold and "falling over" towards a circle of people and trusting that they're not going to let you hit the ground. Or putting on yet another blindfold and trusting the person paired with you to guide you along a forested trail. I don't get this stuff. I mean, sure you have to put some trust in people at the moment you're blindfolded, but are you trusting that they're helping you out of sincerity or because they simply are paying a lot of money to attend University and don't want to get bad marks? I mean, really, in that situation is letting the person fall on their face even an option? And come to think of it, Kristin and I did these same exercises 14 years ago when we met in freshman orientation at college. Funny, but I can't recall a single time say, even three months later, when I thought to myself, "Wow, I can really trust Jim not to let me down on this group homework assignment. After all, he kept me from falling when we were in the trust-circle." I'm sorry, but the whole idea of silly little exercises like this meaning a damn thing even 30 days from now just reaks of whishful thinking at best and, at worst, unbridled ignorance.
But it's going to get more interesting though. Tomorrow has a ropes-class where they're going to have to help each other climb... stuff. Kristin is afraid for her safety. One of things I didn't mention about that welcome dinner we attended a couple weeks ago was that her class has the largest collection of obese people that I've encountered since leaving the east coast. Kristin and I often remarked since moving to the Seattle area that it's nice to see so few unhealthy looking people. I used to think they all just hung out at Costco, but now we know where they've been -- they've been working overtime to save up for business school. It's not pretty, but I can't shake this image of Kristin straining underneath next year's Biggest Loser (pre-audition), pushing against their massive ass cheeks with all of her might to help thrust them up and over a wall or something. In the vision that plays in my head, her left hand disappears... and her engagement and wedding ring are not to be seen again. I know that's disgusting but why should I have to suffer with this mental imagery alone?
Anyway, it's now almost ten o'clock and she should be calling soon. They had lecture after dinner tonight then some sort of wine and cheese mingling thing. I've joked with her this past week that once the camp counselors go to sleep all the cool kids would down some more wine and play spin-the-bottle. I told her it was okay with me, but only Honest Retail Abe from the welcoming dinner was allowed to get to second base. Her response was to once again remind me that she thinks I'm insane. I get that a lot from her.
But, this week isn't all about being led through the woods like sheep -- or worse a blind sheep -- she also had to read a book titled "Elements of Justice" in its entirety before today. Kristin reading an entire comic book in two weeks would be reason to pop some champagne under normal circumstances, but despite the C-SPAN-like excitement of the prose, she finished it cover to cover. I paged through it and I tried to discuss it with her last night briefly to help prep her, but I was afraid if we talked any longer about it we'd run the risk of forcing one of our dogs to discover a way to report a double-suicide. The book is a study in deciding who is deserving of things in this world and who isn't, only all of the examples presented were so absurdly polarizing that neither option ever seemed to make the least bit of sense. My suggestion for her was that if she was called on to discuss the book to say that if business leaders really, honestly think in such stark black & white manners and have such extreme opinions regarding people's rights, that it's no wonder why the average American has such little faith in corporate America. I mean, for chrissakes, one of the examples was harvesting the organs of a UPS delivery guy who just happened to drop some packages off at a hospital. I can't not recommend reading that book enough. And since this whole post has a negative vibe to it, I'm not going to backspace and edit out the double-negative in that last sentence.
On a more serious note, I had Steak-Ums for dinner tonight. And cookies.