What I’m Reading

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What I’m Reading

I just finished reading Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, and I have to say, more than anything it: a) freaked me out that if my children weren’t born on exactly the right dates I’ve done them a horrible disservice as a parent; and b) convinced me that my own June birthday is solely responsible for the failure of my NBA prospects. I was a summer child, cruelly thrust into a grade level where I’d forever be nine months younger than most everybody else. According to Gladwell — and I could be getting this completely wrong — this creates a minor competitive disadvantage early that morphs into major one by the time you reach high school. Aha!

Now, tooting some horns here, I never had much trouble keeping up with my older, bulkier classmates on the academic side. From day one of kindergarten I blew people’s minds as a skinny-pencil-using, geography-knowing, vocabulary-word-crushing five year old. But this total-days-alive disadvantage must explain why I failed to achieve a greater level of athletic glory. I was disadvantaged early, and therefore overlooked late. I failed to excel past 13-14 AAU basketball only because the chronological deck was stacked against me– the other kids in my grade level had the insufferable advantage of being born the pervious September. The calendar has been my lifelong, dark enemy, and it, and it alone, kept me from self-actualizing as the starting point guard for the Chicago Bulls. Or at least the Bobcats.

There really are no other plausible explanations.

Thanks Mom and Dad. Good looking out.

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