Monday, August 25, 2008

T-shirts make all the difference

For me, it has been phone calls that has change my life, but for my Constitutional Law professor, Erika George, it was a T-shirt:
It read: "Real men marry lawyers - Harvard Women's Law Journal."
The year was 1991, and George was just about done with her undergraduate degree at the University of Chicago. She was thinking about law school and couldn't help but ask the man on the Stairmaster about the shirt slogan.
And who was the man on the stairmaster? Barack Obama.
He told her he married a Harvard law graduate (Michelle Obama), though he failed to mention that he also went to Harvard or that he was the first black president of the Harvard Law Review or that he was a recently hired University of Chicago law professor.
"All he did was talk about his wife," George recalls, "and how wonderful she was."
George mentioned that she was thinking about going to law school, to which he replied: "You should think about Harvard. You can do it."
The statement shocked George, who, worried about the $50 application fees, expected to stay within Illinois. "It never crossed the smallest part of my mind that I could go to Harvard Law School."
From then on, every time Obama saw her on the treadmill he would needle her about going to Harvard, remind her of the approaching application deadlines and tell her she could do it.
Of course, Obama was right, and she got in. And the rest they say, is history.

Would you be that nice when some girl comes up to you in the middle of your workout to ask about your t-shirt? I some times miss people calling out my name while I am on the stationary bike (so if I don't respond, don't take it personally, I am just off in my own little world). And I think this story also tells us that we need to be careful what ratty t-shirt we wear to the gym.

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