I was asked yesterday to become the Secretary for my class at the Naval Academy. I’ve been managing their website for five or six years or so, and it seems logical to have me do both things, so I accepted. I’ll have to write a monthly column for the alumni magazine and make myself available for reunion planning and whatnot.

No big deal, really . . . although it’s kinda perverse, given what a horror show I was as a midshipman. I think if you’d taken a survey within my company of the person least likely to ever hold a leadership position in the class, my name certainly would have been near the top of the list. Funny how the things that have value in the real world are dramatically different from the things that have value in an insular training community like that. Of course, I’m dramatically different too.

I hated the Academy most of the time I was there, and for many years after I left it. I’ve come to appreciate the fact, though, that it was probably the only place in America that would force the discipline on me that I needed to actually make it through college at that point. Had I gone anywhere else, I have no doubt in my mind that I would have failed out by the end of freshman year, and probably been dead a year or two after that. So while it wasn’t fun time, I’m grateful for the sheer bloody-minded energy that it devoted to keeping me from being my own worst enemy.

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