Posted in Lessons by The Books Production Team on August 29, 2008


typewriter4         Did you watch the Beijing Olympics this summer?  I did. And in case you weren’t paying enough attention, let me just say that – Holy Shit – there are a lot of Chinese people, and they are getting rich faster than Usain Bolt sprints or Michael Phelps swims.  Which brings me to Lesson #2: Start taking Chinese now.

         Listen to me; it is an inevitable fact that China is going to replace the United States as the world’s economic superpower in your lifetime.  Sure, we’ll probably still be here as a country, but they’re going to be the ones who control the world’s purse strings.  When that day comes, how will you fit into the world economy?  That’s a question I can’t positively answer, but I’d bet you all the money in my checking account  (which may not be a whole lot of money – but there’s at least enough in there to buy a year’s supply of Ramen noodles) that those of you who speak Chinese will have job security for life.

         Already in certain districts in Texas, high school teachers who speak Spanish make $15,000 a year more in starting salary than those who speak only English.  Picture the same scenario, and multiply it by a factor of 1.3 billion.  Are you starting to see what I’m talking about?  If you are, that’s good.  Now take this advice: Your degree program includes a certain number of electives that you must fill in order to graduate with a degree in Biology or Architecture or English; use those electives on Chinese.  I realize it won’t be as fun as Bowling or Badminton (By the way – how good is China at those weird racquet sports?  Almost as good as they are at diving), but I’ll tell you something that’s more fun than bowling.  Being rich.


Posted in Lessons by The Books Production Team on August 29, 2008


typewriter3        As a college student, particularly if you plan on being a college student of the drinking variety, you will put some strange and disgusting things in your body during the next four years.  During one six-week stretch of my junior year, I went to three separate parties where a significant highlight of the night was swallowing a live goldfish.  Obviously, it takes a few cocktails to eat a creature that could potentially serve as a small child’s pet, and this was in fact the case.  But this is not abnormal – there will be goldfish swallowed all across America this weekend.  Goldfish, however, may not be the most unusual food or drink you will find yourself eating while in college.  My roommate Barry once drank a pint of his own urine to keep from paying a bar tab.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.

            This is the aggregate result of all these strange bets, along with the late-night Doritos, random body parts, and social cigarettes that find their way to your mouth: you must counteract your drunken stupidity with a healthy diet.  At some point, as hard as it may be to believe right now, you will most likely pass out of the undergraduate phase of your life (just as surely as you passed out while you were in the undergraduate phase of your life).  At this time, you will find yourself with a strong desire to live a long, healthy life so that you might someday see your grandchildren go through their own goldfish-laden college drinking parties.  This means minimizing your intake of carcinogens now, and it starts with the organic apple.

            Have you ever seen the toxicology report on an apple that has been traditionally sprayed with fertilizer and pesticide, the kind for sale at most local supermarkets and sitting in that bowl in your cafeteria?  It’s like the fruits and vegetables version of The Jungle.  If you want an easy way to take care of your long-term health, do yourself a favor, and find a Trader Joe’s.