(The Last)There Are No Little Things 12: Pity Pass in 18.02
February 19, 2023
I sat across from the 18.02 teaching assistant who was grading the quiz that would determine whether I passed the required second-term calculus class and was allowed to graduate from MIT. She recognized my name from The Tech and we talked about Charlton Heston. Why did she pass me? The grade on the quiz was a judgment call. In an instant decision, she gave me a pity pass that granted me my degree and my career.
The 12 moments presented here were the most obvious. I am sure there are other small moments which, upon reflection, were big moments. I will toss them into this column if/when I think of them.
My long-time friend Robert Malchman contends that had these moments not happened, something else would have happened. He calls it the “Next Bus Theory.” While I grant him that, the point of this series was that small decisions produce big results. Other decisions and other results were possible, but these were the tiny decisions I (or others) made and the GIGANTIC results they produced.