"..won’t satisfy everyone’s tastes and wants. It is too small to do that and too smart to try." Boston Globe

Harvard

How Begging Can Get You Into Harvard Business School (via thegrindstone.com)

by Ruth Graham

When it comes to getting into Harvard Business School, it’s all about the basics: Intelligence, kindness, and willingness to beg in the street. HBS accepts only 900 out of 9,000 applicants a year these days. Those 9,000 applicants have an average GMAT score of over 700 (aka Really High), and boast a wide variety of super-human professional accomplishments. So what separates the 900 from the other 8,100? Fortune editor-at-large David Whitford has a nice interview with HBS director of admissions Dee Leopold about the intangible qualities that contribute to acceptance — including, yes, a successful applicant who spent the night before his interview begging outside.

Let’s start with Leopold story of a woman who made an impression by showing a kindness to a fellow applicant:

It happened downstairs in the admission office. Everybody congregates down there. They’re all nervous. They’re all thinking this is worse than the dentist’s office. I go down to pick someone up and bring her upstairs for an interview. And this other young woman I was watching from a distance, she stops halfway up the stairs and says, “Wait, I need to go back downstairs.” She had told the person sitting next to her that she should just go up the stairs at 3:00. She said, “I have to tell them no, someone will come and get you.”

Accepted!

“Wow, when you’re so young and self-absorbed and you can already think about somebody else, that’s, like, really beautiful,” Leopold tells Whitford. (It would perhaps not surprise critics of the corporate world that showing a tiny shred of normal human kindness is enough to set you apart from the crowd in business school.)

Leopold tells another story about one nervous applicant who reluctantly revealed he had forgotten to pack a shirt for his trip to Boston for the interview. Leopold asked him where he got the shirt he was wearing now. “I put on my fraternity tee-shirt,” the applicant told her, “made a sandwich board that said ‘Will barter for dress shirt,’ and went out on the street.”

Accepted!

I have to admit this story makes my BS-O-Meter go off: Why didn’t the guy just buy a new shirt? Is making a sandwich board and humiliating yourself in the street really faster than just finding a Men’s Wearhouse? Maybe all the clothing stores were closed? But let’s let that slide and find the real lesson here: Leopold likes a creative thinker, and “somebody who’s going to figure it out.”

So when you find yourself in an interview at Harvard, be nice and tell a good story. Oh, and don’t forget to study for the GMAT.

Via thegrindstone.com

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Crimson Men’s Basketball Tournament Loss Is Not A Disapointment

Image  When it comes to NCAA basketball, the Ivy League has always been what most die hard sports fans consider a joke. The public belief is that Ivy League schools focus solely on academics and have little concern about the athletics department. That perception has quickly diminished over the past five years, especially over at Harvard University. With the phenomenal rise of New York Knick star and Harvard graduate Jeremy Lin, to the newest future prospect recruit Zena Edosomwan, Harvard seems to be putting the same focus on academics as they are in athletics. 1946 was the last time Harvard played in an NCAA Tournament game. Current Coach Tommy Amaker had not even been birthed yet. This is why I became overjoyed after watching the Crimson players’ astonishing reaction to the good old Vanderbilt Commodores being announced as their first round opponent against Harvard in the tournament. Vanderbilt pulled off an upset victory over the #1 ranked Kentucky Wildcats to become the number one seed in the conference. Unfortunately, Vandy was able to pull out a win over the Crimson 79-70 with Harvard trailing most of the game but crawling back within the last few minutes of the game, cutting the lead to just five points. This is why we will most likely see Harvard in the Tourney next year with a much stronger team and the demise of a 66-year-old dry spell. Go Crimson!!!!!

Posted by Brandon, Concierge at Hotel Veritas


Harvard Crimson: The Rise of Harvard Basketball

For the first time since 1946, Harvard has earned a place in the NCAA tournament. The Harvard Crimson has great article on this tremendous achievement.

“On the night of March 5, 2011, 400 Harvard undergraduates gathered in a cramped, aging building on the far side of the Charles River. They cheered and chanted, and they believed their team would win. And indeed it did, as the Crimson defeated Princeton to win a share of its first-ever Ivy League championship.

One year later, the Harvard men’s basketball team managed to pull it off again.

Penn’s 62-52 loss to Princeton Tuesday evening let the Crimson clinch the school’s first-ever outright Ivy League championship and send it to its first NCAA tournament since 1946.

The story of how it reached that milestone—one that overcame 112 years of on-court mediocrity—involves far more than just a 19-man roster that went 26-4 during its regular season.

It encompasses a coach in search of redemption, an athletic director determined to oversee the rebirth of one of the most maligned programs in college basketball, and an impassioned group of Harvard graduates with the resources to do something about it.”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

By Catherine E. Coppinger, Martin Kessler, Scott A. Sherman, and Dennis J. Zheng, CRIMSON STAFF WRITERS


Harvard Museum of Natural History – March 2012 Events

Family Festival

Travel back in time to explore the amazing world of dinosaurs, Ice Age mammals, trilobites, and other fossils at Paleo Planet: A Look at Life in the Past, on Saturday, March 3, 9:00 am-5:00 pm. Meet Harvard scientists and hear about their research. Examine rare specimens, search for clues about the past in common fossils, and make your own models. This festival is appropriate for diverse ages. Regular admission rates apply. Free parking available in 52 Oxford Street garage.

Paleo Planet is made possible in part with support from Cambridge Trust Company.

Public Lecture

Join Thomas J. Campanella, Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Design at the University of North Carolina, for the New Directions in EcoPlanning Annual Lecture, A Great Green Cloud: The Rise and Fall of the City Elms, on Thursday, March 8, at 6:00 pm. Campanella will explore elm culture in the U.S. and how our love affair with this giant nearly brought it to the edge of disappearance. Reception to follow, free and open to the public. Free parking available in 52 Oxford Street garage. Supported by a generous gift from Michael Dyett (AB ’68, MRP ’72) and Heidi Richardson. Photo of New Haven, Conn.

Author Talk

Learn about how whales are highly complex and evolved mammals in The Sounding of the Whale: Science and Cetaceans in the Twentieth Century, an author talk with D. Graham Burnett, Professor of History at Princeton, on Sunday, March 11, at 2:00 pm. Burnett will discuss the 20th century scientific research and environmental awareness that has led to an appreciation of whales, which are deserving of regulatory protection. Regular admission rates apply.

Public Lecture

Explore the emergent field of Darwinian medicine in Evolutionary Medicine at 20: Not Mature but on the Way, a lecture by Randolph Nesse, Director of the Evolution & Human Adaptation Program at the University of Michigan, on Thursday, March 29, at 6:00 pm. Neese will discuss the application of modern evolutionary theory to understanding health and disease. Free and open to the public, Northwest Labs, Room B-103, 52 Oxford Street. Free parking available in 52 Oxford Street garage. Part of the Evolution Matters lecture series. Supported by a generous gift from Drs. Herman and Joan Suit.

Kids and Adult Classes

Explore the shapes, colors and patterns seen in a variety of insects and learn some techniques for drawing them realistically in Capturing Insects with Pencil and Paper, a kids class for ages 9-13, on Saturday, March 10, 2:00-3:30 pm. Fee: $30 nonmembers/$27 members.

A few spots remain for the adult class The Evolution of the Vertebrate Tail on Saturday, March 10, 9:30-11:30 am. Fee: $22 nonmembers/$20 members.


Harvard Square Businesses welcome Lady Gaga by supporting her Born This Way Foundation

Harvard Square Business Association members and one very generous local realtor, Holly Donaldson of Coldwell Banker, prepare to welcome Lady Gaga to Harvard Square by supporting her foundation.

On Wednesday, February 29th Oprah Winfrey, Deepak Chopra and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, are among those scheduled to join Lady Gaga at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education for the launch of the singer’s nonprofit Born This Way Foundation.  The Born This Way Foundation addresses issues such as self-confidence, well-being, anti-bullying, mentoring and career development through research, education and advocacy. The Gaga nonprofit is in partnership with the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society and the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Chutney’s – 36 JFK Street, 617-491-2545

Spice it up for Lady Gaga at Chutney’s!

Mention “Born This Way” on Wednesday February 29th and get 20% off your order! $1 for each sale towards will be donated to The Born This Way Foundation.

Crazy Dough’s – 36 JFK Street, 617-492-4848

Mention the “Lady Gaga Offer” on Wednesday the 29th and get 10% off your entire order at the Harvard Square location. 10% of the “Lady Gaga Offer” sales will also be donated to The Born This Way Foundation.

FiRE+iCE – 50 Church Street, 617-547-9007

FiRE+iCE Harvard Square will donate 20% of all dessert sales on Wednesday the 29th to the Lady Gaga Born This Way Foundation!

Follow The Honey – 1132 Mass Ave, 617-945-7356,

100% proceeds of our fabulous 1/4 pound ball jar of “Massachusetts Honey on Tap” to Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation. Bee as you were born to bee ~ raw honey courage!

Grendel’s Den Restaurant and Bar – 89 Winthrop Street, 617-491-1160

Grendel’s Den Restaurant & Bar will feature a specially devised cocktail called “The Little Monster”, created by bartender (and Gaga fan) Dustin Frankus. The cocktail features Lady Gaga’s favorite whiskey – Jameson – with Lillet & bitters for $7.50, with $2 from each sale donated to the Born This Way Foundation.

 Hotel Veritas – 1 Remington Street, 617-520-5000

Hotel Veritas is featuring a “Born This Way Foundation” rate which includes a $100 donation made to the foundation. The rate is $25 above the standard room rate, so the guest donates $25 and the hotel donates $75.  This can be booked via the Specials page of our website www.thehotelveritas.com or by calling the hotel at 617-520-5000 and asking for the “Born This Way Foundation” rate. (Offer valid through December 29th 2012!)

Looks – 11 Holyoke Street, 617-491-4251,

Shop at Looks on Wednesday February 29th and get 10% off all dresses. A percentage of each sale also goes to the “Born This Way Foundation”!

Qdoba – 1280 Massachusetts Avenue, 617-871-1136,

Born Cheesy! For every Queso burrito purchased on 2/29/12, Qdoba will donate $1 back to the Born This Way Foundation. Valid at the Harvard Square Qdoba only.

Sweet Cupcake – Zero Brattle Street, 617-247-2253,

Sweet Cupcake is offering a “Be Sweet” cupcake; it has a “Born This Way” special edible fondant topper. All proceeds from the “Be Sweet” cupcake at the Sweet / Harvard Square location on February 29th will be donated to Lady Gaga’s Foundation. If you miss the chance to purchase the cupcakes on the 29th they will also be sold by special order on the online store through March 29th!

TistiK – 54 Church Street, (617) 661-0900

10% of all sales on Wednesday February 29th will be donated to the Born This Way Foundation!

UpStairs on the Square – 91 Winthrop Street, 617-864-1933

For Lady Gaga’s pleasure (and that of her followers) — our special house-label UpStairs on the Square rosé.

All this week, we invite you to come to our over-the-top bar, pink and gold and all dressed up just like Lady Gaga, for a glass of this special rose for $6 per glass, with profits going to the Born This Way Foundation.

Wellbridge Health and Fitness Center – 5 Bennett Street, 617-441-0800,

A portion (25%) of all enrollment fees and/or services (personal training, private Pilate, private yoga or swim lessons) purchased on Wednesday, February 29 will be donated to the Lady Gaga Born This Way Foundation.

Zinneken’s – 1154 Massachusetts Avenue, 617-606-3295

On February 29th, Zinneken’s waffles will be donating $2 for each totally sinful Lady Gaga & Oprah waffle (banana, whipped cream, dark chocolate and caramel).

In addition to these fine offers from our local restaurants and shops, we have also received donation offers from other generous members including:

Holly Donaldson of Coldwell Banker – 1730 Mass Avenue, 617.864.4430

Holly is generously donating 5% of her next home sale to the Born This Way Foundation!

For more information on this event and others please visit www.harvardsquare.com


Cambridge Science Festival!

Bring your curiosity!
April 20 – 29, 2012
www.CambridgeScienceFestival.org

For ten days, Cambridge and beyond presents the most engaging, inspiring, surprising, and thought-provoking festival you’ve ever seen! “What If” challenges scientists and stand-up comedians to describe what life would be like if the history of science were rewritten. The “Science of Baseball” will throw a curveball at you laced with sabermetrics. World-renowned filmmaker and mountaineer David Breashears will debut his latest exhibit and lead a public symposium, “Rivers of Ice: Vanishing Glaciers of the Greater Himalaya.” Come “Fishing for Sustainability,” explore space at our “Star Party” with telescopes that NASA uses, and catch a glimpse of the science behind the invisibility cloak at “The Science of Illusion.”

Looking for your favorites? “The Science Carnival” will swing with the Science of Circus on Friday, April 20th and “Big Ideas for Busy People” moves to a bigger space, First Parish Church, on Friday, April 27th.

Events in Harvard Square:

Urban Astronomy
Friday, April 20 (cloud date: Saturday, April 21), 8-11pm Deguglielmo Plaza, in front of 25 Brattle Street

In spite of bright lights and restricted views, we can see quite a lot from the heart of an urban area. This spring we will be able to get fantastic views of Venus, Mars, Saturn, double stars, and distant star clusters. We will be setting up telescopes in front of Cambridge City Hall to provide free views for the public. We will be hoping for clear skies on the evening of Friday, April 20; in the event of clouds the event will take place instead on Saturday, April 21. Check for weather cancellations/updates at http://www.bostonastronomy.net.

Big Ideas for Busy People
Friday, April 27, 7:30-9:30pm First Parish in Cambridge, 1446 Massachusetts Ave

Once again, by popular demand we bring you Cambridge’s fast-paced answer to Ted Talks. Big Ideas for Busy People features 10 short, sharp talks by some finest minds in and around Cambridge – 5 minutes per talk, plus 5 minutes for questions – presenting a roller-coaster ride through some of the biggest, boldest ideas in science!

SoundScience Fun!
Saturday, April 28, 3:30-5pm Club Passim, 47 Palmer Street

Ever wonder why your guitar gently weeps? We welcome people of all ages who are curious about sound to learn, sing, move and explore the science of sound in this lively, interactive performance. Through demonstrations and songs, we will ride a sound wave, sing about strings, hum about drums, and have fun!

Fishing for Sustainability in New England
Sunday, April 29, 1-5pm Harvard Science Center, 1 Oxford Street

Our waters may be cold, but the topic of sustainable fishing in New England is hot. We know that the bounty of the sea is special to New England. How do we most accurately assess our fish stocks? Which fish varieties should we be eating? How do we maintain the tradition and livelihood of our fishing fleet and still safeguard our environment and our fish? Where does Aquaculture fit in? Join us for this Teach-In on New England fishing and hear from experts in policy, science, nutrition, the environment, business — and from our fishermen.

Artisan Asylum’s 48-hour Trebuchet Design Competition
Sunday, April 29 4pm Cambridge Common

Come join the Artisan’s Asylum community for the public contest of our second Design Challenge! In this event, teams will put their 48-hour creations to the test, pitting their final projects against each other to accomplish the stated tasks. Entries will be disqualified for violating any of the terms of the project or for unsafe building or competing practices; winners will get public glory, gift certificates to the Asylum, and prominent display for their project in our facility. Whether you want to cheer on your ‘home team’, seek out promising designers and engineers, or just feel your blood race with the excitement of the contest, come watch the bout!

Author Talk, How the Hippies Saved Physics
Sunday, April 29, 3-6pm Democracy Center, 45 Mt Auburn Street

Join David Kaiser in a talk about How the Hippies Saved Physics – An exciting story of how, in a time of great social upheaval, some young physicists broke with convention and helped reconnect Physics with its philosophical roots and revive the study of Quantum Theory. David Kaiser is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he teaches in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society and the Department of Physics.

What If…?: Alternative Histories of Science
Friday, April 20, 7-9pm Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford Street

Imagine that phrenology – the 19th century study of mind by measuring bumps on people’s heads – had turned out to be true? Or that Darwin hadn’t been invited to go on the voyage of the Beagle? Or that the luminiferous ether – much loved by late 19th century physicists as the theoretical medium for the propagation of light – had turned out to actually exist?

Now imagine historians in discussion with stand-up comedians on these subjects, and you’ve got “What If…?” Join Moderator Anne Harrington and her guests Andrew Berry, David Jones, Roberto Lalli and stand-up comedians Kevin Harrington, Raj Sivaraman, and Rob Crean as they improvise alternative histories of science.

Cambridge Explores the Universe
Saturday, April 28, 12-4pm Harvard College Observatory, 60 Garden Street

Become an astronomer for a day! Enjoy exploration stations that include hands on activities, telescope tours, ask an astronomer science cafe, and solar observing. Find out the latest discoveries about the Sun, exoplanets, and black holes, and take your own telescope images. Go on a virtual tour through the universe using the World Wide Telescope visualization lab. It’s out of this world!


A week with the kids in Boston and Cambridge

Our 12 year old niece and 17 year old nephew visited us this week from the Atlanta area during their winter school break. They were comfortably ensconced in the two-bedroom suite at Hotel Veritas, which provided them with their own bedrooms and bathrooms: perfect for keeping the peace between two loving siblings. Grammy chaperoned from her nearby Queen Balcony room.

Finding places to eat and drink has never been a challenge for Dan and me – and we spent the week in restaurants which the kids enjoyed a great deal.

Feeding

Tory Row offers the best people watching thanks to their prime Harvard Square location and floor-to-ceiling windows. The kids devoured the sumptuous burgers, while I snacked on the veggie burger and a Fisherman’s Ale from the Cape Ann Brewing Company.

Our niece and nephew are both huge sports fan (not a trait they picked up from me), so Tavern in the Square was a great place to watch a Celtics game and eat some decent bar food. Just a ten minute walk from the hotel, this restaurant is often packed – especially during game times, owing to the fact that it’s one of the few “sports bars” in Cambridge.

Our nephew first tried mussels at Via Matta ten years ago and he’s been hooked since. This trip, we took him to the Legal Sea Food in Harvard Square for mussels and the Treasures of the Reef from the seafood bar. This branch of the seafood chain is one of their smallest, providing a more intimate experience – which we enjoy. In the summer time, they have outdoor seating in the Charles courtyard, along with Henrietta’s Table and Rialto.

Grendel’s Den has been in Harvard Square since 1971 and is great little casual neighborhood restaurant.  They had to fight all the way to the Supreme Court to be able to use their liquor license – and I was very appreciative as I sipped on my Harpoon IPA.  I loved the quesadilla loaded with cheddar and jack cheeses, black beans and chicken.  The kids devoured their burgers.

The Parish Cafe in Back Bay has long been a favorite of ours and has won numerous Best of Boston awards from Boston Magazine for their sandwiches created by well-known local chefs. I love the Schlow: roasted rare sirloin, sliced thin, with caramelized onions, tomato confit, arugula and a horseradish-cream sauce, along with a Harpoon IPA. Our niece ordered the mac-and-cheese, which satisfied her no-frills palette. Our nephew was a bit more adventerous with the Zuni Roll: smoked turkey breast, crisp bacon, chopped scallions, dill Havarti cheese and cranberry-chipotle sauce wrapped in a flour tortilla and served warm.

The Wagamama chain has three location in Boston and Cambridge, with one just a ten minute walk from the hotel. This was perfect for the noodle-loving kids. I opted for the beef cha han: stir-fried rice with beef, snow peas, carrots and leeks accompanied by a bowl of vegetarian miso soup and japanese style pickles – and a Sam Adams Lager.

With the kids festooned in their Celtics jerseys, we went to Jerry Remy’s by Fenway Park to watch the game on their dozens of large screen televisions. We asked our nephew if he’d heard of Jerry Remy and he gave us a stupid stare. He had. Along with nachos and steak tips, we enjoyed the trivia night which we weren’t expecting. We had a blast since the questions covered a variety of topics enabling us all to be involved – from the 12 year old niece to Grammy.

For some of the best ice cream in the area, JP Licks is the place. A five minute walk from the hotel, this small cafe was exactly what my gummy-bear-hungry niece wanted. I prefered the Pralines and Cream.

Back Bay Social Club was the most “grown up” place we took the kids on this trip. They loved the VIP treatment we received (thanks to my “cousin” who runs the place) and our leather banquet in the corner. I had a wonderful scallops appetizer, Dan ordered charcuterie, while the kids feasted on Chicken and Waffles with BBQ maple syrup. Grammy went southern with the Shrimp and Cheese Grits and pickled corn relish.

The 20-year-old Miracle of Science attracts a great local crowd and has a strong following of MIT students. Dan and I are here at least once a month. The kids, Grammy, Dan, and I all went with burgers and steak tips. Can’t go wrong – especially when paired with Ipswich Ale (for the adults.)

Shopping

Follow the Honey is a spectular raw organic honey store across the street from the hotel. Grammy and the kids stopped by and stubbled upon a Skype conference live from Kosovo with author, translator, educator, and beekeeper Elizabeth Gowing. She was discussing “Travels in Blood and Honey: Becoming a Beekeeper in Kosovo & Macedonian Honey Tasting.” Just a typical day in Harvard Square.

Of course, the kids wanted to hit some of the major stores: the Apple Store, NikeTown, H&M, Ugg Store – so we’re lucky to have those around.

The kids were particularly blown away by the service received when purchasing running shoes at the locally-owned Marathon Sports on Boylston Street. The staff here is extremely knowledgeable and patient in helping our niece find the perfect pair of shoes.

Black Ink is one of those shops where you wonder where their buyers find this stuff – and you want to purchase everything. Their tagline “Unexpected Necessities” is completely warranted. It was very challenging pulling our niece out of the store.

The Japanese shop in Harvard Square, Kofuku, is the place to go when you’re looking for that unusual little item. The kids loved it.

A quick stop by the Harvard Coop gave my nephew time to find the perfect Harvard sweatshirt that he had to have.

Educating

The kids visited two museums while in town: the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Harvard Museum of Natural History.

The MFA can definitely be a bit overwhelming for a couple of teenagers, so they focused on what interested them most: Art of the Ancient World. Our nephew was particularly fascinated by the Egyptian pieces – and I was happy to see his interest.

Our niece “loves giraffes,” as she told me when I mentioned that the Harvard Museum of Natural History has a fascinating, newly renovated Great Mammal Hall, “the oldest and most dramatic gallery in the museum, with a 19th century arrangement of specimens that includes a full-sized giraffe and three whale skeletons suspended from the rafters. In the balcony, you’ll find Harvard’s extensive collection of birds.” She also loved their gift shop and picked up some little trinkets for her friends at home.

Getting Around

The T was very easy for the kids to use alone. They only got lost once.

I believe they prefered when they were traveling with their Uncle Benson, who is now completely dependent upon Uber, a car reservation service which recently launched in Boston and Cambridge. For slightly more than the cost of a taxi, a black sedan or SUV will take you anywhere you want to go. I haven’t been in a taxi since I started using the service a few months ago. I’m pretty certain that the kids want me to arrange for an Uber car to take them to school when they return on Monday.

What a week. And I need a cocktail.

Posted by Benson Willis, General Manager of Hotel Veritas


Stay at Hotel Veritas and support Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation

Because we are passionate about being the best that we can be – and to be happy – and to be involved, Hotel Veritas offers a “Born This Way Foundation” rate which includes a $100 donation to this incredible new organization.

We proudly support Lady Gaga’s new nonprofit organization, BTWF, which has partnered with the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur  Foundation, The California Endowment and The Berkman Center at Harvard  to explore the best ways to reach youth and create a new culture of kindness, bravery, acceptance, and empowerment. BTWF, a nonprofit charitable organization, will address issues like self-confidence, well-being, anti-bullying, mentoring and career development through research, education and advocacy. With a focus on digital mobilization to create positive change, BTWF will lead youth into a braver new society where each individual is accepted and loved as the person they were born to be.

To make a reservation, visit the Hotel Veritas website or call 617-520-5000.


Lady Gaga launches her Born This Way Foundation with Oprah at Harvard on February 29th

Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, announced that  Oprah Winfrey will be joining them at Harvard University for the  official launch of the Born This Way Foundation (BTWF) on Wednesday, February 29th, 2012. Oprah will appear alongside Lady Gaga as she formally unveils BTWF before a crowd of policymakers,  nonprofit organizations, foundation leaders, students, and youth at the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Askwith Forum.

Lady Gaga also will be joined by several renowned guests including  prolific author and speaker Deepak Chopra, U.S. Secretary of Health and  Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, and Charles Ogletree, Harvard Law  School’s Jesse Climenko Professor of Law and Director of the Charles  Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice. The one-day event will  be cohosted by BTWF, Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet &  Society, the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the John D. &  Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and The California Endowment.  Highlights of the launch event will be featured in an upcoming episode  of Oprah’s Next Chapter on OWN: OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK.

BTWF has partnered with the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur  Foundation, The California Endowment and The Berkman Center at Harvard  to explore the best ways to reach youth and create a new culture of  kindness, bravery, acceptance, and empowerment. BTWF, a nonprofit  charitable organization, will address issues like self-confidence,  well-being, anti-bullying, mentoring and career development through  research, education and advocacy. With a focus on digital mobilization  to create positive change, BTWF will lead youth into a braver new  society where each individual is accepted and loved as the person they  were born to be.

Additional details concerning the Born This Way Foundation launch  will be announced closer to the event date, February 29th, 2012. Please  visit: www.BornThisWayFoundation.org to take the pledge and become part of the movement.


Valentine’s Day and Fencing

We’re not ones to go out to restaurants on Valentine’s Day (we prefer the 13, or 15th, or practically any other day), but we found ourselves back at the Russell House Tavern for an early cocktail.  When we arrived, a bartender from another restaurant in the neighborhood was sipping a bourbon in preparation for the busy Valentine’s night which he would soon face.

Shortly after we arrived, two proud MIT parents (she in jersey proclaiming “MIT MOM”) who were extremely engaging sat by us.  As they had been married for 37 years, they were perfectly content toasting their Valentine’s Day with two random strangers at a bar.  We had a blast chatting with them about children, failed romances, small business ownership, New Jersey, Central Square vs. Harvard Square, paying for college education, and on and on and on.  Cocktails extended into dinner at the bar.  Dan and I shared a House Charcuterie Board and a steak tartare, while our new friends enjoyed a Dirty Caesar and an Angry Queen Pizza (if I remember correctly.)

Cocktails, dinner, conversation, and laughs were so enjoyable that we tagged along with the parents to Harvard’s Maklin Athletic Center to watch their son compete in the Beanpot Tournament for fencing: Harvard, MIT, Brandeis, and Boston College.  We watched with great pleasure at all of the thrusting and parrying – which has us tempted to take fencing lessons.  We’ll keep you posted.

Posted by Benson Willis, General Manager of Hotel Veritas