September 21, 2008

Toughening Up for West Point

At the age of ten, my interest in playing RISK ("the board-game of world domination") led me to become a military man. I wore t-shirts in cold weather, and ran (not walked!) everywhere as part of my campaign to toughen up for West Point.

Applying for membership with the Military Book Club seemed like a good way to beef up my résumé. For weeks, I anxiously waited to see if I'd be accepted into that select group. (And I was! Those were giddy times.)

Reading about tank battles in the USSR, island-hopping in the Pacific, and air wars over England was good stuff, but the biggest thrill was probably just getting packages in the mail.

I also found the the graphic elements of war and propaganda posters particularly appealing. (I've cadged a few more of them here.)

My readings taught me that Hitler had never played RISK; anyone who has can tell you can’t hang on to Europe if you attack Russia. As for West Point, I would ultimately choose a more reputable place for scholarship: San Diego State University. (Sure, it has a 17% graduation rate, but I love having the odds stacked against me.)

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