I lived in the Apthorp in a state of giddy delirium for about ten years. The water in the bathtub often ran brown, there was probably asbestos in the radiators, and the exterior of the building was encrusted with soot. Also, there were mice. Who cared? My rent slowly inched up—the Rent Guidelines Board allowed increases of around eight per cent every two years—but the apartment was still a bargain. By this time, the real-estate boom had begun in New York, and the newspapers were full of shocking articles about escalating rents; there were one-room apartments in Manhattan renting for two thousand dollars a month. I was paying the same amount for eight rooms. I felt like a genius.
My feelings were summed up perfectly by a policeman who turned up one night to handle an altercation on my floor. My next-door neighbor was a kind and pleasant professor, the sort of man who would not hurt a flea; his son often left his bicycle in the vestibule outside our apartment. A neighbor down the hall, an accountant, became angry about the professor’s son’s bicycle, which he apparently thought was an eyesore, and it probably was. One afternoon, he decided to put it directly in front of the professor’s door, blocking it. The professor found the bike there and returned it to its spot in the hallway. The accountant put it back in front of the door, once again blocking it. There was quite a lot of noisy crashing about while all this was going on, and it got my attention; as a result, I was lurking at my front door, peeking out into the vestibule, when the final chapter of the drama occurred.
At the time I moved in, the Apthorp was owned by a consortium of elderly persons—although, come to think of it, they were not much older than I am now. One of them was a charming, courtly gentleman, active in all sorts of charities involving Holocaust survivors. He lived long enough to be taken to court for a number of things, none of them the crime that I happen to believe he was guilty of, which was lining his pockets with cash payoffs made by people who were either moving in or moving out of the building. I was very fond of him and his sporty red Porsche, which he drove right up to the day he was taken to the hospital. There he took his last kickback, from neighbors of mine, and died. The kickback was part of the two hundred and eighty-five thousand dollars in key money my neighbors had charged a new tenant for the right to take over their lease. That’s right. Someone paid two hundred and eighty-five thousand dollars in key money to move into the Apthorp. How was this possible? What was the thinking? Actually, I could guess: the thinking was that over fifty-six years the two hundred and eighty-five thousand dollars would amortize out to four cappuccinos a day. Grande cappuccinos. Mucho grande cappuccinos.
When he was finally expelled from Central, he enrolled at the sprawling regional Germantown High. Potential had followed my father through the halls of Central like a sullen weather system, but at Germantown he was made to feel that he had mental abilities near clairvoyance. His depression abated. Here were the people, he decided, from whom he had been estranged, the proletariat, and among them he would shine in the right measure. He was first recruited to lead the Controversy Club, a group of students pretending toward the cultural fringe. They were an interracial collection of hippies and potheads who enjoyed, if the name of the club is to be taken at face value, discussing the controversial issues of the day. Through events hosted by the Controversy Club, my dad met several young black guys with whom he found he had many things in common, among them a sharp wit and a ready libido. It was through the Controversy Club, too, that he discovered his passion for weed.
by Spencer Johnson" title="Summary: Who Moved My Cheese?
It does this through the use of a catalyzing agent, that when combined with heat and oxygen produces a chemical reaction that is capable of converting various gasses such as carbon monoxide (CO), hydra carbons (HC), and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) into less harmful carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen (N2), and water (H2O) (Wiki)....
by Spencer Johnson" style="width:60%;margin:10px;"
The 1981 air-traffic-controller strike was, among other things, a case study in class ambition. As much as the conflict concerned actual working conditions, the strike was motivated by the desire to shift the public perception of air-traffic controllers and their work to match the high esteem the controllers had for themselves. They wanted to be recognized on equal footing with pilots, as legitimate professionals.
by Spencer Johnson Essay example
Discussing training conditions during the earlier period in the professionalization of air-traffic control—the nineteen-fifties—McCartin writes, “At times the training regime could border on sadistic. As young developmentals handled traffic with a senior controller at their side, instructors would sometimes stand behind them, nattering in their ears, ‘Why’re you doing that? What was that for? Look at that guy!’ Their purpose was to weed out anyone who could not handle pressure.” This practice must still have been popular by the time my father reached the academy. I need only look at the evidence of my own upbringing. Where else would he have adopted his signature parenting style?