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To Students Out There: It’s Not What You Do, But Who You Are.

This story has nothing and everything to do with being a design student.

When I lived in San Francisco years ago, I was in a cab on my way to the airport. I was an art director at a big agency and was on my way to a photo shoot.

If you have ever spent any time in SF, you’ll know that most of the cabbies there have a certain look. At the risk of stereotyping, I’d say the look is a cross between being an ex-roadie for the band Phish and an extra in the movie Barfly.

But this guy was different. He wore a navy blue suit and tie, cufflinks and matching gold tie clip. The cab was the cleanest cab I had ever been in. In fact, it was the cleanest car I had ever been in.

I complimented him on the condition of the car and his dapper cabbie style. He thanked me, but told me that he wasn’t a cab driver, but a lawyer.

His words were, “I drive a cab, but that’s not who I am. I’m studying to get into law school (he had failed to get accepted twice before). Someday, I’m gonna be one for real, but until then nothing is stopping me from believing.”

As I paid him and left the car, I noticed a stack of post-it noted law books in the front seat, along with a wrinkled brown lunch bag.

It’s been years since I’ve been back to SF. The next time I’m in a cab there, I’ll keep an eye out for him. But something tells me that’s not what he’s doing anymore.

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