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WIG to Watch – Priscilla Chan

27 Nov

As the Google Trends graph below will show you, Priscilla Chan is certainly a WIG to watch. Long term girlfriend of Mark Zuckerberg (co-founder of Facebook), she has managed to keep a fairly low profile over the past seven years, whilst her boyfriend Zuckerberg on the other hand, has experienced a meteoric ascent into public consciousness. However, the imminent release of the film “The Social Network“, which tells the story of the creation of Facebook, has ensured that the public and press are starting to take an avid interest in Chan.

Graph showing the search volume for "Priscilla Chan" over time. Note the recent spike in search volume.

Whilst Chan does not feature in the film*, the film opens with a scene in which Zuckerberg gets dumped by a girlfriend (Erica Albright) due to his supposed increasing arrogance. According to reports, this girlfriend in the film never actually existed, and Zuckerberg has been dating Chan since 2002,  a long time before he came up the Facebook idea.

A recent article in The New Yorker details how Chan and Zuckerberg met:

Zuckerberg decided, instead, to enter Harvard, in the fall of 2002. He arrived in Cambridge with a reputation as a programming prodigy. He sometimes wore a T-shirt with a little ape on it and the words “Code Monkey.” He joined the Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi, and, at a Friday-night party there, Zuckerberg, then a sophomore, met his current girlfriend, Priscilla Chan, a Chinese-American from the Boston suburbs. They struck up a conversation while waiting in line for the bathroom. “He was this nerdy guy who was just a little bit out there,” Chan told me. “I remember he had these beer glasses that said ‘pound include beer dot H.’ It’s a tag for C++. It’s like college humor but with a nerdy, computer-science appeal.”

If there was a school for WIGS, Chan would no doubt be headgirl. Her ensnarement of Zuckerberg has pretty much laid out “How to be a WIG – Lesson Number 1”:

How to be a WIG, Priscilla Chan Style

1) Head straight to an Ivy League frat party (n.b. getting accepted to an Ivy League first is obviously a bonus, but if not, never mind. If you’re going to be  a WIG, you’ve got to be resourceful).

2) To ensure successful hunting at the frat party, ensure that you first study the frat’s alumni list. Alpha Epsilon Pi alumni include the founder of ESPN, the ex-chairman of Citigroup, the founder of hotels.com, and an ex-president of The Coca Cola Company, to name a few.

3) Create a target list prior to the party. Normally, building this list won’t take too much research. As per The New Yorker, Zuckerberg arrived at Harvard with a reputation as a “programming prodigy”, after writing some software called Synapse (pre-Harvard), which both AOL and Microsoft wanted to purchase.

4) Once at the party, find an opportune moment to “strike up conversation” with the target,  and blindsight him with your supposed interest in him, computer code, and “nerdy college humour”.  *Girly giggle* “I love your t-shirt, it’s so funny! Oh and I love code too! Wait, Mark – I have a joke for you; There are only 10 kinds of people in this world: those who know binary and those who don’t!” *giggle*

Job done.

(I told you this blog would contain A LOT of conjecture!)

In all seriousness though, take a look at the trailer of “The Social Network“. Although Zuckerberg admonishes that this is a fictional depiction of his life at Harvard, it nevertheless looks thoroughly entertaining, and I shall certainly be watching it.

*By the way – the Asian-American girl in the film who Zuckerberg has a dalliance with is NOT supposed to be Priscilla Chan. OK?

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