“Only Robinson Crusoe had everything done by Friday”. We MBAs live on a whole other island. We need weekends to keep things moving. Sometimes we use them to catch up with exceedingly rapid pace of studies. Sometimes they are spent working on the term projects. And sometimes we get through them looking for internships, jobs and other opportunities. But most importantly they are used to breathe life into MBA drenched souls. As Scott puts it; first year of business school feels like time management boot camp (http://blogs.rhsmith.umd.edu/scott/?p=100). Our “to do lists” are longer than what is humanly possible “to do”. It is here at Smith that I first realized it is too much to ask someone “Hey, do you have a minute?”… “Hey, do you have a second?” seems to be a more reasonable approach. We are so much time stricken and sleep deprived that a weekend feels like an oasis amidst a hostile week of steaming activities.
Last weekend my sister visited me with her kids. My nephew is eight years old and he has this impression that I am not much older, if not the same age (meaning I am expected to entertain him all the time). It is hard to even reach out to my books, let alone study productively, when he is around. Some time ago, in my usual moments of insanity, I promised him that I would show him around Washington DC. One should be careful making promises with kids; they make you stick to your words. Now one of the reasons for many Smith MBAs to choose this school is its close proximity to Washington DC. After trudging miles around the National Mall for two days, between the Lincoln Memorial and the US Capitol, visiting museums for hours and answering a stream of endless questions, you wouldn’t hear that argument from me for some time.
Nevertheless, it was a weekend well spent. I always love spending time with Shayan. It washes away all the fatigue, takes away all my blues and lifts my mood. I think I am pretty good with kids (it’s the adults that get on my nerves at times :-p). On Sunday evening, after having a lovely dinner my sister had made for us, I glanced at Shayan who was lying flat on the carpet exhausted with tiredness. I thought it might be a good opportunity to study some cases and opened my laptop. That is right when he got up, came close to me and asked: “What are you going to do?” It was about time to make him realize that I am here to get my MBA and for that I might be required to actually study. I locked eyes with him and said in a very soft tone: “Shayan, why do you think I came to US?” He looked down for a second and then at me with a face that could be described by a thousand metaphors: “To play with me!!”, completely ignoring the important point I was trying to make. I did not have the heart to reveal the exact idea. “Oh-kaye, but did I not just spent the whole day with you?” “Yeah, but we were out all day in DC. We did not play anything”. Kid had a point and I couldn’t argue more. I shut down my laptop, put aside my books and turned on the Wii.
What can I say? There aren’t just enough days in the weekend!!