Archive for October, 2007

Nobody does it better…

October 30th, 2007 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

 …and by that, I mean you, my audience. I was quite delighted to get two comments and various responses back to my last post…one reader even is familar with the works of George Eliot. We’ve got applicants, parents of students, my own parents, my favorite resident of the fair state of New Jersey, and my uncle, who may yet comment himself. (Regarding the last person, this may very well include my beloved aunt. Aunt Sharon, if you’re reading to seek deep insights into V- and I, you’ll just have to ask me directly. I don’t give out too much here.)

Now, before I get distracted again, here’s a few things about what’s presently going on with school. Last week was certainly something of a reprieve….no assignments, no projects pressing. And I have to say that I think I blew it in some ways.  What should have been a prime week to get caught up and wrap myself around numerous things that have been on the back burner (namely, Finance & Data Models problems and readings) ended up being something of a missed opportunity. I found myself watching the MLB playoffs or random movies I’d seen 20 times instead of cracking the books. I picked up the pace this weekend and was actually quite productive but I should have done more. Maybe I’m being hard on myself…but I found it hard to get motivated last week. This week is a different story. Group projects are picking up’s almost to the point where I don’t even know what the meeting is going to be when I show up for it. I figure it out when I walk in the door and just run with it from there.

We have a big Data Models test this week that I’ll be glad to get out of the way…it’s in the “blessing and the curse” format of “open book, open notes.” Those are the ones that tend to lull you to sleep. It makes you think, “Well I don’t need to study that hard…the answers are right in front of me. How hard can it be?” Well, no…the answers usually aren’t, which is exactly the point. Maybe the basic framework for solving the problem is but you usually have to take it a few steps further. And that’s the underlying truth about business school in a lot of ways…I came here to be challenged, because work had become something where there was a neverending amount of crap to do, none of which was particularly interesting. So now I’m at business school where I’ve been challenged, pushed and overextended…all things that are invaluable. There’s no other scenario under which I would have the opportunity to grow in such a way.

 This is a truly random digression, but I’m going to run with it. I’d like to incorporate a “Request and Dedication” component to this blog, if you (the audience) will humor me as such. This whole idea was just as bizarre to me when I was 8 as it is now, yet it really cracks me up. I mean..what was the point of Casey Kasem doing that?

“This is from Starla in Poughkeepsie. ‘Casey, I want to tell you about my soul mate Jasper. Jasper would have lassoed the moon for me if he could have. Unfortunately, he’s currently serving 50 to life in Attica for a double homicide. So Casey…since it’s “against all odds” that he’ll ever get paroled in my lifetime, could you please play…”Against All Odds” by Phil Collins.'”

(Here Casey’s voice starts to crack and warble as he seemingly starts to tear up)

“Well, Starla….since Jasper’s ‘the only one who really knew [you] at all,’ here’s your Request and Dedication.”

If we can get that kind of thing going here in this humble blog, I think I would be endlessly amused.

Random Quote of the Week: “Love, peace and harmony…very nice, but maybe in the next world.” – Morrissey

Random Song I Heard on Sirius That Had Me Singing Along Out Loud: The Police, “So Lonely.”  (Not really applicable but a great song nonetheless.)


Running up that hill

October 23rd, 2007 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

Is there anybody out there? I feel like it’s Side 3 of The Wall. I have no idea if anyone reads this or not. I was just discussing this with Lettie here in our lonely outpost of #3570 in Van Munching Hall. I don’t really care if anyone reads this or not because I enjoy writing it…but if someone is out there, don’t be shy and make yourself known. Apparently last year one of the student bloggers got a comment on her blog and then the other one tried like hell to get one and didn’t. So if that could somehow happen here, I would really enjoy it. I’m not obviously trying to change the world or anything ridiculous like that…but if there’s even one person somewhere who’s getting it and has a reaction of any sort, then that’s beyond good enough for me.

I feel like a new day is breaking for me. Math is not my strong suit and yet 4 of the 5 classes I’d been taking were quantitative in nature. Those are the given circumstances in the 1st semester so it wasn’t as if it was a shock. It quite honestly left me a bit listless. I sometimes felt as if extracurriculars (to wit, these include: my GA position in the Marketing Communications program, the Brand Taskforce committee, the Alumni Mentor program, the Kajeet marketing competition) were the only aspects of my experience at Smith that I was deriving true pleasure from. School was turning into my last several months in corporate america..merely something I’m going to have to tolerate until it’s over. But everything seems to be breaking in the other direction. Accounting and Econ have wrapped up for the semester. As I’m taking 15 credits, only one class switches in for these two and it’s a Marketing class. Marketing is what I want to do with my life post-Smith, it’s why I came here. I can already tell that this class is one I will be passionate about. It’s not that I haven’t been working hard in my other classes..I’ve just felt that they’ve been a means to an end, requirements I’m getting out of the way because the administration has prescribed that I do so. Marketing is something I’m endlessly fascinated by and this class alone I feel has flipped my outlook on its head entirely, which I needed. School shouldn’t be anything like work, it’s a time to learn and grow and take chances with little to no consequences. You can’t get fired or reassigned or told to defer to somebody else purportedly more senior and experienced in some BS meeting. It should be more than going through the motions. So I  guess I’ve had a breakthrough.

Cycling back to the “weekly readers”, I want you to know that V- and I had a wonderful weekend in Philly. The Darjeeling Limited is definitely worth seeing and no, it’s not really like Wes Anderson’s other films at all. I really liked Adrian Brody’s character the most of the three leads and no, not just because his name was Peter. Hotel Chevalier (bizarrely only available as a free download on iTunes) is also worth checking out in tandem with Darjeeling. I feel as though both will require another viewing.  The Life Aquatic was in my mind such a bizarre misfire, so it was good to see Anderson getting back to the artistic brilliance of Rushmore and The Royal Tenebaums (my all-time favorite movie). How have I never seen Bottle Rocket? That will change this week…

Random Quote of the Week: “For the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs” – George Eliot, Middlemarch

Random Song I Heard on Sirius That Had Me Singing Along Out Loud: Bruce Springsteen, “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)”


Sleep is no longer an escape

October 14th, 2007 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

This is usually the point where it sinks in that I’m overworked. It’s happened twice the past week and as we collectively fire headlong into mid-terms (technically finals…as both Accounting and Econ are 8-week classes), it’s likely going to occur again. I had hoped I left this behind when I fled the 60-70 hour weeks of the advertising world, but evidently not. (Aside: “60-70 hours” may not seem like a lot of hours to some, but on an advertising salary, it’s insufferable. When you calculate your hourly rate and realize you could make as much bartending AND have as much responsibility, well that’s how you end up writing blogs as a 1st-year MBA student).

And the thing I’m referring to is none other than dreaming about classwork. Or perhaps, I should say…dreaming in classwork. I know…sad. When I was working, it was dreaming in Excel. Now it’s dreaming about some ridiculously complex Econ problem that I can’t seem to wrap myself around. In my dream (which mirrors reality) I’m working at it and just can’t get it. The worst part is that at some point in the middle of such a dream I find myself realizing that a) it’s just a dream and yet b) my brain is so wrapped around Econ that I can’t alter the course of the dream. The result is that you wake up already a bit anxious about what you need to get done in your given day, which…oh, I don’t know…somewhat defeats the entire escape that sleep is (ostensibly, at least) supposed to provide.

I tend to dream about what’s on my mind all day. And presently that is Econ (final on Wednesday). Soon it will be Accounting (final on Friday). It’s all going to be fine once Friday at 3:00 gets here and I’m on I-95 North, but right now it’s Sunday morning and though I want to watch the NFL all day, that is decidedly not an option. I’m doing my best to keep stress low, as that certainly won’t do me any good. There’s an Alumni Mentor Happy Hour on Wednesday after the Econ final, so it will be good to catch a drink or two at the week’s midpoint. And if my group projects for Accounting and Leadership weren’t in such good shape, things would probably be approximating hell on earth. Well, back to my studies…the coming weekend in Philly draws closer, but seems tantalizingly far away.

Random Quote of the Week: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky

Random Song I Heard on Sirius That Had Me Singing Along Out Loud: Depeche Mode, “Just Can’t Get Enough.”


"Living the dream"

October 5th, 2007 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

I’ve been saying this a lot lately, more or less delivering it in the tongue-in-cheek sense. So perhaps I should append a “?” to the title. But you know…I thought about it some and decided not to. I’m incredibly fortunate to be in a position where I can take two years off of work for the purposes of bettering myself and furthering my career. Because once school is over, it’s right back to work for the next 30+ years or so. With a higher salary, true…but also with more responsiblities, more stresses and less places to deflect blame. But the truth is that I’m never going to get the chance to do anything such as going back to school ever again. So as crazy as things are, it’s important to stop, reflect, and enjoy the finer things in life.  Truly, it’s about somehow finding a river in a time of dryness, taking a long cool drink and then heading back into the wilderness. Easier said than done? Granted. But nothing is more critical for me right now. School has been extremely stressful the last two weeks…you can see it in all of our faces…be it in class, the hallways or the computer labs. Seemingly all of my peers are either at or past the breaking point. Without finding a release, it’s all too easy to slip into despair.  So whatever it is that you enjoy doing, take what little free time you have and do it; it’s unimportant what that thing exactly is, just that it’s something you derive pure enjoyment from. Lately for me, that’s been discussing literature with V-.  And at this exact moment, it’s drinking a beer and watching playoff baseball. The little things are what count at the end of the day – that’s what works for me these days. Mid-terms loom near on the horizon, so let’s just say that the time to catch up on sleep is now…

Random Quote of the Week: “Ninety percent of success is just showing up.” – Woody Allen.

Random Song I Heard on Sirius That Had Me Singing Along Out Loud: Billy Joel, “We Didn’t Start the Fire”