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Posts Tagged ‘P3’

P3 is done – we’re 3/5 of the periods through the (cheat-sheet propelled, for some) MBA and half way done with our year together. I snuck away from the Grand Cafe before the tearful good-byes because I’m not very good at those. A lot of people got last minute jobs – a lot are taking unpaid internships, hoping to make a career switch. Some are working 100 hour weeks in London. Suckers. The rest are sailing in Croatia/trekking in Kashmir/partying in Beirut/studying French in Nice, Mandarin in China, German in Munich/getting married in India and Israel.

One of my friends keeps saying that leaving the bubble for the summer will be a reality check – a real-world reminder to most of us who we are, what’s important to us, what we want to get out of the remaining year. I hope that’s true. P3 has been a blast, but I need to find some time to have a good think about what happens afterwards.

Since I’m still in visa limbo, I’ve been hanging out in Fontainebleau awaiting a verdict from the UK Border Agency. This respite from the frantic, intense, unrelenting P3 has been quite welcome, though I imagine it could get boring eventually. In the meantime I’ve been learning how to Artfully Communicate (I’m just as awkward as I suspected, now I have video footage to prove it), making a half-hearted attempt at some bouldering, picnicing by the reflecting pool of the Cheateau, wandering around sleepy French towns where in the 1800s Romantic Realists painted en plein air, seeking to capture the matte late evening light over the tranquil Loing.

At 10:45 it’s still light out – the days last forever, and on most nights I don’t even start to think of getting to bed until around 2. Not so good when you have class the next day. Perfect when you can sleep in until noon.

I’ve been cramming in q-time with my favorite(st) people before we disperse for the summer, and am thankful for the visa delays that are giving me a chance to get to know some of my classmates better. (That’s another shout out, yo.)

But being in Fonty also means that I can’t get the distance I feel I need to sum up the last 6 months in a meaningful manner.

A friend from home came to visit recently. When I say “friend” I mean it in the loosest sense of the word – someone I had classes with in undergrad, and would see about twice a year when visiting my parents who lived in the same town where he worked after graduation. He had been traveling the world for the past few months, and came to France (I suspect) because he’d have a free place to stay. Moocher. There are very few people I would feel comfortable crashing with for a few night, let alone an entire week. Someone more socially skilled and perceptive (or perhaps simply less selfish) would be self-conscious, but he has no compunction about imposing for an entire week. His world travels have produced little else other than a slew of complaints about lack of infrastructure in the developing world (umm, what did you expect?) and shallow generalizations about how the US is different from Europe because you don’t have to add tip and tax.

This guy is a complete downer, which makes me wonder what our friendship was based on some 8 years ago. Was I also like him? Did I look at the most negative aspect of every situation, complain about every trivial inconvenience? Is it just recently that I’ve changed so much?

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I think I’m starting to drink the INSEAD Kool-Aid. Instead of studying, the Singapore folks made lots of videos of themselves screwing off. One of those videos got posted around facebook recently. In it, all of them are dancing in various tropical locations (and the Tanoto library) – in the geeky dancing style of Matt (of where the hell is Matt youtube video fame).

The first time I saw the “Where the hell is Matt” video, I found Matt’s exuberant joy incredibly annoying. Come to think of it, it might have been the ex-boyf who initially shared the video with me – thereby discovering the source of our major conflict that would eventually drive us asunder: my inability to share in the unbridled joy of a fat dude doing an awkward dance all over the world. (I mean, let’s face it. That Matt dude is kind of a twat…)

Then the other day I found myself watching that video from Singapore and finding it absolutely adorable! Which makes me think that I’m starting to drink the cool aid.

It’s not all so hunkey dorey though. I think I may owe my new found positive outlook to the fact that I can now take ALL my negativity out on a certain professor and his unbelievably frustrating, entirely unnecessary, obnoxiously antagonizing cold calling. At the end of his lousy class, I’m left feeling completely exhausted of all negative energy. His manner is “you’re crap and I’m awesome for teaching you Solow’s growth model like I came up with it myself.”

What exactly am I learning when he calls on people in order to catch them off guard for not listening? I COULD be learning if he actually called on people who cared to participate and had an interesting insight. Instead, he gets some sick joy from calling on people and then not giving them two moments to think through the question. Are we supposed to be intimidated by his superior Berkeley intellect? Is this style of teaching going to force us to be more intellectually engaged?

“Blah blah blah blah blah blah. I said two IMPORTANT words in that sentence. What are they?”

WHAT THE F?

I took Macro with (2008 Nobel Laureate) Paul Krugman back in college. While Krugman wasn’t a terribly compelling professor, the guy was famous. We were taking the course during the Asian currency crisis – with Krugman flying back and forth to consult to the Japanese government on monetary policy. So, while I can’t say I learned the fundamentals of Macroeconomics, I found it fascinating to be in the presence of something important that was happening in our time. Paul would come back from his trips, perch himself on the edge of the desk and talk about the meetings he had just had. Professor Krugman didn’t feel the need to antagonize us or put us down, or show to us how much smarter he is than all of us. (That was pretty evident anyways). Maybe Andy’s got his own Nobel in the pipeline, but then why would he need to flex so much in front of a bunch of kids.

While it’s not constructive to be sitting there seething, the class seems to allow me to work through my daily allowance of negative emotion, and then I’m happy as a clam the rest of the time.

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