Monday, October 31, 2005

A Word for Blogger re:Blogger for Word

So, I just logged on to post and saw this link to a new plug-in called Blogger for Word that one can use to post to Blogger straight from Word. While it's probably natural evolution and nifty and expanding target audience reach and all that jazz, I find myself driving the other way of late (definitely has nothing to do with actually finding myself driving the wrong way on a road:)

I'm writing in Blogger and copying into Word.

Isn't that weird? Does anyone else do it? I started when I was writing my essays a few months ago, and again when I was trying to write up something for the newspaper, and now i'm doing it for school stuff. I've actually thought about why this is, and I dare say I kinda understand.

On the actual editing front, Blogger has font and size support, which means I can customize my interface to use Courier, which is what I'd do in Word. I also don't need any fancy formatting or anything, and I have bullets and lists and alignment etc. In short, this is an acceptable-feature editor. At another level, I like the Preview feature :-) I don't know, there is something about seeing what I'm writing without all the menu and drop-boxes around. It's like a little extra that I don't get in Word.

But, I think the real reason has nothing to do with the mechanics of editors. It's all about experiences. On Blogger, it's like I've found a comfortable space, a sort-of virtual neighborhood coffee-shop if you will, to write. This is where I've become accustomed to coming for the last two years to be creative, to write with abandon, to be myself. Word was where I did my work stuff - the documents, the reports, the memos. Today, when I need to write something that needs creative thinking, I find myself doing my best job going where these associations lead me - Blogger!

I think this is something for Google to consider as they think about their next steps in taking over the world. Along with investing in talent to work on OpenOffice, they should probably investigate editor usage behaviors.

Where do people find themselves most 'comfortable' writing? Is it in Word, Notes, Notepad? Is it in an IM chat window, Typepad, on a discussion board? Blogger? Their email client? Post-It notes?

And, leading from that, can they think of ways to take users back to those environments when they need to use editing software? Is there a set of users out there that could make this feasible? I suspect that, though it would be cool, I am not a market of one.

As an illustration, give me the option to 'Save to Disk' in addition to 'Save as Draft' and 'Publish Post' on Blogger. It'll codify what I'm doing by hand, and you've got yourself a customer. I may still want to save this thing as an MS Word file, but that's childsplay.

In stretching my imagination, I can see users being able to create a single(or a small set of connected) 'word processing environments' that they can use for all their - again, we're thinking out of the box here - needs. Make me something that I'll pull up whether it's having to IM or write a blogpost or a document.

What is Google/Blogger saying with this? They acknowledge that Word is where most people go today to write. That's their space. And they want to make sure that there is a link to Blogger from that environment. That's what I'm trying to say too. Except, I don't understand why someone needs to cede this to Word. The web is changing and so are (i don't know if i should say 'and along with it' or 'because of') usage patterns. I think it's time to take a look at this evolution and understand what the next generation of text editors may look like.

Am I making any sense, or am I just losing it?


Thursday, October 27, 2005

there's always a first time

Today was a day of many firsts.

First time conducting a (can you believe this?) info session for prospectives.
First time attending a corporate presentation at the GSB.
First time telling a kid to stop tearing up paper or else i'd go to the principal.
First time meeting Rose Martinelli.
First time realizing that she knew my name (i'd like to think she didn't peek at my name tag).
First time getting a job lead from a prospective student.
First time having wine and pretzels for dinner.

Let's start with the first (i was going to say first first time but that would be too many firsts on a line. and that would be a first).

It was an odd feeling this AM. So much so that I felt the need to look through my wardrobe, all of which is usually spread out on the floor or the chair, to find something nice to wear. I was going to conduct my first Info Session for prospective students as part of the Dean's Student Admissions Committee. wow. Isn't that something? It does feel like I've come a long way from the time i started this process.

I almost felt like a responsible person :-) :-) :-)

I also think it went really well. It was a small group today, and my friend K and I got interesting questions. We enjoyed answering them and it did seem like they had their concerns addressed. We also covered a lot of ground and spoke to what we each thought was interesting to us about the program and our experience thus far. We are doing one more together in a few weeks, which I'm really looking forward to.

A gentle note to prospectives: Please stop by and say something nice to your student hosts on your way out of these sessions, at whichever school you visit. It can make them feel really really good :-)

On my way out I was talking with one of the prospectives who was telling me about a friend who works at a company i am really interested in, when I hear a voice behind me tell him, in jest, - don't believe anything he says :) It was Rose Martinelli. I mis-spoke when I said earlier that it was the first time I'd met her. The first time really was two years ago when I went to the 10 School MBA forum in Boston. On that occasion I wrote:

Wharton was a little disappointing. The answers to my questions were of the 'of course we do so-and-so or you can do this-and-that, we are wharton' type. Wouldn't say the AD was cocky, maybe she had a long day ... but they are indeed wharton and people are going to apply irrespective :)

Well, I did. Twice, at that. I just think it is brilliantly ironic that a guy she rejected twice from the school she was running admissions for, is trying to convince people to apply to the school she's now running the admissions for.

Life is funnily good.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Spinning out of control. Literally.

I could have died and gone to heaven 30 minutes ago. Finished a really long day after midnight with my study group preparing for a mid-term tomorrow AM and was driving back home when I had an accident. It's been raining all day and the roads are slick and I was taking a corner on Lake Shore Drive (I was driving within speed limits) when I see this car in the next lane speed by real fast and real close. I braked to slow down when I guess my tyres locked up and next thing I know I lost control and am spinning (hydroplaning?). There was really nothing I could do but hold on to the wheel and hope for the best. I came to halt - facing incoming traffic - when my car hit the railings along the side of the road. Lucky for me, there wasn't any traffic in the slow lane. It could have been pretty nasty if there were because it was a curve and anyone incoming would have missed seeing me until it was too late. It was a good thing I was going slow because it wasn't a bad hit to the railing at all, just a slow thud. Tried to drive, but the car wouldn't move. Tried starting again, and this time it did, and I did a U on the highway and pulled into the next exit. I was pretty amazed to see that there wasn't any big-time visible damage to the vehicle. Hooray for plastic panels !! And no out-of-place noises or anything either. Drove back home without any further incident. Phew.

OK, I think I need to get some sleep to sleep this off. Have to be in a decent mental shape for my mid-term tomorrow.

Monday, October 24, 2005

The Resume's done. Life can now Resume.

Thursday morning at 9 was the deadline to get our resumes into the Resume Book that goes out to I don't know who but it does. Needless to say, I didn't make the deadline. Well, I uploaded mine about 9:30-ish and I suspect the StoryOfMyLife means this deadline's going to be a no-compromises one.

I'm so out of this whole resume thing man. We had a review as part of career services a few weeks ago and I made some initial changes based on feedback. That was it. Until like wednesday afternoon. There was a table setup by career services and I was there and, no surprises here :), they stopped seeing people right after me. Yup, last in line.

At least, I got some feedback.

And, I still don't get it. Does every resume at the school have to be fine-chiselled so that it ends up sounding like, i don't know, every other resume at the school? Let me just clarify that I don't mean to discount any of the awesome work that second years and the career services people have put in to help us first years. It has actually been remarkable. I saw some folks sit for hours in the Winter Garden reviewing resume after resume with my classmates. I don't know if I could do it. I guess I could, except nobody would want me to review their resume methinks :)

Anyways, back to my nutjob rant. There are folks who have been working for days, nay weeks, on this piece of paper. I understand it is an important piece of paper, but nobody ever got a job because of their resume. They did get interviews because of, but still. I was talking with someone who told me that they got a review from 5 people - and got 5 very different sets of to-do's. I just got one review done late wednesday evening. Then again, I'm not your average hard-charging career-oriented MBA-type guy.

And now, the one person who didn't need to know that knows it too. That is the one thing I wish I could change about my time here thus far. So, I walk into Dean Kole's Coffee Hour and start talking to a woman who was standing by the marshmallows. She asked me how my day was going, and i said that I had just come back from tutoring at the Ray School and that I had to get to my resume which was due next morning. 'so, you've been working hard on it', she asks. 'no, i'm just about getting started'. 'oh, are you really?'. That look was rough, barely concealing a certain amount of WTF. At that time, I didn't know why she had responded thus. A few minutes later, a classmate comes by and said woman introduces herself as the head of Career Services. Damn. I'm sorry, Julie. You and your team've been doing a great job this past month and didn't deserve to hear that.

OK, got to stop digressing so much. The one thing I got universal feedback on was to change my 'Additional' section. I had 3 lines there where I talked about my love of travel - how I had once bushwhacked through a jungle searching for a waterfall, and how - i quote, i once found myself lost without a map in the oh-so-narrow streets of Old Delhi. i end quote. I first showed it to Wakechick and she liked it. Then, I met the career advisor and later a 2y and I was told to prune it, and change the language because it wasn't very business-like. I was caught up in the whole resume-stress-out-vibe I guess and succumbed to the advice, and business-liked that section.

Friday morning, I went to meet our client for my consulting project. I had sent him a version of my previous resume a couple of weeks back, and this was our first meeting. I walk into his office, introduce myself, and he goes:

So, you're the traveller?

Not: So, you're the guy who increased production by 12% and decreased retention by 24% and squeezed 34% more ball bearings into a bigger ball bearing.

Not: So, you're the guy who managed $1billion in assets for a company with $1gazillion in assets.

Not: So, you led a team of 55 to successfully deliver a critical component key to the execution of the corporate strategy that you had spearheaded the strategizing, marketing, accouting, and financing of.

So, you're the traveller.

Say what you want, but I came back and re-Yogi-ed by resume. Of what use is that piece of paper if every word that is supposed to be 'me' has to be edited to fit some acceptable template. Will it not get me an interview? It will probably not get me an interview with someone who wants to only read a straight-jacket resume. And, that's totally fine. I wouldn't want to work with someone like that anyways.

I would like to believe that it wouldn't be that extreme. I definitely think there are recruiters who aren't drones and wouldn't ding someone just because their resume said ooh-la-la. I was talking over the weekend about the very same thing with another officer of the school and she told me a great story. There was this student who sometime ago had on his resume that he sold rubber chickens at a baseball game. She read his resume and was so intrigued that she had to meet him. Apparently, others were too. He ended up at BigName consulting firm, and she with a rubber chicken in her office.

I think resumes today, especially at business schools, are crying out for some creativity. I suspect that Career Services departments have so mastered the science of guiding write the perfect resume for an intended career that they have created a new monster. How is one to distinguish oneself in this sea of sameness? It can't be by saying that they did x% more of y than someone else. It can only be by being what brought them to the school in the first place - themselves.

Of course, all this means naught if the resume never makes it to a resume book :-)

Friday, October 21, 2005

How valuable is this blogging thing?

Followed this link from Tom Peters to an interesting calculation of blog worth based on the link-to-dollar value computed of the AOL-Weblogs deal.

My blog is worth $37,824.18.
How much is your blog worth?

How's that for some coolness. If I can get it, my blog can pay for one year of my MBA tuition fees !! Maybe, just maybe, there's some justice in this world :-)

Sunday, October 16, 2005

It feels good to feel good.

Something's Changed.

And I hope for the irrevocable Better.

I don't exactly know what happened. Or how. But, I'm feeling good. So good, that I'm telling people that I'm feeling good. Yeah, That good.

Why so? If you're 12 hours from a mid-term that you haven't even started to study for, and feel the urge for a rambling long post about mostly nothing, read ahead :)

This whole MBA thing can, at first blush, be Incredibly overwhelming. I think I was caught up in it to the point of completing losing myself. This past week was the worst. For four days in a row, I didn't go to bed. I did get some sleep, but every single night it was falling asleep at my computer in the midst of doing something related to school. The work keeps piling up, and falling behind is a nightmare. I'd resorted to rereading Suzy's blog and asking myself why I wasn't having that much fun at school.

Then, Wednesday happened.

I was long overdue sending the film script to my cohort, and I felt painfully guilty that I might be letting them down. Especially those who were part of the effort. Woke up all groggy, decided to skip a presentation, and walked to school not really wanting to face the day. Then, I ran into a dazzling smile, we got lunch together, and my friend who's been helping with the script arrived. Far from being critical, he understood what was going on with the workload. We talked some, and made a plan of action. Walked over to meet Byron to work on a case, and walked away feeling that we were going to get this one done good.

It was time to go to an elementary school to tutor a 2nd grade kid with his homework after school. I think rewarding is the wrong word for my first time doing the after-school thing, but I do hope to be able to use it at the end of a year working with him. It was definitely relaxing. Got back to school, skipped yet another presentation - this time by a consultant from Bain - and headed to Dean Kole's coffee hour. Was hot-chocolate-with-marshmallows chilling with a fellow blogger, when I got an email from a prospective student who reads my blog and had visited campus and read my blog and it brought a big smile to my face.

Next up - the Late Night Gun Run.

One of the props for our cohort movie is a gun, and I set out to procure one. I've got to say, it's really hard to find a fake gun - even in the south side of Chicago! I was wishing many times that I was packing a real one as I drove, totally lost, through some dark and seemingly dangerous 'hoods. Two hours later, I found myself in the toys section of a Wal-Mart holding a machine-gun-looking Star Wars artefact. That's the best they could do. On a whim, i walked by the real guns section and there it was - a Piece I could use. It was some sort of pellet gun, but it looked workeable. Got it, and drove back with that dont-mess-with me satisfaction on my face.

Thursday got better. Class was great, followed by a really great lunch with one of my squadmates, then another class, a movie shoot (with said gun), hanging out at the Pub, an 8PM study group meeting, finding parking right outside a coffee place in Lincoln Park, hanging out at TNDC with a bunch of GSB people, and getting plugged into the juicy school hook-ups grapevine on the drive back. Sleep. Finally.

Friday was an absolute blast. 10AM meeting with my consulting group. Oh, i've got to write about this, deserves its own post. Short version is that I am doing a consulting project for a non-profit as part of one of the clubs with 5 other first years. Not sure how I'm managing to fit this in my schedule, but this is really great stuff. Meeting ended at 12. Then onto next study group at 12:30 to do my econ homework. I love these people. We are in our LEAD squad together too, and they are positively one of the best groups I have ever worked with in my life. This thing went on for about three hours, and it was time to LPF. I didn't drink, going that I was to drive.

There are a few people here at the GSB who I think are really awesome, and hanging out with two of them(ha, I should call them M&M, both their names start with M)later that evening did wonders to my happiness quotient. M(2) and I went to check out Second Fridays. There is a part of town called the Chicago Arts District filled with artist live-work lofts and they had around 12 gallery openings that night. Gratis wine in hand, we strolled around checking out some art, got invited to the opening day play at a brand-new alternative theater which was very interesting, did the art thing some more, and drove by Wakechick's place (which, btw, is a very cool neighborhood) to grab dinner in a backyard cabana at a winebar. Their steak tartare can be an almost perfect accompaniment to a heated debate. Good times.

Started Saturday on 3 hours sleep at 6:30 AM. Put on a suit for the first time since my last MBA interview to make an 8:30 presentation for the beforementioned nonprofit consulting project. It went really well, and until past noon. Zipped back to campus, and in all my formal finery, sat down for two hours to prepare for a study group meeting that ended oh around 8. Back home, and then to a piano bar downtown with a friend from the I-house, then to McDonald's for a greasy dinner, and then a 20-minute wait for the valet to bring me my car, and then to getting utterly and completely lost. I *gasp* stopped to ask for directions, and arrived, after spending over 30 minutes trying to find the place, at the GSB party. Was surrounded by familiar faces and yet felt very alone, so walked out in like 15. I was wondering when I'd get to that point with all the 'networking' going on.

So, you ask, what's the point of this blow-by-blow of the last few days of my life?
Well, it seems like I've been doing a lot-actually more than I've packed into a usual day, but I feel no stress at all anymore. I don't understand it. I still have the same amount of work, I haven't started working on my resume that's due in 3 days, my script needs finishing and shoots scheduling, and I have a homework and quiz in what's now 11 hours.

But it's almost like I'm back on a train with a backpack winging each day as it comes. Gotta say, it's a wonderful feeling. I'm beginning to see this experience as one that's still waiting to be discovered. And that I won't find it if I follow the motions of the appointments that already fill my calendar for the next month. It's the gun runs, the rooftop sake sipping, the going to concerts for the food, that I'm going to remember years from now, not the studying or schmoozing or midterm questions.

I may be stupid for thinking thus, but I'm feeling good.

This morning, I got a gift - a very nice laptop sleeve for my PowerBook! It's just the nicest thing that anyone's done for me in a long time.

Can this feeling good thing get any better?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

on the way to my dorm room ...

I ran into what must be the absolutely coolest party ever ! at least I've never seen anything so freaking ingenious.

so I get a call from a fellow resident at the International House asking me to meet him by the elevator as soon as I get to the dorms. OK, it was nearing midnight anyways and the mba building here closes at that time, so I head out for home. get to the elevator and there's nobody. look around in the lobby, and nada. so I press the UP button and wait for the elevator.

the doors open and guess what - the party's in the elevator !! jeehzus h. there were these two guys who had converted the elevator cab into a pirate-themed box. they had costumes complete with wigs, there were drapes pinned to the walls, a carpet, colored lighting, and they had set up a table with drinks ! there was even a bowl of sangria with a lobster in it ! and the elevator was packed with people going up and down just chilling :-) it was so much fun to see none of the residents be pissed of that their ride to their rooms was a little different tonight. i was looking at pictures someone took, and earlier this evening one of the residents was playing violin in this mobile party unit ! last i checked, having chugged down a huge bottle of sake, they had graduated to ice-cream with champage :)

rock on, boys. y'all are awesome.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Say my Name, Say my Name ...

[background score courtesy of Destiny's Child]

I ran into the Hyde Park Center(oh, what a romantically non-corporate name !) soaked wet in the rain some evenings ago to attend Dean Kole's Coffee Hour. I'm standing in the middle of the winter garden, oops Rothman Winter Garden, not knowing where to really go. I walk up to a table of students and ask one of them if they knew where the Peter W. May Student Lounge was. He didn't, and asked his friend. They thought it was the lounge across from us, but turns out it was the Andrew M. and Sharon Sadow Alper Student Study. Ah, Study. My bad. I'm looking for Lounge. Right. One of them then said Oh it's the Student Lounge. huh? Turns out there's only one student lounge in the building, and there it was right behind me.

Is it just me, or is this whole trend towards selling naming rights to everything and anything at business schools a bit much? Now, I'm not complaining, just observing. I FULLY recognize and appreciate that we would not have this fantabulous facility without these donations from sponsors, corporate or otherwise. They help offset the increasing costs of providing world-class facilities to the student body and faculty. (unrelated note: do we really need these facilities? i'm a happy-camping-in-the-woods kinda guy, so ... :)

Last week, I read an interview with the Dean where she was asked about a rumor that the name of the school itself was for sale. She said: "If I could take the question and twist it a little bit, if you contrast the size of Chicago GSB's endowment with the endowments of our peer schools, we have one of the smallest endowments. And so, if someone wanted to come in and double our endowment, with a name, I think that for the institution as a whole we would need to entertain that."

Her answer makes perfect sense, from a businesswoman's point of view. However, at some level, I have a philosophical disagreement with the entire concept. Not that it matters a dime to anybody who matters. There used to be a time when streets, parks, public buildings etc were named, when they were, for people who had spent a lifetime doing something deserving of that recognition. I've always considered it one of the ways for us a society to recognize the deserving among us. It is this seeming loss of intent that I bemoan.

When somebody plunks down an insane amount of money to get the naming rights to a school, what are they really paying for? I'm in b-school now, so I'm allowed to say the b-word: Brand ! I can see how it could be cool to have the Chicago Yogi Graduate School of Business. (to make it hipper and increase applicant numbers, I might just shorten it to Yo GSB :) When you put up the money, you've got to get something for it, ya. In this case, it would be an association with (i'd maybe go with usurping of) what is really the work and achievements of generations of faculty and scholars who have come before me. I just think it's wrong for a single person to be able to lay claim to that. Can you imagine - Prof. Eugene Fama wins the Nobel Prize next year and they introduce him as the Distinguished Professor of Economics at the Yogi School of Business. A rose by any name ... ? Me no like this whole name business.

I was talking about this with a classmate during lunch last week, and this is what I'd do - IFF I someday had the money to burn, I would buy up the naming rights for the GSB. I most definitely would. And then I'd elect to retain the name of the school as the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business for posterity. I've never thought about it this way, but it is one of the last 'pure' names left of any b-school. I believe there is greater value in keeping it that way.

Then again, I don't call the shots, the Deans do (that is, until I get my fabulous education in this fabulous building and make boatloads of money). That makes me wonder, isn't the real question to ask: why is it that we send so many students to Wall Street, have hundreds of alums as CEO's and yet have the smallest endowment among our peer schools? But, I digress.

Coffee at 11

That would be 11 as in AM & PM. No can do on my own anymore.

I'm so missing Blogging. It's kinda like that friend who you'd like to be more than a friend with, but try as you might, can't just find the time to make it happen. Damn.

I'm so not missing my job. And I'd just hope certain people would stop behaving like they were still at one. This is school people, chill some.

I'm so missing Happy Valley. I just wish I was camped out at Paternoville last week, rain and all, and rocking the Beav saturday night. You know what they say - God must be a Penn State fan, why else did he make the sky Blue and White !

I'm so not missing my car anymore. It got here this weekend from Boston, safe and sound.

I'm so missing the couch in my office. I could use them late afternoon power-naps I used to take at work. Heck, right now I'd settle for a late-night nap.

I'm so not missing baseball. Season ended with the Sox. It's a pity.

I'm so missing a paycheck. And no, loan refunds checks don't count.

I'm so not missing parking tickets. Wait. OK, at least until I get my first one in Chicago.

I'm so missing good food. Actually, make that food. I don't know how I'm surviving - all i've had to eat today was a slice of pizza, a few edamame, 3 mozarella sticks and a small salad. Oh, and coffee.

I'm so not missing writing essays. A friend of mine was at the GSB today as a prospective student, and he's trying to finish his Wharton esssays for thursday, and I was reminded of my first time ever in Chicago - to visit Kellogg on the day of the LBS deadline. Boy, I sure am glad those days are 'those' days now.

I'm so missing putting together a coherent post.

Take that back.

I'm so not missing putting together a coherent post. I suspect this blog will go back to its original motivations - to be a more personal journal, with all its associated imperfections, of my trials and tribulations as I navigate the hell-in-the-guise-of-heaven that's the MBA. If that has to mean titling a post with coffee when it has nothing to do with coffee, that's what this will mean.

I'm so missing not giving a fuck about things.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

I should be studying, or partying, or sleeping ...

but here i am sitting under the stars in a courtyard at 2:35 AM on one of the last warm nights of the year writing a script for a short film !

what gives?

I recently realized that it's been a while since I laughed. I mean, really really really laughed. Like the kind where you are loud, holding your belly, slapping your hands on the floor, with not a care for anyone around you. Well, not any more. The moxie's back, baby.

It happened last thursday [and it's saying something about the workload here that it takes Me until now to post - kinda like smoking that post-coital cigarette at breakfast :)] at a pub. I am the film chair for my cohort and what that means in non-GSB-speak is that I need to rally the troops to make a 6-minute movie and a 30-second commercial. So, I send out surveys, emails etc soliciting support, and I ask anyone interested in creative brainstorming, the Los Creativos as we'll call them henceforth, to stop by for a drink after class.

I actually got responses!, and there we were, the motley few. And boy, did we get creative ! We were shown the previous year's movies during our LOE trips earlier this month, and we didn't want to do what people usually did - make a spoof of a movie or a TV show. The one chance we get with this movie, we want to do our own thing. We started with a very original idea (kinda my idea *wink* *wink*). The Los Creativos vetted it, broke it down, added to it, and we now have a better very original idea. At least we think so.

Then, we started to talk about the situations we can put in there and the jokes and it was like wow. Picture these MBA types in a basement pub suddenly acting out the parts, walking, hand-waving, laughing. It was a trip. I took some back-of-the-book notes and filed the rest of the things in my head. Bounced the idea off my cohort peeps at parties thursday night and friday and got a good response. Sat down yesterday at lunch with a fellow Creativo and in like an hour we had the script written down. No kisses in our story, though, only KISS - Keep It Simple, Stupid. The outline of the script fits on one handwritten page.

Had a concept review session today with some of last year's stud-muffin film chairs and I got to say it was a great response. They loved our 2-minute spiel ! It was pretty cool to hear, made me really glad that I ran for film chair. I don't know, I think it's the satisfaction of seeing the work we're putting in amount to something interesting. I had a chance to talk with some more cohort-mates about the movie this evening and they are excited too, which is doubly awesomely awesome.

Next step, which is what I'm engaged in right now, is to actually break it down scene-by-scene and write a real 'script'. This stuff's taking time. I actually feel like a movie director though :-) I'm seeing what I want the movie to look like, and putting down stuff like: Against a white background with thick black lines ...

The not-so-fun-but-well-maybe-i-dunno part of this role is that it's a management exercise of incredible proportions. The first week or so, there weren't many signs of visible enthusiasm towards the movie. It recognize it was my fault at some levels because I didn't jump on the thing right away and get cracking and rounding up people to do different things- I'm not used to working like that. It was also because we got hit with classes and the time demands on everyone are just too much. There was this one day when I was walking home thinking if I had gotten into something way over my head. But, I thought back to how/why I had been successful in similar situations in the past, and I realized that people will buy in and come along for two reasons - they need to feel that they are part of something good, and I'd need to establish some credibility for my role as the one directing the effort. I guess we are farther along on the former than the latter, but I'm working on it.

I have to say I can't wait for the school to see our movie. That would be something wow.

OK, I'm outta here folks. Tomorrow at 9 AM, my life may just be about to change. I signed up for Procrastination Workgroup run by University Health Services :-) Now, if only I can get to that meeting on time.


PS: about that post-coital cigarette thing - i recently read it someplace and had to use it :-)

Monday, October 03, 2005

Power Nap in the Library !

It's 2:28 AM and my Monday has already begun with a whimper. Just dozed off for what I thought was a few minutes but in fact was almost a half-hour in a sofa at the library.

I find myself here starting to work on a homework that is due tuesday morning, but needs to be ready for review with my study group at 9 PM tonight. That meeting will be right after a 6-9PM class which would have followed a 1:30-4:30 class which would have been preceded by a 12PM-1PM study group meeting. The latter class I am hopelessly behind on already, but next week is a 'catch-up' class and that's what I hope to do by then. All said, when I finally find myself a bed monday night I would have gone close to 40 hours straight without sleep. Not counting the aforementioned power nap of a few minutes ago.

It's not all work though. If it were, I'd be dead by now. Woke up this morning at 8 AM to a call from a credit card company, showered, and headed out to prepare for a study group meeting for a case for tomorrow's Commercializing Innovation class. The meeting lasted over 2.5 hours but it was very productive and we have what I think is a pretty solid report to hand in for class tomorrow and good talking points for the class discussion.

Stopped by to get some coffee on the way back to the I-House and got a call from my ex-roommate in Boston. Ended up talking for almost a half-hour and it was good. Also made me realize that I've reached that point in this experience where I am starting to miss Beantown. We talked about - we had to, really - baseball and I was getting an update on the final game of the season. Well, for a few days at least, Boston's coming to Chicago. The match-up of the Sox-es in the AL playoffs should be interesting.

Then I spent 3 hours of travel time to-and-from a dinner that lasted an hour-and-a-half ! Columbia College in downtown Chicago has an M.A. class where the students go out with their professor in groups to various ethnic restaurants to learn more about the food/culture/arts of the place and review them ! And, me being me, I just have to know someone in said class :) I had managed to finagle an invite to tonight's dinner as the 'date' of a friend, and it was a much-needed break. We went to a restaurant called Ethiopean Diamond and there were two highlights of the evening - one being the owner of the restaurant stopping by the table to talk about the history and settings of the art on the walls, said to have been painted by one of Ethiopia's greatest living artists. The second was being given, on arrival, a printed special menu for the meal personalized with my name on it ! how cool is that.

Long journey back via train and bus to the I-house around 11-ish and I walked over to the dining hall to see what was going on there. The dining hall at the I-house is a great place to meet other residents and also has a (i think) 60" projection TV. There was one guy watching the World Series of Poker and I started talking with him about it, and pretty soon the conversation had covered MIT's blackjack team, places to play chess in Hyde Park, and in Harvard Square, and ended with thoughts on kick-ing off a regular Poker Night. On my way out, I ran into 3 students of International Relations. There was this Irish lad whose mastery of trivia is fantabulous. Over games of foosball, I spent the next hour trying to answer his trivia questions ranging from capitals of the world(totally stumped at moldova) to which state other than W.Va had the name of another state in its name. This is one of the reasons why I decided to stay at the I-house - you get to meet so many interesting people with varied interests.

But, now, the fun is done and it's study time. I'm the only one in the library we have at the I-house and though there is no coffee around, the vending machines have been thoughtfully been stocked with Starbucks Double Shots and Amp energy drinks, and I have a bunch of dollar bills to destock the supplies.

Off I go now. Microeconomics beckons. Y'all have a nice Monday.