Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I feel like vegetables tonight

This evening, nearly 30 people were in my home, eating vegetables.

My roommate participates in the famous Veggie Dinners I'd heard about but didn't really understand until this evening. Participants sign up and get to enjoy weekly home-cooked vegetarian dinners, in exchange for preparing a dinner for everybody else once during the semester. I don't participate but got to enjoy it this evening because, you know, I live here and all that.

Earlier today I had another meal adventure, or the start of one at least. My friend Jeremy and I decided we'd have lunch at the Hall of Graduate Studies, which I'd heard has a good lunch. But it seems to be best for people on a meal plan -- it was a pretty mediocre-looking buffet for $10. Being business students, we determined this was not a good value and walked nearby to have pasta. The Hall of Graduate Studies itself, though, was really impressive. It was like being in an old European castle.

The food theme continues tomorrow as I attempt to go to another one of New Haven's famous pizza places, Sally's, with the friends with whom I experienced Pepe's for the first time, a few weeks back. Pepe's and Sally's are the most legendary pizza places around, and we want to compare them. Despite all these good eats, I am losing weight, thanks to my inputs at the local gymnasium. Calories in, calories out.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

People who bought this also bought ...

On Monday, I attended a virtual corporate presentation from, whose full-time job opportunities include rotational LDP (leadership development program) programs in functions such as operations, product management, general management, finance and, my preference, human resources. By "virtual," I mean the presenters were in a conference room in Seattle; we could see/hear them on a big screen, and they could see/hear us. It was very high-tech, but not without its drawbacks; I think in-person is the way to go, but we're a long way from Seattle.

Before the presentation, I played hangman with my friend Aminah, and I prefer the picture above to the backs of heads I captured during the presentation.

The job search is definitely upon us, and I think it would be worth my time to go into a dark room and spend some real time thinking about what exactly I want to do for this next step and beyond. Sure, I have some ideas; it's not as if I've given this no thought. But when a busy life keeps rolling along, it can be possible to sort of lose one's way. I want to make sure I'm passionate about the opportunities I'm pursuing, and not just shipping off cover letters half-heartedly. Because, really, if that were the case, I'd never get anywhere anyway.

My time at the gymnasium this morning was challenging because I haven't been able to shake a mild cold I caught about a week ago. If I slept more, maybe it would go away. Not sure when something crazy like that might happen ...

Monday, September 27, 2010

BCG whiz

This morning I submitted my first application for full-time most-MBA employment, to the Boston Consulting Group. When you arrive at business school, people tell you that you will at some point consider consulting. I didn't believe that, but a series of events and realizations have led me to think that it could be a great opportunity and very educational for me -- kind of like boot camp. I may have the chops, or I may not. That's for the consultancies to decide.

For those who don't know, consulting is a job where businesses hire your firm to solve problems they either can't figure out or don't have the time or resources to figure out. Then you and your colleagues go to the business and try to solve their problem. At least this is how it's been presented to me.

Applying to be a consultant invovles a lot of work because the interview process notoriously entails a "case," or multiple cases. This is where the interviewers will give you a problem, usually rooted in a lot of math and analysis, and ask you to think through it, using pencil and paper and talking out loud. The idea is to get a notion of how the candidate processes problem-solving, and whether that process jibes with the firm's approach. Naturally they want logic, brilliance and creativity, and they want to see how professional you are and how well you work under pressure. Students often practice casing so that they can nail down a few frameworks and go into the interview prepared to work quickly. I've been casing with my friend Kate for the past two Sundays. She's in my boat -- coming a little late to the party. One of my friends who worked at BCG over the summer says she did 100 practice cases in advance of her interview. Not sure I'll have the time to go quite that far, but I'm trying to be prepared.

So, application submitted, and we'll see. Consulting applications are, as you can tell, among the earliest in the recruiting process, so looking into these opportunities is no way mutually exclusive to seeking others. My list of ideas and potential employers is ever-growing.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cultural revolution

On Friday night, I attended a performance by the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale, interpreting Berlioz's Symphony Fantastique. It's a dramatic, five-movement work inspired by a story about an artist falling in love, feeling betrayed, poisoning himself and sinking into ghastly delusions. 

On Saturday night, I attended a Yale Rep Theatre performance of The Case of the Spectator, a contemporary one-woman show, infused with multimedia, about voyeurism and violence against women. The main character re-enacts plots from pulp thriller novels using, among other things, dolls.

I consider these exposures to culture part of my education, and I lean on this justification to make me feel better about the beeping garbage truck of work I'm facing today. God, how it beeps.  

Friday, September 24, 2010

I found God today

I didn't really find God today, but I did visit Yale's divinity school for the first time. It's called the Yale Divinity School. I was there to meet with a professor for a class. I actually do need to be that vague at this point, I'm afraid.

Naturally I've spent most of my time at Yale at the School of Management, whose facilities aren't great, especially for our purposes. There isn't very much meeting or common space, the equipment is pretty old, professors still use chalkboards and overhead projectors. I don't usually mind, although when I do have an occasion to visit a different grad school, I'm always jealous. The law school, the forestry school and the divinity school all make SOM look a bit embarrassing. But that won't be the case for too many more years, because SOM is building a new campus.

The divinity school was so nice -- not just because of the well-manicured, peaceful quad, which reminded me a bit of UNC, but also the indoor facilities. I took a stroll around. They have a beautiful common room, a cafeteria, and of course a chapel. Like I said, I was jealous, although I realize that's a deadly sin. (Somehow I'm still alive! I'll be.)

This week, I had my first small-group session with my Theory of Media professor, whom I looove. (Yes, my professor has his own Wikipedia page. As far as I'm concerned, that's the big leagues.) This is my one non-SOM class, and I find it endlessly interesting. Even more than Corporate Finance!

We had great attendance at our first Human Capital Club event, an industry primer that explains the function and the career opportunities available to MBAs in that function. (My friend Erika and I are starting a Human Capital Club this year.) Looks like several first-year students are intrigued, which is promising for the continued livelihood of our club.

One thing I'm finding this year is that I'm in a stage between being a wise sage and a naive student. To the former, prospective students contact me regularly to learn more about the school, and as a second-year in general (especially as a club leader) I am always being sought for priceless advice ... or perhaps I misconstrue these interactions and am dispensing advice nobody wants. On the flipside, I'm a student asking alumni and prospective employers for their time and advice. So I keep flip-flopping between being on each side of this dynamic.

This sentiment is expressed poignantly in this piece of music:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Kaput went the Dell

The User Profile Service service failed the logon.I was loafing on the couch printing a Corporate Finance case, wondering whether I should make some coffee, when the printer stopped making its rhythmic zip-zap noise that lets me know it's working. It seemed as though the wireless connection to the printer (and everything else) had died. So I restarted, only to discover Windows looked totally wonky, like an early prototype of Windows 97, and some of my programs were gone. So I restarted. Now, when I try to log in, I get the message above, which I assume is code for "Fuck you."

"User profile cannot be loaded," you say? I beg to differ. It seems to me the user profile is probably in my computer, and that my computer's primary functions should certainly include loading things, including user profiles. Not a tall order. Also, I don't appreciate my only response option being "OK." No, it's not OK. There should be a button that says "Catastrophe."

So I came to campus in the hopes the IT would be open, but no. I'm now in the computer lab, where I just finished re-doing a problem set that's due at 8:30 a.m. (That's the thing I was going to print out right after the Corporate Finance case. Whoopsy.) I put in a help ticket and will be back here bright and early to drop off my laptop. If you're religious, pray that my files have not been lost. If you're not, come up with a practical, science-based solution.

Keen climate observation

jpmatsom We're having some pretty nice weather in New Haven. Pretty. Nice. Weather.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Quitters sometimes win

A.J. and John (not pictured) workLast night, I had a nightmare -- a screaming, crying, ghastly nightmare -- that I'd quit school and was dealing with the aftermath, including massive debt, a bleak future, homelessness, the loss of my disappointed New Haven friends, and deep regret. When I awoke, I was very relieved to still be in school. In real life, of course, I'd never dream of quitting school! Well, except that I did last night. But I'd never do it. Sure, sometimes obligations and pressures are coming at me like a fire hydrant in the gut. (As I write this, I'm at school; it's nearly midnight on Sunday. I've been working since shortly after I awoke at 6 a.m.) But even a fire hydrant in the gut has its value ... like forcing you to flex your abdominal muscles. Metaphors are, like, not really my thing.

I may have planted the seeds of this quitting dream by stepping down from two commitments recently. One was the The Dean's Diversity Task Force. Last year, I stepped onto it to fill a slot for first-year members of Q+, our LGBT club at the business school (of which I am now a co-leader). I was supposed to stay on and assume the second-year slot this year, but I decided to hand it off to someone else in Q+. I did this partly because I felt like I was hogging the gay hats. But also I knew I wasn't going to have time to contribute to the task force effectively with all my other activities. Besides, tasks and force are, like, not really my thing.

The other thing I dropped was being a TA this spring for the first-years' HR class ("Employee"), but I quit that against my will, and with immense sadness. It turns out I cannot TA it because doing so would put me over the maximum number of hours a full-time student can do paid work for the university. It sucks, but these rules probably exist to protect the mental wellbeing of people like me who are bad at calculating the number of hours in a day. And as much as I love being a TA this quarter, it is serious work. And it's where having been an editor is both a blessing and curse, as I think I have some value to contribute, but I end up spending 20 minutes on each paper. With nearly 30 papers to grade, that's 10 hours, easy.

When I was in high school, my friend Jasmine -- now an anchor and reporter for the CBS station in St. Louis -- did an oratory for forensics. The title was "It's OK to quit." When I'm exhausted, I sometimes hear her saying those words in my mind. I think it's especially OK to quit when quitting gives someone else an opportunity to join. That's the case with the task force. It's definitely not the case for school. My slot is mine to use, or mine to squander.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Lady Gaygay

Lady Gaga Tonight I saw Lady Gaga in concert. It was spectacular, in the sense that it was a spectacle. She's a high-energy entertainer and a talented singer.

I think my recent foray into the academics of business atop years of reviewing concerts as part of my newspaper career make me semi-cynical about concerts like this. I can see the factory working behind each calculated thing she says, does, sings and wears. Example: She's unabashedly embracing gay-icon status. Her upcoming album will be called "Born This Way"; she recently Tweeted urging the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell; she explicitly made gay references throughout her concert, including a short speech about DADT and a charity she supports to help homeless gays, there was guy-on-guy action on stage ... She even said, "As you all know, little monsters, I am a big supporter of gay rights," so it's not like I'm reading minds here. I'm gay and think this is all swell on one hand, but really I don't process it as, "Oh, this lady supports gays, how nice," I process it as, "Oh, this lady's handlers are implementing a carefully crafted marketing strategy to target an underserved segment, how nice." Anyway, great concert. Wonderful costumes, set design, theatrics and so on.

CaloriesToday began as any other Thursday at the gym, where I realized how much I've internalized my education when I began wondering how I could best use the additional capacity acquired through the ridding of 550 pesky calories. Would I gain the most utility from enjoying the somewhat nebulous sense of accomplishment that I have improved my health, or that I lost perhaps a fraction of a pound? Or would I prefer to use this as permission to guiltlessly shovel 550 calories of food (or, perhaps better yet, booze) into my fat face? Then again, do I ever really feel guilty about what I eat or drink? I'm not even sure what might amount to 550 calories. A piece of chocolate banana cake? A serving of mac & cheese? What am I, a nutritionist all of a sudden?

The show was the end of a long day and the start of a busy weekend. If I can muster the strength, I am supposed to attend an all-day boot camp Friday for second-year students considering consulting. I have a great deal of work to do, however, so we'll see how I feel in the morning.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I'm busy, but read on anyway

A car that appears to be in serious trouble I've been incredibly busy in the past 48 hours or so, with barely 10 consecutive minutes of unstructured time. I have an instinct, therefore, to write a post that outlines every activity that made me so busy ... all the classes, meetings and obligations that bumped up against and overlapped one another in my Outlook calendar, and even the last-minute wrenches thrown into the works, like that my friend Matt's car got towed and I took him to retrieve it. (There, at the garage, I took the picture above. I'd love to know the story behind that clunker.)

I'm not going to do that, though, because when I've had a chance to re-read postings on this blog, my least favorite are always the "I'm so busy" posts, with laundry lists of this, that and the other thing. If I'm bored reading them, I can only imagine how bored someone else would be. Besides, no shit I'm busy. I'm in grad school -- I'm paying out my rear to be busy.

So I'm left wondering what to say about these past couple days, and I'll say this: I've been incredibly busy, but incredibly happy, because much of what I've been doing has been fulfilling and/or challenging. No complaints.

Please return when I will have some more interesting insights, likely to be derived from having attended Lady Gaga's concert tomorrow evening.

Monday, September 13, 2010

What the health

Today I went to the health center to refill a prescription, only to discover that there was no such place. There was a sign on the front door that instructed me to visit the new-and-improved health center, not too far away. I did, and here is a picture. Just to the right of the picture is the Grove Street Cemetery. I'm one of those people who is petrified to use the word ironic lest I be slaughtered by uptight wordsmiths, but I think it's at least a little amusing that the new health center overlooks the graveyard.

My tip-top physical health will soon be accompanied by a whiter, healthier smile, now that grad students have access to a dental program. Last year there was a hot campaign to make this happen, and now it has. Grad students also have access to a vision plan. Dental is $140/year, and vision is $50. I look forward to my visit with Dr. Whomever once the plan kicks in on Oct. 1.

Tonight, the first-year students are having their first exam, a midterm in the Probably & Statistics course. I loved and rocked that exam. And, speaking further of first-years, tomorrow night will be their first foray into the Leadership Development Program, or LDP. It's a two-hour evening session that meets eight times throughout the year, intended to give students a chance to reflect on their values, commitments and leadership styles. I am a second-year adviser, or SYA, which basically means being a TA for this class. Last year, our LDP group was also our international trip group, so we got to know each other quite well on two fronts. They've changed that this year, however, in response to concerns that a few of the trip groups, which are self-selected, were not diverse. Specifically, it seems one group was all men pursuing finance careers; I can't imagine trying to get those guys to sit in a circle and open up.

But first-years don't get to have all the fun! I had quite an enlightening day. We had a guest speaker in Venture Capital, Konstantine Drakonakis, who told us about his firm, LaunchCapital LLC. (Venture capital is money used to sponsor somewhat risky entrepreneurial endeavors, like new technologies.) He explained how they find deals, what they look for in entrepreneurs and so forth. Titanic is my favorite movie.Then I had Theory of Media, my film-studies class, where we discussed a new critical theory that emerged in the 1930s that challenged the idea that photography and film were "art," since they required machines to do the actual work and since these forms of media not only have no "original," but by nature they are conceived with the intention of having limitless copies. So they lack uniqueness and are thus in a different category from art. In my third and final class of the day, Corporate Finance, we discussed a case we read about Ameritrade, the discount brokerage firm, which in the case (back in the late '90s) was considering major technology and advertising investments. The question was whether the project was a good idea, given the risk and cost of capital and so forth. So our prep work involved some thinking about the nature of the projects and the company, as well as some mathematical mechanics and statistical trickery.

See, I do some learning, too.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Mory's you know

Art and Rasanah Mory's is a 160-year-old eating club for people affiliated with Yale that was recently renovated and just re-opened. I became aware of this for three particular reasons: (1) One of our professors last spring is the president of Mory's board of governors, (2) My friend Carolyn had a marketing internship there this summer, and (3) Mory's infiltrated a couple of the weekly happy hours at the Yale Club over the summer.

The three of us who went found the service to be five-star, and the food to be of fewer stars but probably good enough to return. The menu is pretty short and limited to a small number of rather basic varied items -- steak, tuna, lasagna, burger, etc. The fries were great. And the bill was also great, since we each had $10 coupons sent to us in the mail for being new student members. Given that we all had salads before our meals, $47.91 is a pretty good bill for three people.

After dinner -- and frozen yogurt, and coffee -- the time came for the first-of-the-year Big Gay Party at GPSCY. The name says it all, but it's a big gay party for grad students. And it was big, bangin', loud and sweaty. A fun time. I must pat myself on the back for easily staying awake until the end. My secret was a two-hour afternoon nap and a large iced coffee at about 9 p.m.; I will remember this trick and repeat when appropriate. These are the types of behaviors over-30 folks like me need to adopt to keep up with the youngins.

Today it's out for breakfast, then some homework, particularly corporate finance. I'd rather still be at the party.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Soggy washcloth of educational opportunity

My attitude toward my second year of business school, more or less.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Pepe le food

Us at Pepe's Generally, when I remark that I don't care for New Haven's supposedly delicious take on pizza, a follow up question is: "Well, have you been to Pepe's?" And when I say no, my original opinion is dismissed as ill-informed.

Please do not expectorate in the drinking fountain. Turned out I wasn't the only one who'd never been, so a group of us (finally) went to Wooster Square to try this stuff. And, fine, it was quite good. I get it. The white clam pizza in particular was pretty special. The food was worth negating my morning at the gym, where I noticed this amusing sign that, for some reason, strikes me as supercilious. (You may have to click for a larger view to read it.)

Yesterday I started to learn how I will get paid for a few of my involvements this year. Being a TA (teaching assistant), an SYA (second-year adviser) and admissions interviewer all pay, not very much individually but nothing to sneeze at when added together. After I fill out a few hundred forms, I will receive a payment on the 15th and 30th of each month. In all, I expect this to cover almost all my rent, so it's really a nice deal. (There's uncertainty there because I'm still not sure how many interviews I'll be doing a week.)

Speaking of the art of providing incentives, my friend Erika and I are going full-steam with our Human Capital Club. We've scheduled a primer, which is a session that outlines the industry and the opportunities for MBA's within it, and are sponsoring a panel for early next month, in addition to trying to get some big-name speakers on campus. The purpose of our club is to help people who might be interested in the human capital / HR / talent management function, which is becoming increasingly strategic but which is still generally the arena of just a handful of MBA programs (like Cornell and Michigan).

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Papers and pianos

Sept. 8 Yale News Two front-page stories caught my attention in Wednesday's Yale Daily News, a student publication I rarely see because it's neither distributed at SOM nor commonly read by my classmates. The first was this "one year later" story about Annie Le, the grad student who was killed last year and stuffed into the wall of a building on campus. Not much has really happened during the year, except tighter security (that some argue is irrelevant to what happened), and the fact that the accused is languishing in the court system.

The second story to which I was drawn was about how fundraising for the new SOM campus is not where it needs to be, and it may require borrowing substantially. The school originally wanted the whole $189 million price tag to be paid for by generous donors, but now there's talk of borrowing about a third of the cost. It's still scheduled to open in 2013, though.

A piano in a practice room in Hendrie Hall Meanwhile, my Corporate Finance class was canceled today, and since I discovered this while far from both SOM and my apartment, I was struck with a desire to explore somewhat. My wanderings eventually led me to the music building, where I was curious to see what the piano practice rooms were like. Turns out they're nothing to write home about ... sort of like indoor Porta-Potties for musicians. Still, it was nice to play a real piano for a while; I have a digital one at home.

And since getting home I've spent almost the entire evening grading the first set of papers for Careers, a first-year class for which I'm one of eight teaching assistants this year. As a former copy editor, my instinct naturally is to fix every little problem. And, actually, that's what I've ended up doing -- I simply can't help myself. But the papers have been a pleasure to read overall. Their first assignment of the quarter (they'll have four) is one we didn't do last year; they're asked to assess their current life stage, describe the obstacles/opportunities that they are facing with respect to that stage, and discuss how that stage affects their ability to achieve the kind of work/life balance they want. I love all that introspective "what am I doing with my life" stuff.

Naturally, we TA's are discouraged from letting paper-grading interfere with our real coursework, but actually I let that happen this evening just because it's what I preferred doing, and I am all about doing what I prefer in my second year of school (on the spectrum of what's productive, of course).

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sunnyside blew into New Haven

Sunflower in New HavenOn the sidewalks of New Haven today, I stopped to photograph the sunflowers because I was abnormally intoxicated after entertaining my friend Kale, a fellow I befriended over the summer in Sunnyside, Queens. He came into New Haven because he's on vacation and considering SOM. Having been a tour guide, I handily provided him with insights about SOM, including bringing him to my Competitive Strategy class. I feel it's a typical business school course -- case discussions and what-not. He's interested.

Kale with beerToday was not the best day to entertain, though, because my schedule was packed. I went to the gym, had class, gave a presentation about the launch of the Human Capital Club my friend Erika and I are starting, had an hour-long meeting with the dean about being an SYA (Second-Year Adviser), met up with Kale, took him to Comp Strat, then ... well, then strolled to the pub.

On the way there, I noticed that C.O. Jones, which had had a fire, is reopened. I stepped in and asked for the details. Turns out the fire that put it out of business all summer was started by some combination of a bad computer and the dust behind it, all located beneath several shelves of liquor. Flames broke out, and that was that. Now there's a new bar, new floors, and the place looks great.

Anyway, all in all a great day. I think being a second-year is going to be a blast.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Shop lift

Clinton's Crossing Today my friend, classmate, neighbor and international traveling companion Aminah escorted me to Clinton's Crossing, an outlet mall where I found tremendous deals on some pretty nice threads for the new year. A few months ago I donated most of my clothes -- something I do every few years when I get tired of everything in my closet -- and have since been living on few articles. But after a fruitful and beautiful afternoon at the likes of Polo Ralph Lauren, Kenneth Cole, Banana Republic and others, I am wildly confident I will be somewhat less embarrassed to leave the house. And I am grateful to have done relatively little damage to my checking account.

Afterward I went out with some friends to load up on pasta in advance of tomorrow's 5K road race, which is supposed to draw about 5,000 people, including SOM's dean, who invites winning teams of students to her house for cocktails and establishes a challenge whereby the faculty takes on the students, with the losing group donating to the Internship Fund, which helps supplement people pursuing nonprofit internships. Sometimes I like run-on sentences.

In an unrelated matter, check out my dear friend Carla's first attempt at a stop-motion video! She did it for a project at a new grad program she started this fall. Her ridiculous multitude of creative talents continues to expand.

Good golly, it's volleyball

Tim attempts yet another ace. I was honored and delighted to have been invited Saturday to a first-year student's parents' 40th wedding anniversary party at their home. It was a big to-do with delicious food and drink, lots of their friends (and several stranger guests such as me) and a spirited game of three-on-three volleyball, which is one of the only sports I love to play even though I bring no skills of note to the table. The celebrating couple gave some nice speeches, and each son did the same. This was a stark contrast to my parents' 40th anniversary a couple months ago, which my father forgot and all three of us children didn't acknowledge in any way. Whoops.

John and KatieLater in the day I made a last-minute move back to GPSCY for a free barbecue, which was satisfying and superior to what was necessary for the price. That turned into a not-too-late night on the town with friends. Tomorrow I'm going shopping.

Please don't ask why I'm not yet preparing my readings and assignments for the week, because I won't have an answer. Well, maybe just this one tentative explanation: Senioritis?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Bright college years

SOM-ers learn the tune of Bright College YearsYale's alma mater, or official school hymn, is called Bright College Years, which was news to me until last night when I attending a soiree that cheerfully transitioned into singing, guitar and piano. The song was written in 1881. You can hear it in the video below and read the lyrics below that.

Bright College years, with pleasure rife,
The shortest, gladdest years of life;
How swiftly are ye gliding by!
Oh, why doth time so quickly fly?
The seasons come, the seasons go,
The earth is green or white with snow,
But time and change shall naught avail
To break the friendships formed at Yale.

We all must leave this college home,
About the stormy world to roam;
But though the mighty ocean's tide
Should us from dear old Yale divide,
As round the oak the ivy twines
The clinging tendrils of its vines,
So are our hearts close bound to Yale
By ties of love that ne'er shall fail.

In after years, should troubles rise
To cloud the blue of sunny skies,
How bright will seem, through mem'ry's haze
Those happy, golden, bygone days!
Oh, let us strive that ever we
May let these words our watch-cry be,
Where'er upon life's sea we sail:
"For God, for Country and for Yale!"

Friday, September 3, 2010

I saw the signup

Lots of people signed up to be on the Q+ mailing list Aside from maybe two minor meltdowns, it's been a reasonable and wonderful transition back to school for yours truly.

GPSCY This year I'm a co-leader of Q+, the LGBT group at my school, and am proud of how much the Class of 2012 has shown support, evidenced by the impressive sign-up (in the photo above) for our mailing list from the Club Fair on Thursday afternoon. After the fair, six of us went over to a bar/restaurant downtown for a Yale-wide LGBT networking event with a few folks from BCG (a consulting firm). That was followed by immense fun, spiraling into me taking pictures like the one you see here, at GPSCY, the grad-school pub.

Being co-leader of a club is going to be a lot of work and forces me to address and hopefully conquer one of my weaknesses, which is that I hate mundane logistics. You have to do a bunch of this, handle a bunch of that, update the thingy, e-mail so-and-so about whatever, blah blah blah about receipts and forms and reimbursements. I like it when other people do those things.

Classes look like they will be well-taught, which is good news considering much of the material is, to me, tricky and unfamiliar. But I made that bed, since second-year students take solely electives.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Class starts today

Welcome-back lunch at the Lawn Club It is very hot out there, and very hot in my non-air-conditioned third-floor apartment. It remains to be seen just how much I sweat through my first-day-of-school ensemble today as I hike around the campus, ducking into three classes, a career-related lunch session for second-year students, a meeting about the Human Capital Club I'm helping to start and, ultimately, a cohort barbecue to help welcome the first-year students. I'd sweat through such a day regardless of the heat.

Yesterday, the dean welcomed back us second-year students with a lunch at the Lawn Club (pictured). She spoke of her plans for the year and then gave the floor to one of our school's most esteemed faculty members, Bob Shiller, who lectured about the economy. He's one of those highly accomplished academics who humbly acts as if he just stumbled into prominence by mistake. That's a nice contrast from the all-too-common opposite.

Back to today's menu, the courses are: Venture Capital ("VC" as it's called around these parts) at 8:30, Theory of Media at 10:10 and Corporate Finance ("corp fin" as it's called around these parts) at 1. The first class had an optional paper for the first day, which I did. Well, optional in the sense that you have to do two of four possible case write-ups, and I decided to go ahead and give the first one a shot. I figured my future self who is buried in work will be very grateful that my former self decided to do this. The case was about a recent MBA grad who's trying to decide which of three VC firm offers to take. As you might guess, the case was written before the global financial crisis. I'm not sure needing to decide between three fabulous VC offers is a common dilemma today. Anyway, the case involved forecasting some expected earnings and was pretty fun. The media class, as I've mentioned, is cross-listed under Film and Literature, and it's quite a hike from the School of Management. I'm looking forward to it, although the reading was toasty dry. We also had extensive readings for corp fin that I bravely fought through violent yawns to undertake. I mean, we're talking boooring. But the good news is that my professor is supposed to be amazing; the Class of 2010 voted her the best teacher of last year. Here's hoping she can make this subject somewhat nifty.