Monday, November 22, 2010

Ten-hour breakfast

My friend Matt and I have known each other for almost eight years, since back when we worked together at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. Now we coincidentally live a few blocks away and see each other most mornings, when we go to the gym. That this is our routine would probably surprise the 2002 versions of ourselves, who did not tend to spend leisure time in as healthy a manner.

On Saturday, I went over for pancakes and ended up staying for hours, lingering over coffee, until we eventually ended up ordering a pizza and having a drink. It was a great day, reminiscent of many similarly great days back in Texas, and one I certainly paid for on Sunday when I was slammed with work. But no regrets, of course.

Personally, I like the on-the-go aspect of New York, so I'm looking forward to living there after school, but I also like the not-as-on-the-go aspect of a day like Saturday, and I hope I can continue to be able to have such days even amid a job that will be more demanding of my time and effort than the one I had in Texas. Ultimately, if I cannot spend a Saturday having coffee with a friend, then what's it all for?

Now it's back to the grind. In about 20 minutes my four groupmates and I will be giving our required presentation in Corporate Finance. Every study quintet does one. We're all required to do regular case write-ups, but each time a case is due, one group does a presentation on that case instead of a write-up. Sadly, we happened to get ourselves into the semester's only "raw" case, which is something they sometimes throw at us here at Yale. A typical case, or "cooked" case, usually consists of a narrative, maybe 15-20 pages or so, and another 5-10 pages of exhibits -- financial statements, graphs, organizational charts, or whatever might be relevant. Then there are questions. Most of the cooked cases we, and students at other business schools, read are written and distributed by Harvard. Sometimes we have cooked cases written just for SOM students, but that's sort of rare. Anyway, a raw case is presented on a website but has a much briefer narrative and a lot of links to outside resources, like large documents, financial statements, videos, news articles, etc. It's supposed to be -- and is -- a better simulation of how we'd do problem-solving research in real life. It can involve quite a bit more work, but the material can also be more fun. Our presentation will be looking at Kmart's bankruptcy from the perspective of the creditors.

OK, I'ma run through my part.

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