Sunday, October 30, 2005

Still sick

Hey we get an extra hour today! I love that.

Well it's a beautiful sunny day so I'm hoping to take Mom and Dad up to Tibidabo. Yesterday we had hoped to do something fun, but unfortunately I was feeling worse, so we went back to urgent care instead. We waited there for a while until I remembered that Kathy had been really sick at the beginning of the year and must know a good doctor. And she did!

Dr. McCarthy offered to see me right away, which was really nice of her. Her practice is in her home, so that makes things easier. She's American and when my mom asked how she ended up here, she said very dryly, "I married a Catalan." Anyway, she doesn't think I have strep throat and said she'd never seen anything like it. She said she thought it was some kind of viral infection. So she gave me some medication to take and that was that. I'm going to have to see another doctor, possibly tomorrow or else after the holiday.

By 8pm I was so tired I could barely stand up so, after Mom and Dad force-fed me things like yogurt and pea soup (I'm really having a hard time swallowing anything right now, even water), I fell asleep. I had to wake up at 4:30 to take more medicine, but other than that I slept straight until 9am. Which was really only 8am... cool! :)

Mom and Dad leave tomorrow morning. I'll be very sad to see them go. They've taken such good care of me this week!

CFS - thanks for calling. :)

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Thank God for parents!

Mom and Dad couldn't have arrived at a better time. They have helped me through what have definitely been my hardest days here, and I will be very sad to see them go on Monday. In fact, I might try to convince them to take me with them!

Wednesday night I started to feel quite sick... aching muscles, sore throat, and general exhaustion. By Thursday morning, I was in hell. I couldn't swallow, my ears were blocked, and I knew I must have strep throat. Not having a doctor here yet, I ended up going to the hospital urgent care center. A doctor saw me within 10 minutes (amazing!) and confirmed my suspicions. He gave me two options. 1, take a 10-day course of penicillin orally. 2, get a penicillin injection immediately. I asked him for whatever would work faster, since I'm missing classes and feeling like death, and he said the injection. So that was that, and he left. 20 minutes later, a male nurse came in with a syringe and asked if I was ready. Of course I said yes, and just continued to sit there. Then he said, "No, en el culo." Hmmm okay. I was down to my last clean underwear that day because I had just started a load of laundry. They're very cute... yellow... but there's not not much TO them, if you know what I mean. Had I realized I'd be dropping trou that day, I'd probably have made an alternate selection. So I plopped onto the bed and pulled down my pants a little, then heard the guy giggle oh so slightly. Awesome. He gave me the shot, asked if I was okay, and I was out of there. There's a first time for everything, and October 27, 2005 was my first time getting an injection in the butt by a Spanish male nurse. Anyway, it hasn't seemed to do me much good so far, so now my heart hurts, my throat still hurts, and my left butt cheek hurts.

On the way home, I decided to try to get part of my paperwork in order to get my NIE number (which will give me temporary resident status here, I guess). My US student visa expires this weekend, and all week I had planned to take care of everything on Friday. So I stopped at the police station to get the "empadronamiento" which is I guess some sort of proof of residency. They said I was in the wrong place and gave me two alternate locations. So we stopped for lunch and afterward the kind restaurant manager told me the addresses I was given couldn't possibly be right. She called government information for me and found out where I should really be going, which was only 2 blocks away (rather than across town, like the police station told me). She spent at least 20 minutes helping me out, and I really appreciated it. My savior.

So we went to the Empadronamiento place, but I didn't know I needed to have the lease with me. Back to the house, where I fortunately found Marco, who had the lease, and then I had to go back up the hill to the office again. All this while feeling sick as hell, but I had to get it done. I finally had the darn thing in hand and I was able to go home and rest. That night I slept horribly. I woke up every hour, had terrible nightmares, and my throat just got worse and worse. By the morning I was extremely naseous. I had already told my professors I wouldn't be in that day because I was so ill, and I had planned to try to get the last part of my NIE paperwork done. Unfortunately, I woke up sicker than ever and could barely get out of bed. When I did, I had to run to the bathroom because I had to puke. Must be the penicillin.

Mom and Dad arrived at 8:15 and the plan was for mom and me to go to this NIE office and dad to stay and wait for Ikea, because they had ordered me some shelves the night before. It took me a little while to get going and by the time we arrived at the office, it was 8:45 and there were already enormous lines. There were two separate lines - one for people renewing their NIE stuff and one for first-timers. We had a 50% chance of picking the right line, and we chose wrong. I saw two friends from school, Roberto and Edgar and they told me to get in their line. Mom held a place for me while I chatted to them and sat on a bench. I could barely stand and I was feverish and chilled at the same time. Then this angry guy behind us said, "Maybe you should ask everyone in line behind you if they mind if you cut the line. Because I mind." I told him I'm really sick, and he said he was too. And so I told him not to worry about, that my place in line was behind him and that I would just stay chatting with my friends.

But then two lines suddenly became one as the renewal office closed without explanation. And then one of the two ladies from the new visa office left, and there was only one lady (with purple hair) taking care of everyone. There were hundreds of people in line! So at or around that time, I made the decision that I would take Edgar up on his offer to jump in front of him, because I simply couldn't wait four more hours in that state. So when he finally got to the front, I snuck into the office in front of him. I had to sit on a chair because I felt so ill, and apologized to the woman in the office and explained how sick I was feeling. Roberto and Edgar blocked the door. Finally, the girl she was helping was finished and I went to the desk. Right then the angry guy burst into the room and yelled in Spanish that I had cut the line and I shouldn't be there. The old lady yelled something along the lines of, "Calm down and get out of my office! This girl is very sick, and anyway she has all her paperwork ready so she won't take long!" Hee hee!

Unfortunately, she decided that the white background of my photos wasn't white enough. So she took care of everything else and sent me across the street to have new pictures taken. Never, ever, under any circumstances, have pictures taken for anything you'll be carrying around for a while when you're sick, with a bad haircut, and no makeup. In the picture I look very pale, pasty, and shiny, and my hair is sticking out in a weird way. Nevermind. I went back up to the office and gave the woman my photos and she told me to stop at the bank to pay something and then I could pick up my ID card in 5 weeks. After nearly 3 hours, I was outta there. Anyway, many thanks to Edgar and Roberto, my Mexican connection... they saved my life yesterday.

After the visa place I went to the bank, because it's also only open 8:30 to 2:30 (just like the visa place) and I didn't know when I'd have the chance to go there again once I'm back in school. I paid for my NIE form, whatever that was, and then told them that I still hadn't been able to access my bank account because the ATM always said my PIN was invalid. The woman reactivated my card and told me to try again. I went back to to the ATM, and it again told me my PIN was wrong. So I went back to the woman and she had to issue me a new PIN. Finally, after 2 months, I was able to withdraw money from my La Caixa account!

Then I went back home, where mom and dad were assembling the shelves they'd bought me. We cleaned my room all up and put everything away. Then I had to rest for a while, though I was feeling much better than I had in the morning. Mom and Dad went off to do some shopping and my roommates left to play soccer (George and Alex are on my team). I would've loved to have played yesterday, but there was just no way. Oh and I heard I was nominated for "Comment of the Week" for something I said in Accounting, but I didn't win. Really, it's an honor just to be nominated. Ha.

Last night, Mom and Dad took George, Marco, Alex, Huy and me to dinner down in Port Vell. We sat outside - the weather was beautiful yesterday - and had a really nice everning. The guys all went to the IESE Halloween party afterward, and I went home to bed. Now it's 11am. My throat is killing me and my heart is heavy today. Mom and Dad will be here soon and I may go back to the hospital because my whole mouth is hurting, along with my throat. I have some funky swollen glands I didn't even know existed. I can't wait until I feel better again, both emotionally and physically. Being heartbroken sucks.
Sorry for the uber-long post, but I was too sick to write the last few days.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Never thought I'd say it, but...

... I miss New York!

Last night at dinner they were playing Nat King Cole in the restaurant. How random to hear Nat in a restaurant in Barcelona. It made me think of NYC in the fall, which is my favorite time of year there. Halloween approaching, the leaves changing, then Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner. And then... January, February, March. Barf. Anyway, I do miss New York. Two months away has given me the time and perspective to appreciate the place again, and perhaps even feel some longing to be there. So, even though I was completely fed up with the place after 9 years, I will be happy to see it again on December 22!

Today was the second of the 2-day career forum. I went to more presentations, and spent all my time in between them (and afterward) studying. It took me hours to do this accounting review case, and I still haven't finished completely but I'm just too tired to do anymore. Fortunately I read the other cases for tomorrow yesterday.

It'll be nice to wear regular clothes again and just go to regular classes. And tomorrow I get to play soccer again! Always a bonus.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Career Forum Day 1

Here's my schedule for today:

8:30 - turn in rabbit skin case report
8:45-9:45 - Presentation by CitiGroup
10:00-11:00 - Presentation by Google
11:15-12:15 - Presentation by Merck
12:30-1:30 - Presentation by Airbus (but I went to eat lunch instead)
1:30- 2:30 - Presenation by Europraxis (had no idea what this company was until I arrived at the presentation)

Two of the presentations were in Spanish - Marck and Europraxis - which I actually preferred because I could practice my Spanish comprehension. CitiGroup had a cool video and I appreciated the production value. Google was Google... could be an ok place to work, if I have to work for someone else.

Anyway, after the presentations I came home and sat on the roof reading cases for a little while and fell asleep reading about marketing canned mushrooms. (No really, it was very exciting... really.) Tried to do an accounting case and failed miserably... though I also must consider it a victory because for once I didn't immediately burst into tears of frustration. Met mom and dad for dinner in El Born, and now it's midnight and I'm going to bed.

Tomorrow we have another career day and unfortunately I won't be finished by 2:30 this time. There's a big gap in the afternoon so I'll have to be at school from 10 till about 7. Then I'm having dinner with mom and dad and the cool dermatology couple who took me out to dinner with Casey several weeks back. Wednesday we go back to classes as normal, which will be great because I won't have to wear suits anymore or pretend to be interested in things I don't care about! Nice!

Monday, October 24, 2005

What a difference...

... a week makes.

My hair is a little longer. The sun has been shining. I finished that stupid rabbit fur report! Actually, I printed it at 5pm. A full 20 hours before it's due. Sweet.

Dad arrived last night and Mom arrived this morning. We spent a few hours at their hotel, lazing around, while I finished writing my paper. Went to IESE so I could print it out and so they could see the school. Then we went for dinner at Contraluz... very tasty.

Now it's late and I should really be in bed. Tomorrow... career forum. Career forum = business suit. Business suit = sucky. Good thing I only have to be there until 2pm. We are required to attend 5 presentations each day, which is a problem for me because none of the companies presenting interest me in the slightest. They're all banks or consulting firms or pharmaceutical companies. Oh and Phillip Morris. I'm sure mom would love it if I worked there.

So I'll sit in the back, bring some cases to read, and try to learn a little something. I should probably research some of the companies I signed up for actually... I have no clue what half of them are!

Saturday, October 22, 2005


Okay actually Friday is the greatest day. :) Today it's again sunny and beautiful and all is well.

I had a hard time falling asleep last night, which is strange because I was exhausted, so I just kept reviewing accounting and trying to figure out where I'd made a mistake. (I didn't find it till this morning in my team meeting, but oh well.) So I was a little shocked when my alarm went off after what seemed like 20 minutes. Usual drill... shower, dress, dance around room for 5 minutes while listening to music - this is very important if I want to start the day right - walk to bus and find I'm dressed EXACTLY the same as George, coffee and croissant at the cafe at school, then team meeting.

I was presenting my accounting answers this morning and got frustrated when it seemed like no one was paying attention because I suck at all this stuff. But it turned out I did it right, so even though I was mildly irritated after the meeting, I felt better in class. Then marketing, which was entertaining as usual. At lunch I had my career services meeting and I feel like I have a good handle on where I need to look for internships. My advisor is very understanding of what I want to do, and I think she'll be really helpful, even though I'll have to do most of the legwork myself since companies that interest me won't be coming to the school to shop for grads. After that I had a quick lunch with Madhur from my team and our decision analysis professor ended up joining us.

After lunch, organizational behavior, and then Spanish class, where I got my grade from Wednesday's test (fine, but not the highest score this time) and we learned our whole group would be progressing to modulo 9 together. Now it's 6 and I'm just back from school. In a few minutes I'll leave to play soccer with the boys, and then I guess I'll have an early night since Dad arrives tomorrow morning. Man, I'm glad it's Friday. And I'm even happier about playing FUTBOL!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Thursday is the greatest day

I was told on Tuesday that I'm only allowed to be sad until Thursday and that on Friday I must be happy again. So I'm going to hit the sack now, after several hours of accounting hell (I THINK maybe I kind of understand it a little bit, perhaps) and a bit of marketing limbo, and hopefully when I wake up I'll magically feel okay!

Anyway, today was long and busy, and that's a good thing. Usual morning meeting, then usual classes, had a little test in organizational behavior (I think I may have been fried by then), then a presentation by some dude who used a lot of very big words written in very small writing on too many slides. Had a nice walk home in the sunshine - yes it has finally stopped raining - and then attempted some accounting. Got a few phone calls, chatted with my roommates... it's too hard to start studying right away after a long day of classes. I went for a swim at 10, which was a good way to break up the evening, though I realized just how pale I have become in the last month since school started. Yikes.

Tomorrow is Friday, which is fantastic. That will mean three weeks of school have already passed. Seems like three years. And mom and dad arrive this weekend. I have a feeling they will see how thin I have become and force feed me... which is fine with me! I need some fancy dinners right about now! Just need to figure out how to get an appetite back...

Okay it's late, I'm talking nonsense, and it's time to go to bed. Six hours till the whole thing starts over. It's like Groundhog Day, except without Bill Murray. Which is too bad for me.

Theme song for the week: "I Want To Break Free" by Queen. Same theme song as nearly a year ago!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Humpday again

Well, I'm feeling a little better today... Okay, not really, but I'm trying. Last night was pretty brutal, but I'm lucky to be surrounded by friends here. A lot of people saw me upset after class yesterday, so I got a lot of phone calls and text messages wishing me well. After only two months, I feel like I've developed some really amazing friendships, and for that I'm very grateful.

This morning I woke up with what seems to be the start of a cold. Definitely related to staying up too late studying, plus effects of too much boo-hooing. Hopefully it will pass, like the last attempted cold. Had the usual team meeting this morning, then accounting. Everyone seemed confused in accounting today, and I actually felt like I knew what was going on. Strange.

Next we had marketing, with the case about the Sony EyeToy. Rockstar and Take 2 are mentioned in the case, which was cool, and so was I... just kidding. Carlos, the prof, brought a PS2 and the EyeToy to class and asked for a Playstation wizard and the class volunteered me. So I went up in front of everyone and made a tremendous fool of myself popping bubbles on a screen, standing in front of the class waving my arms around. I had seen people using the new version of the EyeToy at E3 in LA in May, and it was hilarious to watch, so I'm sure everyone got a kick out of watching me flail around. We then went on to actually discuss the case (too bad... EyeToy was fun) and since it happens to have been my business for the past 3 years, I was able to participate a ton. Much more than on the case about bubble wrap yesterday. Yeesh.

At lunch my team had a meeting with the professor in charge of our section (Section A) to see how we're doing and chit chat, etc etc. He's also our prof for Analysis of Business Problems. I asked him about resources for how to learn how to pull numbers from cases and he said that the school is working on a book and his chapter is actually the one on analysis, but that he hasn't started writing it yet. I asked him to please get on it! I should offer my proofreading services. After our lunch meeting, I studied for my Spanish test for a bit and then we had Organizational Behavior.

The Spanish test was next, and it seemed fine. I guess we'll get our results on Friday. Hopefully everyone passed because our class is too great to split up. Then, at 5, another team meeting to discuss a big analysis assignment we all have to turn in by Monday (I'm still lost on this one) and then I studied for a while. Played soccer at 9, got home around 10:45, and now I'm eating some food and writing this instead of finishing my homework. We have a test in Organizational Behavior tomorrow, and fortunately I prepared for that over the weekend. Plus some accounting which I again actually understood. And... ABP. Oops better read that.

Being busy is good. Keeps my mind away from other things.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Today I officially got dumped. Over email. While I was in class, and just before I was supposed to give a little speech in front of my entire class. I shouldn't be suprised because (a) it has happened before and (b) I felt it coming, but it doesn't make it hurt any less.

I've been having trouble concentrating on my work the last few days because of all of this, and eating isn't really appealing either. I'm doing the best I can, but my mind keeps wandering to Casey and hoping he is okay. At the end of the day, I just want him to be happy and, while I wish that that could happen with me, I can only hope he'll start to feel better soon. I know my coming here was really hard for him, as well as for me, but I really didn't think it would end like this... or end at all. I'm sick over it. Casey, if you read this, I miss you a lot and I hope you're alright.

Mine is the latest in a string of IESE relationships to fall apart. Several people in my class have returned home for a weekend to try to fix a relationship, only to come back single, or get a phone call and find out the other person doesn't want to be with them anymore. I guess it's a risk you take when you go away, but I know I'm not the only one who wasn't expecting it at all and who had hoped theirs would be one of the ones that worked out.

Anyway, now it's 7:20 and I haven't started studying yet. I have to prepare a marketing case about the Sony EyeToy, which is a product for Playstation 2 that came out last year. Take 2 (my old parent company) is mentioned in the case, which is pretty funny. Of course there's also accounting to prepare, and a report due Monday for Analysis of Business Problems which scares me to death. And I need to finish it by Friday because my parents are arriving this weekend. Thank goodness for that. I really need a hug. Okay I'd better get to work. Have to stay busy and try not to think too much... otherwise I start to cry.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Hard times hit

I'm sad. Tough weekend. After the haircut from hell, I thought things couldn't possibly get worse, but I was wrong. I won't elaborate right now, but point is it looks like I'm definitely single again. I'm so stupid.

On to the keep-your-chin-up news. Let's see... Saturday night I went with my friend Kathy to this store opening that Genevieve from admissions invited us to. It was cool to be in a hip new store (very much like dozens in NYC) around non-business people. What a relief. Then we went for our girls night out, for dinner at a restaurant called La Canela. It was fun to get so many of the girls together (we were 25, so there were definitely many missing, but that was still the majority of the IESE women!) and just have a relaxing, fun dinner. We had also heard that the boys had made a list of the hottest IESE girls, so we agreed that we had to create our own. The guys all heard about girls' night of course, and about the upcoming List, so they were all looking forward to hearing the results afterward. Of course, it's not official till everyone gets to vote. :)

Yesterday I got up early and studied and did exciting things like laundry. Then, in the afternoon, horrible things happened and I couldn't study any more... or sleep, when the time came. This morning I woke up looking like I'd been punched in both eyes, which looked really good with the new haircut! Yikes. But it was nice to be at school again, surrounded by people, even with the scary haircut and puffy eyes, because at least I could take my mind off the heartbreak. For a little while anyway.

After Spanish today I heard about a presentation by L'Oreal and decided to go. Most of the companies that come to IESE are banks or consulting firms, which don't interest me, so I figured I should at least attend this one, since it's so different. It was interesting enough, but I'm exhausted and it's a little tough to get enthused about anything at the moment. So now it's just after 7, I've just arrived home, and I'm going to start to prepare my cases for tomorrow. Hopefully I'll get to bed early and will feel better tomorrow. Hey, at least my hair will be a little longer tomorrow!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Never let a Spanish person near your hair with scissors

or... "Holy crap, what the hell just happened?!?!?!"

Um. Today I got the worst haircut of my entire life. I look like a 17 year old London punk. It's very very bad. I'm not sure I can go outside for the next month, but then I'll fail school for lack of attendance. Then again, when the business school people see my hair they may be forced to kick me out anyway.

I told the woman that I wanted it shorter in the back (because it was a shaggy mess) and keep it longer in the front, and nothing to hard or sharp. She came at me with the clippers, but that's normal because I have short hair and they usually do a little cleanup in the back with them. Next thing I knew, she had run them up the back of my head, all the way to the crown. Too much hair fell on my lap. I reached back and almost started to cry right then and there. She had buzzed a streak up the back of my head! I mean BUZZED. We're talking a 1/4 inch here, people.

I had explained to her that I'm in business school and should look presentable, particularly with interviews coming up next week. How exactly that translated into what I now have, I'm really not sure.

Anyway, she assured me that it would look great when she was done. Maybe I'd agree if she'd given me a paper bag to wear over it... I'm really not sure how I can go out tonight ... or any other time! I think I might still be in shock. I should've spent 800 bucks to fly back to NYC just for a haircut with Hanako. It would've been worth it.

See? Okay... looks a little normal here.

Still doing okay....

Looking a little... odd.


Saturday, October 15, 2005

Didn't even have to use my AK...

... gotta say it was a good day.

Ahhh, Friday. Lovely. The best day of the week. Had our usual team meeting this morning to go through the cases for today. There were only two, because we had two sessions of ABP today, and one of accounting. It was nice to be in accounting class and actually know what was going on for a change, and know how to answer the questions. Thanks to Gabriel for that!

Classes were fine, and at lunch I tried to review an accounting case from last week in the library, but it was really noisy in there (I know, very strange for a library) and I got frustrated because I kept getting stuck on every single journal entry. I know that if I could just get the hang of it, I'd probably like almost(dare I say it?!) like accounting (I said it!) because you know when you've done it correctly. But for now, since I can't seem to do anything right, it's just frustrating. I need to practice more this weekend. Anyway, almost everyone is confused and lost.

After accounting and before Spanish, I was asked to play on one of the teams that has been formed for this IESE league. I was a little bummed that I hadn't been asked to play on any teams (aside from jokes about being a cheerleader) because I've played so much with everyone and they all know I don't suck. So even though I was planning to come straight home tonight and study and sleep, I really wanted to play soccer so I agreed to fill a spot on the team. I'm glad I did.

I had to race home (walking, because the traffic was too bad to take the bus) in the rain, change quickly, and then race back up the hill to the sports complex where we play. It was pouring by then, and it didn't let up the whole time. I played really well and scored a few goals and we won 11-4 (okay, so we had one extra player, but still). And now I officially have a team! Cool.

Tomorrow I'm thinking of trying to get a haircut because I'm starting to look like Shaggy, but without the stubble or the pot habit. I even slouch like Shaggy. And the rest of the weekend, more or less, will be devoted to studying. Hooray!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Week 2 nearly over

Well, I spent my Spanish holiday studying. Not that I was expecting to do otherwise... I also edited 8 more CVs, and went through one final one today. We have a heavy week ahead next week, so this weekend I plan to read as much as possible to get ahead.

Today we had accounting in the morning and then our first Organizational Behavior class. In fact, we had two in a row because we were the only section that hadn't had that class yet. The professor seems really nice, and I think everyone was relieved to have a class that isn't so numbers-driven. I don't think it makes it any easier, but it's definitely more my style.

We had a team meeting at lunch to discuss how we all felt the team was working. I've been really happy with our team, and I think I've really lucked out. Even so, it was nice to make sure everyone was feeling okay and get some feedback from the others. Apparently I'm not afraid to speak my mind.

After class I read today's accounting chapter in the library, and I found it difficult because every five minutes, someone would come up to me to say hi or ask what pages we had to read or if I was going out tonight, or all of the above. Next time I will put a sign on the desk that reads, "Hi. P. 436-459. No, I'm not going out tonight because I'm tired."

After reading the chapter, I went through our accounting case with my teammate Gabriel who is super good at math and accounting. I still know that I could never figure this crap out on my own, so I have no idea what I'll do on test day, but it was nice to have someone to walk me through it. And I (think I) understood it. We'll see tomorrow if our numbers were right!

Tomorrow we have 2 1/2 hours of Analysis of Business Problems and then another Accounting class after lunch. Then I have Spanish for 2 hours. Then I think I'll try to study for a while and go to bed. I have no interest in going out tomorrow night. I'm too tired and I have too much studying to do.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Hooray for holidays!

It's Tuesday evening and tomorrow we have no school. I love La Hispanidad! Whatever it is.

Today we had three really good classes. I met my group as usual at 8:30 in the morning and we went through everything for the day. I presented the case for Analysis of Business Problems, which went fine I guess. First class was Decision Analysis, in which we did a review of probability problems and then got some feedback on an intuitive decisions test we all took on Saturday. We'll be getting more feedback on this next week, and I'm interested to see how it all turns out. Basically, our professor told us that it's not a good idea to talk in probability terms because people usually get confused. Um, I could've told him that without any research at all!

Next we had Analysis of Business Problems, for which we had prepared a case about a German drugstore contemplating whether to create an online sales presence. I liked this case because there were few numbers to run (well, lots of them if you don't mind making a gazillion assumptions, but I'm not too big on assumptions) and I had already worked out my answer. In fact, I made a suggestion in class that the company might try and the professor said, "Hmmm that's good, I never thought of that before." We have to prepare a report in the coming week and a half on another case, so I'll definitely be looking to my team members for help on this one.

During lunch I reviewed my notes for my presentation. I made some changes to the outline I had prepared and tried to organize everything clearly. When it came time for the four victims to make our presentations, I got to go first (thought I'd be going 2nd) because, well, ladies first. Sweet. I like setting the bar and not having to worry about what anyone else has done. If other people can jump over my bar, that's cool. I just don't want to have to jump over anyone else's bar!

Anyway, it seemed to go really well. I don't think I looked at my outline or notes at all. I just looked around at everyone and chatted away as if I were talking to one person. I was definitely a little nervous, but it's really not so hard when you know everyone is friendly and supportive. And it's hard to not support someone who is really passionate and excited about something, like I am about having a film company. I finished up by saying I'm at business school to learn how to start my company and also to find a CFO and people who want to get into film finance. After my presentation, the professor asked if anyone had any comments, and someone said, "Yeah, where do I send my CV?" A few other students who I don't know as well also told me that they are interested in starting something similar, or know people who do... So I guess the company can start now!

After class I went through a bunch of CVs for people. I think I've edited a dozen of them now, and I still have more to do. But I'm happy to help because I know there will be plenty of times in the future when I'll need some serious help myself. This evening I had to go downtown to return the mobile phone Casey rented while he was here and also run some errands. Now I'm procrastinating by writing this instead of reading accounting.... Later I'm going to dinner with Huy (from yesterday's picture) and my teammate Gabriel and his girlfriend Mimi, who are both from the US. Then we may go to celebrate 3 IESE birthdays, but I'm planning to make it an early night because I want to get lots of work done tomorrow morning!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Monday Night... or is it Thursday?

First of all, there was NO marketing pop quiz today. Just a vicious rumor started by someone on my very own team I believe, and one which caused quite a furor... all of which was pretty funny in the end. So that was the first class. In our 2nd class, Decision Analysis, I got quite a bit of participation going. Oh yeah! My decion tree rocked, and I think it's because I watered it yesterday. After lunch we had Managerial Communications, and 4 people had to talk about themselves in front of the class as if they were being interviewed and had gotten the question, "Tell me about yourself." Which isn't really a question... Anyway, I have to do it tomorrow. Woo hoo.

After that we had Grupo 6 Spanish for an hour and a half and then I worked on cases for tomorrow at school while also trying to download some more photos from the bar crawl. Got home around 8:30 and now I'll do a little more studying and then maybe go to the gym for a swim. I need to go to bed early tonight because I'm feeling a little sick and I slept SO BADLY last night. I felt like I was awake almost all night and whenever I wasn't awake I was having horrible dreams about school. That's 2 nights in a row! This is not a good thing. Tonight can only be better, I hope.

Tomorrow is like Friday because we have Wednesday off for a holiday called La Hispanidad. My Spanish teammate Diego explained this holiday to me as "when all the spangolis around the world celebrate being spangolis." Or something like that. I think we have a name for it in the US too. It's called "Columbus Day."

So, tomorrow after class I'm going to do lots of errands while shops are still open (because NOTHING will be on Wednesday) and then do some homework. I need to get myself organized because at IESE you don't use books, but rather glue-bound packets of cases which fall apart after you open the first page. So I have cases all over my room. Maybe I should wallpaper the place. There are also two birthdays to be celebrated tomorrow night, but I think I'll have to see how I'm feeling before promising to venture out.

And, as promised, more photos from Friday night.

With my good friend Huy
Team B6. That's my roommate Marco with the glasses. He makes a great nerd.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Sunday night

I have now recovered (more or less) from Friday night's festivities. Yesterday I spent several hours preparing cases for this week, both on my own and then in an all-girl study group: Lindy, Carol, and Kathy from Chicago, Ali from UK, and Claudia from Colombia. Then I met my friend Francis for a cup of coffee and had a pretty relaxed and early night.

Today I woke up pretty early (by usual IESE weekend standards) and started right in on the marketing case we were told to further prepare. We started it on Thursday, and now the rumor is that we are having some sort of pop quiz on it tomorrow. Yikes. Francis came by to go through the Decision Analysis case and we got stuck partway through, and then I went to my teammate Diego's house and went through Marketing some more with he and his roommate Jay. THEN I went to meet the girls again, this time at Kathy's house, to compare the Decision Analysis case some more. Basically, it's nice to know that everyone is coming up with the same crap and no one knows what's going on. So even though I've been studying all weekend, I feel like I've accomplished almost nothing, but at least it's the same nothing as everyone else!

The only problem is that I'd hoped to go running or cycling today and I just never got around to it. But I did do laundry and dishes, so I guess that's sort of athletic. Oh and I walked a LOT to everyone's houses. Good to have a little walk between study sessions to chill out a bit. Now I have to try to figure out more ways to prepare for this potential pop quiz and then hopefully go to bed early. Thank goodness Wednesday is a holiday!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Bar Crawl!

After a weeklong, full-speed roller-coaster ride, we let off a little steam at the annual Bar Crawl, which 2nd year students organize for 1st years. We compete in our teams (A6, for me) and we are also organized by section. Section A had to dress as punks, Section B as nerds, and Section C as 70s disco. Each team captain (that would be yours truly) was given a map outlining what bar we were supposed to be at each hour, starting at 8pm and getting to the last bar at midnight. At each bar we had to play a little game and 2nd year judges would rate our performances on a scale of 1-10. Team A6 is awesome. Unfortunately, Matteo had to go home to Italy this weekend and Marcus went to the Pyrenees for a hiking trip, but the rest of us carried on. (Actually, Juan Ramon couldn't be convinced to join until we all called him after the 3rd bar and harrassed him.) It was a great bonding experience (especially making mohawks in Diego's bathroom!) even though we didn't win in the end. More photos to come as I receive them from friends. In this one: Madhur, me, Noshaba, Jan-Kees, and Gabriel.

Thursday was a pretty tough day for me. Classes were fine and all, but that night we had our first accounting cases and I just couldn't make them work. I worked on one for about 4 hours and finally had to give up, balance sheet still completely imbalanced, because A6 from last year had invited us to a 7:30 BBQ. At that point, the last thing I wanted to do was go to a barbecue, but it turned out to be the best possible thing I could've done. Besides going running, maybe. We met several 2nd year students who appear to have survived, and they all gave us some funny insight into the program. I got home at 11:30 and fell directly into bed, without even attempting to try to finish that accounting problem. Fortunately I didn't get called on in class because I wouldn't even have been able to explain the things I did get right, and I found out that I never would've figured out how to balance the darn thing on my own anyway. I need to hire an accountant.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Day 3 is officially over, because it's 12:22am and I'm still reading my marketing case for tomorrow morning.

Today was a very VERY long day. Morning meeting, Marketing class (I participated again - and found the answer to everything: "Don't piss off the customer" - I have this class locked, except for the numbers part), Decision Analysis, Managerial Communications, then some usual Q/A BS for an hour about school policy, then SPANISH class (caramba!) with our new profesora, then I walked home and finally got in the door at 6pm.

So ...
Marketing - good.

Decision Analysis - so-so. My background in film was actually a hindrance here because I couldn't get my head around how weak the case was. Also, I got lost about 2/3 of the way through. But then I though that, 2 days ago, I had never seen any of this crap and now I can do 2/3 by myself. Maybe by Friday I'll be able to do the last 1/3 by myself... and then there will be a new 2/3 to learn. Oh God.

Lunch - n/a. I spent this time reading for the next class.

Managerial Communications - zzzzzz. Hey but this class is Pass/Fail! Awesome. One class I will automatically not fail. 5 more to go... I need to not fail 3 of them. I don't like these odds. Too bad I don't have time for a decision tree on this one. Actually, too bad I didn't know about the decision tree BEFORE deciding whether to try an MBA! Hmph! Anyway, in this class we have to do presentations and stuff. Easy. I've never been accused of shyness.

BS session - Sorry, but I'm really tired of hearing about school policy, and especially tired of listening to people ask dumb questions and then answers that don't pertain to anyone else. Frustrating. For section B, this session lasted 5 minutes. For us, an hour. And we were late to Spanish!

4-5pm Spanish. Our new profesora is Eugenia. She's nice, but I really miss Mama Maribel. Which reminds me, I still haven't posted my Spanish class pics. I will do that soon. They're on a friend's camera.

5pm - walk home. I decided to get some air and some exercise so I skipped the bus. I walked part way with my friend Andreas, who is also thinking he will fail. He has spent the first week also thinking maybe he shouldn't have come here. Maybe I should start a club called "What the hell am I doing here?!" I know of at least half a dozen definite members. And anyway, everyone else would join just because we're so cool.

6pm - attempt to start homework.

6:30pm - wake up with face on chapter 6 of accounting book. Hopefully I learned something about Annual Accounts through reverse osmosis. At this point, I'm willing to try anything.

7pm - now... Studying. Or, attempting to. Everyone is really tired tonight. No one seems to be able to buckle down and study. Marco also woke up with his face on his accounting homework. I guess that's the beauty of humpday.

I need to finish reading if I ever want to go to bed. The case for marketing is 25 pages and about something called Dominite that can be used for ceramic tiles and primer paint. Or something like that. I wish it were called Dolomite and was really a blaxploitation film. That would be much more interesting.

OH, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY NICOLE!!!!! One more year, and you can rent a car!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Day 2!

I think I'm feeling a little better today. Okay, a lot better. I don't have much time to write a lot because it's already 11:30, I've been studying since 4, and I still have more to do, so I'll do a little recap like yesterday:

7:45 - bus to school - SO crowded... I think I need to ride a bike instead

8:30 - team meeting. My team is turning out to be really cool. I hope they other members feel the same way! I had volunteered to "moderate" the marketing case today, which was a bit of a mistake. It was sooooo long and boring! Oil well motors in northern Canada. Yikes. Anyway, I was in the middle of that when our team advisor, Fede, walked in and introduced himself. It was great to finally meet him, and he was very reassuring about school and life and stress, etc. Apparently some French student couldn't find a place to live last year and stayed with Fede for 2 months, so obviously he goes out of his way for his students. Anyway, our meeting continued and then it was time to head to class.

9:45 - Decision Analysis. I like this class much more than I expected. It's very logical, and I especially like it now that I know how to do probability, more or less. We had to decide whether or not to harvest some grapes prematurely at our vineyard, and I opted to wait. Right answer. Cha-ching.

11:15 - Analysis of Business Problems. I noticed that one of my classmates is absent, so I switch to his seat in the 2nd row. Our professor for this class writes really small, so it's still very hard to read the board (I'm not the only one with problems here!) but at least I can sort of follow what's going on. Unfortunately I'm totally lost on this case - a 1950s drugstore that is debating whether or not to outsource their currently killer ice cream production - so sitting close doesn't help all that much. The weird thing is that I instinctually seem to pick the correct answer, and so the problem is just trying to explain and prove it. I mail fail this class, but at least in life I'll get the right answer and my business won't crap out. I'll have accountants to figure this stuff out for me anyway.

12:30 - Lunch. I'm discouraged after ABP, but I enjoy lunch with friends and try to eat something. I'm not doing very well in this regard, but I'm trying anyway!

2:00 - Marketing Management. I've decided that I like this professor, Carlos. He's funny. And this class today reminds me that I need to worry less about numbers (thank god!) and remember that there are people involved in all of these cases. I don't like any of the number-related options, but the one people-driven one is off-putting to me because I'm so obsessed with trying to become a numbers person. Why should I wear a hat that doesn't fit? Again, I'll find someone else to run the numbers for me. The problem will be that I can't do this on the test... Note to self - come up with short-term how-to-do numbers solution. Anyway, the class was good, Carlos was entertaining, and apparently I was too because after class when I went to ask him a question, he said, "Are you a comedian?" I took it as a compliment.

3:15 - Class is over! Whew! We have only 2 cases to prepare tonight, and one is about... A FILM PRODUCTION COMPANY! And it's for decision analysis, which means another probability problem (I really never thought I'd be happy about such a thing) and decision tree. The decision tree is my friend. I ran all the numbers and came up with the "right" answer, but my background tells me it's actually the wrong answer. Actually, my background tells me I need to see the script first, and then I need to cover most of the budget with international sales, but unfortunately neither of these options is available in the case. I might just have to bring it up in class anyway.

5pm - I arrived home after trying to do a little reading outside on the IESE campus. Too difficult. Worked on the movie case and then started on the marketing case, which is about an actual themepark in Tarragona, about an hour from Barcelona. The marketing cases are SOOOOO long. Oof. Fortunately, I'm in the half of the team that is focusing on the movie case tomorrow morning, so I can learn from the others on the marketing one.

It's now almost midnight and I'm hoping to get to bed soon. Last night I finally got to sleep around 2 I think. Even when I finally fell into bed, I couldn't sleep. I was too busy thinking about oil rig motors and starting torque and whether my northern Canadian motor company should produce a specialized motor. I mean really.

Oops, so much for a short update...

Day 1

A quick one to let you all know that I haven't taken my own life yet and that I have kind of survived the first day.

7:45 - left the house to catch the bus to school.

8:15 - met with my team to go over the cases. Had no clue on one of them, had a partial clue on the 2nd, and used my persuasion skills on the marketing one, even though it was all BS. I managed to convince Madhur to go with my plan to launch a particular toy, so this was a small victory. He's a tough one.

9:45 - 1st class: Marketing Management. This was ok except that the professor has the worst handwriting and I sit in the back. I think people aren't really up for switching around, so I'm not sure what to do. Tomorrow I'll bring my glasses AND wear my contacts. I figure it can't give me a headache that's any worse than the one I'll develop from squinting and getting frustrated. This class was ok. The professor has a policy that if you say something irrelevant, you must pay 1 euro and everyone in the class judges by yelling out ONE EURO or SAFE! This really isn't the best way to get people to participate, and class participation is the majority of our grade. I guess I should just have lots of change on hand.

11:05 - the dean welcomes us. He was in Japan last week and couldn't welcome us formally during the orientation days, so he went around to each section today. He seems nice. Very slim. I don't think Opus Dei-ers eat much.

11:15 - Analysis of Business Problems. One word - HUH? In fact, I'm not sure if that's even a word, but rather a gutteral reaction. This guy's handwriting is miniscule so I'm screwed. Especially because I wouldn't understand what he was putting on the board even if he wrote in a normal size. I'm doomed.

12:30 - Lunch. I announce to a few people that I won't be here much longer. They say I'm crazy. They just don't understand. I will now keep these pronouncements to myself. I couldn't eat much. At least I don't have to worry about getting fat here!

2:00 - Decision Analysis - Wow, this wasn't as bad as I thought. Finally a professor who actually explains things. In fact, he almost went too slowly (and I never thought I'd say that, particularly where probability is concerned) if only because we only went through the stuff I had already gotten right and didn't have time for the more complicated part of the case. I even participated... a little.

3:30 - mini team meeting to decide who will be the moderator for each case tomorrow morning. I'm moderating Marketing. Yikes. We have three cases to prepare again, and for the same classes as today. There's plenty of work to do. Fortunately, Spanish was cancelled (at the last minute, so I still lugged all my spanish stuff with me to school) so now I have a few extra hours to study.

At 7 I'm going to the girls' house... Joanne (Irelend) is really good at math, so she has been helping her Spanish roommate Nora, who apparently has an art history background. I'm going to get in on the study session tonigh as well, and they live just 2 blocks away, which is handy. I might even be able to make it to the gym at 10 for a swim, but that might be optimistic.

Tomorrow.... same thing all over, just in a different order. And Wednesday we'll finally have Spanish class, so we won't be done till 5pm. I heard we don't have the same teacher anymore, so we're all a little bummed about that. Hopefully the new Spanish profesora will be nice.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Big Mistake

I wish I had never come here. I am in way over my head. I'm going to fail out of school and have to return to the states, head hung in shame, with no job, no money, no apartment, no nothing. I am really regretting this decision. Oh and I have to study now.

Finally Saturday!

Yesterday was the end of a very long and often frustrating week. For those of us who are not interested in investment banking or consulting, the career sessions were quite useless. I tried my best to get as much as possible out of it all, but in the end I really just wished we could have had another week of pre-courses to review more accounting, math, and Spanish. Or at least I wish I could've studied it all more on my own!

Yesterday I met my team (A6) at school at 8:30. We had been given a practice case to read and prepare, and the point of the teams is to have people to discuss the cases with, bounce ideas off of, and sometimes do group projects together. I was a little nervous about how my team would work because I didn't know most of the people all that well, and I was still a little concerned after our first meeting. But it was over before we knew it because there was a mass scheduled for 9:15. I took the opportunity to review the case more and explore other options regarding my answers to the problem (whether to open a plant in one town or another) and I felt more prepared as a result when I walked into class at 10:15.

Our seats had been assigned for us for the first time and, as an S, I was relegated to the back row. Fortunately I'm in the middle, but I'm definitely going to have to get stronger contacts because I'm getting more blind by the minute. Apparently everyone will be swapped around after the first term, so I guess then I'll be in the front row. Goody.

So the first hour of class was easy enough. We just reviewed the case and everyone tried to participate, and I guess that's the way classes are going to be. At least for Analysis of Business Problems. For most classes, participation is the main grading criterium. For others, like Accounting, it's mostly based on the midterm and final exams. Yikes. Also, there's a forced curve, so a predetermined number of people will get a C, which is a failing grade. There's nothing lower. Three C's in a term and it's adios. Same if you get 4 C's in a year. I'm scared to death.

Anyway, one good thing that happened in the afternoon was that we had a very short period of time to get in our teams again and review another sample case and come up with a plan. We had to prepare a press release in response to a big Belgian gas explosion crisis. My team rocked. We got in there, worked together, respected each other, and came up with something halfway decent in a very short amount of time. I was pleased, and I think we all felt a lot better. We have 9 very smart people in our group, and I think we'll do really well together.