Monday, November 28, 2005

Wherefore art thou Noellie?

For my legions of devoted fans who have been wondering what has happened to me, fear not. I have not foresaken you! Okay, maybe just a little. It has been a busy weekend. And I promise to provide all (or most) of the sordid details!

Let's see... going back to Friday, which was an incredibly long day... I can't really remember now what classes we had, and I don't particularly feel like looking it up, and anyway it's boring. But we all had to stay extra late at school Friday night because of this massive group project in which we are all participating for Organizational Behavior. We work on it in our teams, and each member of the team holds a management position in our "company." I ended up with HR manager. I think some teams took the selection of these roles back in early October very seriously. A little too seriously, perhaps. My team did quite the opposite, but I think it turned out the best possible way. No one got angry and no one was upset or jealous. We just picked our roles out of a hat. If anyone really disliked his or her role, it was open for discussion, but everyone was happy enough so we proceeded. Which brings me to the point. Yes, there is one.

Friday evening, our company CEO (the company is Fluxys, the Belgian gas supplier, which had a big explosion a few years back in which several people died - we are now responding to the crisis in our teams) Jan-Kees had to give a speech to section B, which was acting as the managers of Fluxys. All the section A CEOs (there are 8) had to do this, and all the Section B CEOs had to speak to our section as well. So from about 5:30 to 7:30 we listened to these speeches from the 8 section B CEOs. Everyone did reasonably well but the best was Stefano from Italy. At one point one of the people in our section asked him a question about other companies that may do work around our pipelines and damage our pipes, causing further accidents. The question was long and drawn out and overly complicated, and Stefano was a little confused and responded with, "So you mean they want to touch-a my pipe-a?!" Everyone burst into laughter and applause. Fortunately he was the 7th CEO because it was very difficult for anyone to concentrate afterward.

Finally it was time to go home. I could easily have gone to sleep by 8pm but there was dinner to be had! Francis and I had agreed to dinner to resolve our little midterm bet, and then I realized that rather than buying him dinner MYSELF.... mom and dad could take us out! Perfect! That's what parents are for, aren't they? To pay off their kids' debts and their bad bets and stuff? So not only did I not win my bet, I did not pay my bet because Mom and Dad did it for me. AND I got to have a sweet dinner at Torre d'Alta Mar, which sits atop the tram tower down on the port. The views are spectacular, and the food was fantastic. If you ever have anyone visiting Barcelona, I really recommend you take them here, if only for the "wow" factor. Plus they were playing Finding Nemo in the lounge. Bonus! I think I may have eaten Nemo later...

Here are some photos from my lost bet:

Mom and Francis
Dad and me
Ahh, Thanksgiving is SO special.
Winner and loser.

Saturday was a beautiful sunny day - though very cold - and I went shopping with Mom and Dad for some early birthday presents. Birthdays rock. At six I went up to the school for the "17th Annual IESE Thanksgiving Dinner," which was a lot of fun. The food was good and then there were skits and songs afterward. I had to leave early though to go to dinner with mom and dad, so I think I missed the best part, which was an auction to raise money for various charities. Students and professors all put various things up for auction, and I heard the bidding process was very entertaining. Next time I'll be sure not to miss it.

After that dinner, I went to meet mom and dad and our friends Lali and Jose for tapas at La Flauta. (Two dinners in a row! I'm trying to put back on some of the weight I lost while I was sick. Heh heh.) Lali and Jose, natives of Barcelona, had never been there, and were pleased to be introduced to a new place by an out-of-towner. Here's a photo from that dinner.

After THAT, I met what seemed like half of IESE at Sutton Club. I finally got home, completely exhausted and reeking of cigarette smoke, at 5am. Sunday was another beautiful day, and in the afternoon Dad and I played tennis on one of the clay courts at the Polo Club. Afterward I started to read today's marketing case at mom and dad's hotel and fell asleep for 20 minutes. Woke up and finished reading before konking out again around 8:30. The next time I woke up, it was 2:30am. I went back to sleep and woke up again at 6:30 this morning as mom and dad were getting ready to go to the airport. My first 10-hour night of sleep in a while. I don't think it'll happen again until Christmas, since finals are coming up in just three weeks.

Today was back to business as usual. Our 8:30 morning meeting, then Marketing (about capacitors... I really wanted to shout out 1.21 GIGAWATTS!!!!, but restrained myself), Decision Analysis, and Managerial Communications. At lunch I participated in the first Open Day of the school year, where prospective students visit the campus, sit in on classes, and meet with current students. Marcos from Section C and I sat with 7 others from around the world (one girl, Regan, is from Coronado!!!) and chatted with them about life at IESE. One of the students is a reader of the blog - Nice to finally meet you, Mohammad - and perhaps there will now soon be more. I think more people read this thing than I realize... geez, the pressure is on to keep it entertaining. Fortunately, I have no doubt that ridiculous things will continue to happen to me.

Which brings me to something that happened about 5 minutes ago... I was sitting quietly in the living room with Marco, both of us typing away on our laptops, when George came in and said (in his usual "George voice of shock,") "Wow! I am so strong I broke the knife!" He was holding a knife in two hands, one with the blade, the other with the handle. He said, "I was just cutting the cheese, and this is what happened!" I obviously burst out laughing and poor George was completely confused. I explained what "cutting the cheese" means (for those of you non-americans who read this, it means farting) and then George said, "You see! English is not a friendly language!" He went back into the kitchen and I said, "If you're going to cut the cheese please keep the door closed!" And then Marco said, "And could you please put a pizza in the Dutch oven for me?!"

Ahhh, I'm teaching my roommates all the beautiful nuances of the English language. Isn't it wonderful?

A few minutes later, George came back into the living room and said, "Have you seen my tomato?" I started laughing and Marco said, "What does THAT mean?" Sadly, nothing.... yet.


Moe said...

Hey Noelle, Thanks for taking time to sit down with us yesterday for lunch. I had a great time at IESE and hopefully, I will hear the good news soon!

Not so anonymous "mohammad aka moe"

NoellieBellie said...

Hey Moe -

It was great to meet you finally! I hope you had a great visit to IESE. Looking forward to hearing how the application process turns out for you. Hopefully we'll be seeing you here next year!

Best of luck,