Friday, March 30, 2007

The Martini Shot

One of the most important things you learn in film school is that the name of the very last shot you do on set is the "Martini shot" because afterward everyone celebrates with a martini. After the martini shot, you know it's a wrap. (And then, months later, when you realize your movie is crap, you do reshoots. There are never martini shots in reshoots. Too depressing.)

Well this morning was my martini shot: the final exam for Global Strategy, due at the new extended time of 5pm. Some people finished it on Wednesday before the grad party, but I was otherwise occupied with movies and slideshows for the festivities and yesterday I was otherwise occupied with lying on my couch groaning after enjoying the open bar a bit too much between 1am and 2am. And then of course I had to play rugby. And then of course I had to go to the last BOW. So basically, I did the exam this morning. And now it's done! Finished by 2pm, uploaded it to the Global Campus and... that's it. That's a wrap. How anticlimactic.

Fortunately, tonight we're having a birthday party here for George. And just as I was finishing my paper he walked in with enough alcohol to kill the Russian Army. So I suppose I can have my martini after all!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Now what?

Um. I just walked out of my last class of the MBA. Probably the last class of my entire life. I never expected to go back to school after finishing at NYU. And now I've just finished a year and a half of classes. Fortunately for me, I still get to do a take-home Globalization Strategy exam!

But that will have to wait until sometime tomorrow afternoon because tonight is our first big graduation party. I say first because there will most certainly be more in the next month. There always are....

So back to work on the video and slideshow for tonight. Then I won't realize that I'm in shock...

Monday, March 26, 2007

Hey! Ho! LET'S GO!!!

Hard to believe, but it's true... this is the final week of the MBA. After this week, everything will change forever. Even though we have graduation in a month, most people will be away during the month of April, and when we all return, we will be busy with family and friends and relocating. So strange.

Okay enough blathering. There is a weekend to review!

Thursday afternoon we presented Chris with a rugby jersey and a ball signed by the rugby team to thank him for doing such an awesome job as captain. Chris is going to Houston after IESE and that will, for lack of a better word, SUCK. For me, anyway. Hopefully he and Kathi will survive Texas!

Because I was uber sick on Thursday evening, I didn't make it to the Bar of the Week, which was apparently one of the most entertaining ever. Oh well, can't do everything I guess. Friday I was still pretty out of it, but by Saturday morning I was raring to go and ready to play soccer with the boys. Gay pride rainbow colors were in no way planned.

In the afternoon Sandy and Chloe arrived from Edinburgh (and brought the clouds and rain with them!) so we went for lunch downtown, wandered around the Barri Gotic for a few hours, and then relaxed for a while before heading to El Born for dinner. Somehow we ended up staying out very late, which turned out to be even later because Daylight Saving Time started at 2am. Normally I go WOO HOOOOO to Daylight Saving Time, but never the day it happens because we lose an hour of sleep. Not cool.

Sunday brought the annual paella extravaganza at Fede's house in Costa Brava. Last year team A6 went there in May and it was a bit warmer, but this year the crowd was bigger despite the cooler weather. (Directly attributable, no doubt, to last year's blog entry.) About 40 people turned up, but there was still plenty of paella to go back for seconds. And we ate it so fast, I didn't even get to take pictures of it this year! So I had to settle for a photo of Fede making his famous "tea," as Madhur calls it. It's not tea at all but actually hot rum and cognac. If that's what they consider tea in India, I wonder what they do with their Earl Grey!

Team A6 of the class of 2008:

This is what happens when I get on the beach:

The forced apres-paella march :
Madhur and Juanra:

Ahhh.... paradise....
Moments after returning, I received a call from Julian. His wife is out of town and, though he didn't openly admit it, he's lonely. So he invited us over for wine and cheese... and then dinner at 1am. On a school night! Good thing it's the last week. Anyway, I tortured his cats. Further proof that I should not have kids...
And now it's Monday night already. Only two days of class left. I have a final exam in Etica tomorrow afternoon and then that class is over. Wednesday we get our final exams for Global Strategy, which are due Friday at noon... I plan to finish that as soon as possible. Meaning by 11:59am on Friday morning.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Week In Review... One more to go

Because I was running around like a lunatic for the past week, I haven't had time to sift through my photos, let alone post them. So here goes.

Let's start with the Spring Fling. Awesome weather, lots of sports, old friends from other schools, great parties, and .... we won! Woo hoo!

The IESE chicas:

How to score while being attacked:

Rabid fans Abanis and Srini:

My friend Ilmi arrived Monday and we went to Montserrat Wednesday and Costa Brava Thursday. There ended our out-of-town escapades because we had too many late nights on the town, so we kept it real in Barcelona, ending the week with an afternoon BBQ on the roof.

Marco and Ilmi on the grill:

Valerio, Chris, and George

Chris and Kathi

Is this any way to have a conversation? George, Madhur, and Valerio:

Team BBQ:

I dared Ilmi (and offered 10 euro) to eat a sardine and ice cream at the same time.


Ice Cream:



But it appears to give you energy:

I don't need sardines and ice cream for energy:

In other news, it's Tuesday night and I'm already done with classes for the week. And in fact, some of my classes have already finished completely. Social Entrepreneurship ended weeks ago, and Huy and I turned in our final project on Monday. Sports Management finished last week, and Bertrand, Alexia, Jorge and I presented our final project (on a tennis tournament here in Barcelona) last Tuesday. My final paper which I wrote with Diego for Etica was turned in Tuesday afternoon. And today we had our last Entrepreneurial Finance class. This morning I gave my final speech for Diplomacy & The Art of Management. That leaves two classes and two exams next week: Globalization & Strategy and Etica. Hard to believe there is only one week left.

Aside from preparing for my exams, my time in the coming days will be consumed with organizing the graduation party (next week), my road trip through Spain (April), and the Olympics (May), and of course job interviews. One tomorrow and another on Thursday. An MBA student's work is never done!

Monday, March 19, 2007

That's All I Need

One cool thing about having American friends visit you in Europe is that you can pull out all your old movie quotes and one-liners and they get them! I often make obscure movie references and no one knows what the hell I'm saying, so it was great on Tuesday when we were at Alex's for fondue and I said, "That's all I need!" and Ilmi knew I was referring to The Jerk, starring Steve Martin during his glory days. Now George and Marco are also on The Jerk bandwagon and we go around the house picking up random objects and walking around with them. A new Calatrava tradition!

Which reminded me of this little clip from the Thanksgiving Dinner. Kathi took this just before Chris and I started MC-ing the event ...

And, of course, the real thing. A true gem:

Friday, March 16, 2007

Week of Insanity (My Favorite Kind!)

I have been a crappy blogger again. Partly because on Friday I was literally a crappy blogger... but I digress.

After my day of insanity last Wednesday, I was looking forward to a rather relaxed Thursday / Friday, but it wasn't meant to be. I had final projects to work on for two classes, due Monday and Tuesday, the Spring Fling to help coordinate, and photos to take of the Private Equity and Venture Capital conference. Nowhere near as hectic as Wednesday, but still plenty to keep me busy.

And it was fine! Great, in fact. Until the croquetas struck. Friday. 1pm. Lunch. Bad move. By 2:30 I was making very good friends with the bathroom... something I won't go into too much detail about, but which lasted, all told, for nearly 12 hours. I slept, on and off, from 7pm until 6am Saturday, with obvious breaks for sprints to the bathroom, and felt surprisingly okay Saturday morning.

Well enough, in fact, to decide to head to Montjuic for the annual Spring Fling. Five soccer games, a rugby match, and two basketball games later, I was slightly sunburned, certainly dehydrated, and absolutely delighted to have made it to the event at all... and, as an added bonus, we won! I got home at 8pm, slept for a few hours, and headed to the party at Otto Zutz. I was tired, but I wasn't going to miss the second party in a row or the chance to see old friends from other business schools.

Sunday was a day of rest. Very biblical. Well, it was also a day to see the doctor to make sure I was back to normal and to have lunch with friends. And do laundry. And read cases. Hmmm I should get better at the resting thing.

Monday and Tuesday, classes, cases, and final project submissions. My friend Ilmi arrived from NYC on Monday, ready to see the sights. So of course I had to oblige. Wednesday at Montserrat and yesterday at Costa Brava, where we had lunch at my favorite restaurant, Tragamar. YUM.

Last night we had our Class of 2007 dinner followed by the BOW at an unbelievable bar called La Fira, which is a fun-house sort of place, with crazy mirrors and swings. Really wild. Within five minutes, Marco asked me, "Why haven't we ever been here before?! I love it!" And I agree... maybe we'll have to go back soon.

So now there are only two weeks left of class and my time will be mostly spent organizing our graduation party and the MBA Olympics. Plenty to keep me busy now that all my papers and projects are done. Hard to believe it has been a year and a half...

Thursday, March 08, 2007

A true humpday

Somehow yesterday I managed to survive a day that looked like this:

5:00am wake up
5:30am taxi to airport
6:50am Flight to Palma de Mallorca
7:15am Walk 10K through Palma airport to next gate, while wishing I were wearing a bathing suit and not a business suit
8:55am Flight to Paderborn
11:30am Drive to Gutersloh
12:15pm Interview #1 and lunch
1:00pm Interview #2
2:00pm Interview #3
3:00pm Interview #4
4:00pm Drive to Hannover
7:00pm Flight to Barcelona

And, as expected, I was very happy to arrive home at Calatrava at 10pm last night, throw my suit on a hanger, and have a glass of wine.

Monday, March 05, 2007

2007 Inaugural BBQ!

Considering the weather has been sunny and in the 70s (or in the 20s for you non-Americans) of late, we decided it was high time for BBQ season to start! The plan is to continue them at least twice a week as long as the weather permits with rotating guest lists ... We have to enjoy the terrace as much as possible while we are still Calatrava Guapos!

Weiners at the ready

Bertrand, George, Chris

Marco in his favorite place

Look how happy he is!!!

My dad with Juha and Mari

Tom, Ila, and Juan

With Matteo, Rafa, Marco, and George

Friday, March 02, 2007

The Good, The Blair, and The Random

My dad, "The Blair", arrived yesterday evening and, good sport that he is, agreed to hop on the back of my moto, hang on for dear life as we cruised down Diagonal, and attend the Reverse Random Dinner hosted by Tucker and Nick. The Reverse Random is payback time for the first years who were hosted by second years during the first term, and we second year students (and their baffled fathers) are supposedly randomly allocated amongst first year homes. But, as my father is an old friend of Tucker's dad, I have my doubts about the randomness of it all.

Nevermind! The vino was fabuloso, the chili was zesty, the company was entertaining, and the BOW followed at Sol. All this after a few hours of rugby on a beautiful, sunny Thursday afternoon in Barcelona. What more could you want from a Thursday?

Anyway my dad is in town to give a talk at the annual Doing Good Doing Well conference here at IESE, which is the largest student-run conference on responsible business in Europe. So today we have attended panels on nuclear energy and climate change and tomorrow he will talk about healthcare. Party! The rest of the weekend will be spent enjoying the company of the Blair in the glorious early March sunshine which, I must admit, often makes me wonder if global warming is such a bad thing after all...