I think that Section III has a pretty good chance at the upcoming MBA Games. Today, after we collectively sailed through the moderately physical 'teambuilding exercises' laid before us, an easy third of the group of 70 stuck around Palmer Field to play pickup football and soccer. That is precisely what I am talking about.
What else I've been talking about, lately, is football. Robin's blog talks about it being wierd for fall to arrive without heading back to school, and I'm thinking it's weird to be in school without some tackle football action. That gap is closing fast though - the weekly game preview sheet is out from the SID, the game is set for ABC Sports coverage, and I've got tickets, tailgate, and post-parties lined up. I'm completely stoked.
A line is crossed on the journalism front, I think, when you look forward to the next article or deadline and lament missing a post. Lately 'the blog' is starting to feel like that...soft skills on display left and right.
The 'keystone' event of MLP took place this evening. Mr. Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric Corp, was in Hale Auditorium to pump up the MBA plebes about leadership. More than leadership, though, I came away excited over innovation. Mr. Immelt spoke at some length about the value of synergy between new technology and expanding to global markets - fascinating stuff. Earlier in the day we'd discussed as a section the benefits and detractions of the global economy. People were bullish about globalization, but my sense is that this is a self-fulfilling prophesy. Rick Wagoner bore this out, saying roughly 'being in an emerging market is scary, but scarier still is not being there.'
Katrina news pours in, worse and worse. A year back I sat in my apartment with six inches of water in the tub in case the worst had happened, waiting for the Olympics to come on. Weather is luck, bad luck, or downright stupid luck. That being said, give me snow and ice over wind and rain any day.
Football's on its way. In ethics class today the professor was talking about good faith and brought up the bands at football games playing the other team's fight song. Word to the wise: talking about the Notre Dame game doesn't make me think about ethics, it makes me think about Blue scoring 38 points, pitching a shutout, and 30,000 people chanting "Northern Illinois is better!"
There are lots of things you can do with a Sunday in August - one of them is to move house. Jenelle and I spent the day hauling, sweating, towing, and hauling. We picked up a big old U-Haul trailer at 7:30 AM and spent the day filling and making two trips to her new place. Everything got done, though, completing three days of what could only be called "whirlwind change."
1) The MBA Filter. I'm finding that whenever somebody tells you something about themselves at Ross, you must magnify that by two orders of magnitude. For example if someone mentions in passing that they prefer rugby to football, apply the MBA Filter and deduce that they played semi-professional rugby. If somebody says they are a fair basketball player, deduce that they will have a sick crossover dribble, lightning first step, and may break your ankles. I enjoy the modesty, no doubt, but in some cases I wish that we could be comfortable just to express our exact aptitude. I'm imagining the number of missed opportunities to have expert skills working on projects and it is a little depressing.
2) Football kicks off within a week. Stevie Breaston is back. Hart and Henne, the linesmen, and the tight ends are back. The stadium is ready, the T-shirts are printed, and I picked up my tickets. The weather looks good for Saturday, there're brats in the freezer, and Produce Station has apples and corn. I am utterly stoked.
3) First Day of School at UHS. Yip, half a day. Yeah, 15 minutes per class. Maybe doesn't sound like a big deal, but a job (and a career, you might say) started this morning and that's more exciting than the details. Where there are eager minds and eager teachers, great things are on tap.
Many exciting new mostly social things happened today, but the most exciting wasn't too social - we happened to see the Michigan Marching Band doing marching practice. RSB was having a 'Welcome to Ross" carnival, mostly for MBA families, on Elbel Field and the band was marching all over the adjacent parking lot. Jenelle and I stayed fairly late, talking with a really great Argentianian couple (Alex & Iliyana), and all of a sudden the band was hailing the victors in a limited engagement preview. Awesome!
The day was mostly about intra-class and intra-section socializing. This morning we met up as sections; Section III introduced themselves, we ate lunch, and then several members of the section went to the gym for some hoops. It was fun to play hoops with some MBAs - I see that happening a fair amount.
After the gym, I met Jenelle at 409B and we headed down to the carnival. Qdoba catered and there were a whole lot of familiar friendly faces there. Being a beautiful August night in Michigan and on a field, there was also plenty of frisbee and football catch going on. All in all, a very fun event that we'd not really planned on going to. I guess that will probably be a common occurence over the next few years..."I happened to have fun at a random thing."
We're off and running with more leadership stuff today. The opening slide from our leadership module was "You Can't Teach Leadership." This followed by two days of teaching leadership? Some thought-provoking group break-out sessions have made the exercise worthwhile, but I'm already questioning the value of 7 days of MLP.
'Twas a crazy day for Jenelle yesterday. While I was learning to be a leader, she was notified of, completed, and heard back from a job interview. If all goes well while I'm learning to be a leader today, she'll have a job locked up with Ferndale University High School. It's another unique education theory, up there with Dean Anderson's bandwith concept, that basically aligns a high school with a technical university to pick up a high level of competency in the sciences. In case you forego a visit to the FUHS website it also looks like quite a nice campus...and is a new school.
Over the past three days I have met about 80 billion skillion people and one of my major goals is to remember them. I'm finding that everybody is in their own niche - amazing in a group of 430 like-minded business maven-wannabes. There's also a note of apprehension floating the overall group about Saturday's "sectionification" of the class. Ultimately I think we are all (or I, at least, am) worried that it might be sayonara to friends made recently - see you at graduation, good friend. Kind of a weird dynamic for day three of an MBA career.
Dean Gene Anderson kicked off the Welcome Address by talking about bandwidth. This concerns me a great deal - if the school assumes I have some available bandwidth then they are going to stream that amount of content towards me. A fascinating education concept if nothing else.
MLP is rolling right along, with good brownies and bountiful opportunities for classmates to voice their profundities and to hear themselves talk. Hale Auditorium full of eager-beaver, gunner-type MBA1s makes for a long morning of cliche self-aggrandizing from the few and scornful looks from the rest.
There's also been some painting. It seems a strange juxtaposition with MLP, but apartments need to be re-whited and prepped for living and the time is now. Jenelle picked a cool slate-green color for her new place and now we're going to be digging in with the dark red and light yellows from her old place. Should look awesome in a few days.
Even though it starts for real tomorrow, there's a distinct "Go Blue! Rendezvous" feel to the halls at Ross today. I'm in the library, wirelessly blogging and clearing up details. The uber-helpful (anybody know the shortcut for an umlaut?) laptop support-sters got me rolling after a little hickup and now I am good to go. The TMI Director helped me crank through some issues regarding course waivers and course track strategy, which was awesome. One of the best things about Ross is that it really is collaborative. Every brochure ever printed for collegiate admissions purposes talks about teamwork and collaboration, but when the rubber hits the road it is hard to do. Michigan has gotten it done and students have a better experience because of it.
"Moderately Active M-Trek Goes Awry" photos have trickled in and they are fun to look over. The snaps of The Knife's Edge are especially amazing. Hiroko, for whatever reason, has the best pictures of the vast expanse below Baxter Peak, and Greg's views of TKE are the best. Why is that? This vexes me. I'm terribly vexed.
Back in the real world, we've spent a few days painting the innards of #219 back to white. Painting is gritty work but the job is almost done. During a break on Sunday we even ventured to Sweet Mike's in Holt where I got a Spartan Float - lime soda and vanilla ice cream. Fight! Fight! Rah! Team Fight!
Jenelle astutely observed that yesterday's darkened sky marked the return of fall clouds to the Midwest. The air tastes like football. Nights are crisp. The Produce Station probably has corn piled to the sky. Just 11 days 1:33 left before kickoff. I'm so stoked.
The Maine Event was listed as a "Moderately Active" trek. Sometime around midweek, one of the trekkers lampooned the Onion: "Moderately Active Trek Goes Awry." We paddled down the Penobscot (braving Class V rapids and a Box of Fluffy Kittens), hiked up Mount Katahdin (crowning a certain faded Michigan visor the highest point in Maine and descending The Knife's Edge), rappelled over and then climbed back up The Cliffs of Otter, kayaked across the Eggemoggin Reach to Pond Island and then on to Mount Desert Island.
Ross students that have gone on M-Treks all recommended them and most said that the best friends you have when you graduate are the ones you make on the first organized Ross event of your career as a matriculated b-schooler. I'm not positive about it, but I'm guessing that on a Saturday in May of 2007 there will be a picture of some (much-better groomed) trekkers who had a grand old time in the Northeast in August of 2005.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, life ploughs ahead. I got dozens of emails about courses to register for and things to take care of; stuff is happening fast.
The names Nordhielm, Sutcliffe, Gautam, and Kale may not be familiar, but they are the cream of the business education crop. I have them all in the coming semester. These are respected gurus in their respective fields, business minds whose reputations preceed them, big time professors who are the very reason that Ross sits atop the WSJ b-school rankings. I am stoked.
It's a casual Friday (not that Monday through Thursday were any sort of formal) and I'm updating my iMpact resume for the Ross. At the moment, though, I'm adjusting to the fact that it could be the last afternoon of my NAME career. A blogging seemed a worthwhile way to mark that, but Jenelle and I are also heading to Gelato di Roma, a new Ann Arbor pizza- and gelato- ria, for dinner this evening.
I suppose there's always the possibility that something in the marine field will pop up again in the future (and I think I'll push for that) but there is also the distinct possibility that the SNSSDP may mark the end of my yacht and ship days. There are, of course, times when I know I'll be back at it: my GSRA research this semester has already been accepted as a paper for next May's International Marine Design Conference, IMDC, here in Michigan. Boats and boating, through shows, monitoring the shipping news, and actually being on the water, will always be part of my life but it's a little strange to think that they might not be part of my workdays.
A few months back I postulated that naval architects are a more sensitive breed of engineer and this is why...boats, yachts, and ships are simply a more romantic feat of engineering than the rear door hinges of a Ford Escape. When ships glide by, magicly powered by a great well within themselves, they conjure the awe of the Seven Wonders - then disappear to cover the earth's waterways and seaways in anonymity, leaving nothing but roiling water and a sense of wonder.
Insider information makes the world go 'round and today's batch comes from an old friend at M-DOT and is in reference to yesterday's discussion of HR3, the federal highway omnibus.
The interesting point has to do with special projects added to the bill late in the game. Apparently there was a mixup in somebody's office and some of Michigan's extra projects were chosen from a list of priority projects that was slightly outdated. The bottom (punch) line is that three of Michigan's millions are now earmarked for the US-131 Freeway to rural highway transition, which is well underway. Jenelle and I drove this section of road two weeks ago and it is looking very good. Unfortunately, these funds are labeled specifically for that project, apparently, so it looks like Michigan just contributed $3 million more dollars to the donee states. If anybody ever has an inside story, please don't hold back...I eat this stuff up.
This week has been shy on daily routine updates, so here we go: Monday = Jenelle came down + frisbee + fajitas. Tuesday = work + MBA prep + riding around. Wednesday = work + GSRA * (final draft + simulations) + new fuel filter - success + MBA writing assessment. Thursday = work + lunch at Evergreen - bill + thanks Prof Lamb + packing + errands - ice cream.
Government should do for the people what people can't do for themselves, and today we have a $286.4 billion infrastructure improvement omnibus that will prove it. Opponents and sayers-of-neigh point to a high level of pork ($24 billion or 9%, according to the AP) as a reason to strike down the bill, but I think that even Senator McCain's target - landscaping along Ronald Reagan Freeway - will provide jobs and an improved quality of life in California. Pork is pork and I disagree with naming bridges after politicians, but tell an operator or civil engineer who was unemployed that pork-barrel spending is bad.
The previous paragraph isn't to say that I don't have some objections with this bill. Michigan, Wolvering State, The Great Lakes State, 'If You Seek a Pleasant Peninsula Look About You,' home, headquarters, etc, wound up being a donor on this law. That's all well and good, morally, but Michigan's economy is, to quote a pretty sad professor I had, "right in the garbage." I find it poor that a state who ranks in the bottom 5 in unemployment, economic growth, and salary and wage rate growth should wind up sending money out of state by receiving just $0.92 on each dollar of taxes paid.
Meanwhile, Rhode Island is set to see a return of over 100%...over $2 from the Fed per dollar taxed. Delaware, who has but 320 miles (second lowest among states, after Hawaii) and has long been an income tax free haven for the nation's corporations, is set to see a return of roughly $1.46 per gas tax dollar. Michigan, meanwhile, soldiers on, maintaining 4,763 miles of winter-weather highways within its borders and donating over 8% of its gas tax revenue to making sure that when you visit the desert state of Nevada - where midwestern tourists inevitably leave millions in casinos, a post for another time - the roads and bridges are smooth.
Whoa man! It's all happening. I stumbled onto my course schedule for MBA1 Fall A & B on WolverineAccess this afternoon and, through the use of logic and the internets, determined that I will be a member of Ross Class of 2007 Section 3.
posted at 4:32 PM - comments
Monday, August 08, 2005
Just over four years ago, we Webbies found ourselved in Gram's room, huddled around the big projected TV watching in some silence and running back and forth to the roof of Stevenson Taylor Hall. That day, now referred to without mention of year, we found ourselved tuned to ABCnews for insight, composure, and coordination from the anchor chair. He handled the world's biggest news day with more aplomb and composure than the other anchors - maybe more than anybody. Over 60 hours that week he was on the air, live, unscripted, asking questions we also had and undoubtedly learning of horror just a split second before we did. From the buzz in his earpiece to what was broadcast to the world, though, an uncanny sensationalism-reducing filter was applied. What came over the airwaves was not a sense of panic or anger or confusion as we saw in the next day's papers, but the strongest sense of a nation learning what it would have to face next. Peter Jennings died yesterday at age 67.
Thank you, Mr. Jennings, for a job well done.
posted at 3:05 PM - comments
Saturday, August 06, 2005
Rolled out of bed down to the Ross for an OCD (Office of Career Development) workshop this morning. Very interesting stuff. Al Cotrone and Kris Nebel were there sharing wisdom and spreading advice. One of the constants in any OCD presentation is a recap of "the numbers." Luckily for we the MBA Class o' 2007 the numbers looked much better this year. Unluckily, Al hypothesized, this year's numbers may have represented a spike as pent-up demand swept through the rank and file.
My fears at b-school doings are centered on small. Everything at Stephen M. Ross is big time, big, big time. The students, faculty, staff, and reputation are big. So small is a concern for me - small being a size, not necessarily a time. There must be some adjustment from small (tiny, perhaps?) to big (huge, perhaps?) and that has crossed my mind. Sometimes small is big time and I like to think that that's a portion of what I've been up to so far, but small big time is no match for big big time. Time to step up.
I'm growing weary of the news. For a generation Y-ster I tune to NPR a fair amount and lately I've just gotten tired of hearing about things gone wrong in the Middle East...especially where the United States are involved. One bit yesterday shook me enough to generate this post.
Thursday Donald Rumsfeld was responding to the suggestion that bombings in London (succesful and not) were tied to the US's ongoing presence in Iraq. His response was simply that some people "cling to the discredited theory that the recent attacks in London and elsewhere ... are really in retaliation for the war in Iraq or for the so-called occupation of Afghanistan. That is nonsense." (Full text here.) Sorry, sorry, Don. Sorry. Could we just back up to the slide about 'so-called' occupation? I don't mean to get all academic and in your face about it, but Mirriam Webster (ok, M-W.com) defines occupation as " the holding and control of an area by a foreign military force." If that isn't what we're doing in Iraq, explain me what the hell is going on over there. He often speaks of retribution for terrorist acts, but let's be realistic - the 9/11 attacks, the first WTC bombing, the USS Cole bombing, and the Nairobi Embassy bombing total 2,989 deaths. We're two-thirds of the way there just in US casualties and nobody even knows how many Iraqis are dead from air strikes sent from the US military to support an occupation that apparently doesn't even exist. Great! The DoD has passed Abu Musad al-Zarqawi on the list of people most dangerous to US citizens and I'm 1/280,000,000 of the world's biggest terror organization. Super! Now over to Ted with up-to-the-minute sports news!
In a related story, Mssr. Bush's approval rating is at his lowest ever, just 38%. Again, kudos on a job well done. Political capital? Well spent, Mr. President.
Management-labor relations are a tricky thing, especially when the labor in question is a mechanics union and the management in question is No. 4 US airline Northwest. It gets even more dicey when the strike date published is the day I'm scheduled to return from a trip. It gets dicier still when my point of origination is Portland, Maine - not a hotspot for domestic travel options. Supposedly I'm not going to even know the outcome of the mediation, but hopefully I'll get an NWA flight voucher out of this.
This week has been a little slower because the lecture/team project ratio has been higher than usual. A student can only take so much sitting in the classroom on beautiful summer days! Evenings have been oddly unproductive, too, although I think I might finally be getting close on my GSRA report. That's progress, but I haven't done much in the way of cool hobby-esque stuff that makes for good blogging. Terribly sorry about that.
Recently I subscribed to a daily newspaper. I also recently read Henry Petroski's tome on the formative years of an engineer - Paperboy. The two working together have given me a great sense of satisfaction each day as I walk out of the western Huron Tower and pick up my neatly folded, deceptively heavy copy of The Wall Street Journal. I like the journal because it gives news that doesn't show up in other places and is relevant to my everyday life, but I also like it because it is a useable dose of North American-centric global news and insight. It has been years since I read a daily paper and this is the first I've subscribed to; there's a sense of accomplishment I get from grabbing a newpaper with my name on the shipping label, flipping to the lower fold or opening to Section B and digging in that must be somehow tied to my desire to get the news first.
Michigan Today had an interesting article today on Yooper language that contained some surprises and some comforting restatement of the known.
It's my eight hundred and first post, so luckily it's going to be laden with visuals and great content.
A few months back a plan was hatched...let Corey and Jenelle meet Kirk and Wendy in the pinky finger (aka Traverse City) region of Michigan for some bicycle touring of the area and a sampling of the local wineries. We got a plan together, picked a weekend, and the Leelenau Cycle & Sip was born. The weather pitched in and we had an awesome time.
Friday was a travel day, i.e. work all day and then drive the 4.5 hours to Traverse City. Mom and Dad had set up camp at TC State Park and we met there, sat around the campfire, had a few s'mores, and turned in. Saturday morning we were up early, pouring on the sunscreen, pulling on cycling shorts, eating breakfast and heading out on Hwy 37 up Old Mission Peninsula. The opening 10-12 miles were pretty hilly, so we stopped along the way for a water and photo break:
We rode about 2/3rds of the way up the peninsula and then turned for home, enjoying the flat, lakeside length of Peninsula Drive and its array of big houses.
After showers and lunch, we set out once again - this time by car - for the Old Mission wineries. First was Peninsula Cellars where our favorites were the fruit wines and ice Riesling. Then we moved on to Chateau Grand Traverse where we tasted and then joined a tour of the wine-making process and facility. The last stop was definitely the favorite, upstart Brys Estate. Here sampled some very good wines and even purchased a chilled bottle to enjoy on their shade-covered terrace, sitting in Adirondack chairs and looking out over the vines to East Bay. After the wineries, we visited Mission Lighthouse, took in a motorcycle show happening on the streets of downtown, and made pizza-ninis back at the campground for dinner.
Sunday started with the task of breaking camp, followed by the trip to Leeland for the start of Day 2's ride. The hilly 21.46 miles of Saturday were looming large, so we opted for a relatively flat 14.6 around Lake Leeland.
After the ride we wandered Leeland for a few minutes and then drove south along the lake to Glen Haven where we ate lunch on a picnic table just over a windswept knoll from the busy beach. Afterwards we went to the municipal beach at Empire for some serious, warm fresh water body surfing in the big waves coming straight over from Wisconsin. On our way out of town we journeyed through Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore along Pierce Stocking Drive, stopping to look out over the Manitou Islands, the windy lake, a freighter plying it, and the massive, massive dunes. Then we got back in the truck and followed a steady stream of resort traffic southward.
posted at 12:27 PM - comments